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Unplugged Book Sales: Is It Possible to Sell Books Off-Line?

unplugged, book sales, how to sell books, Kristen Lamb, self-publishing, publishing, authors

Unplugged and Internet-free. Sounds like heaven to me. Why am I posting on this? Well, someone in the last post commented and asked me to blog on how to sell books without the Internet or social media. If it was even possible.

#ChallengeAccepted

Is it even possible to sell books unplugged? Good food for thought. Of course, my first thought was, ‘Is it even possible to get unplugged in the first place?’

Funny to think that it wasn’t too long ago that a half-baked plot with a terrible love story captured our hearts. A horrible movie (by all accounts) made us all misty-eyed, because of these three words…

You’ve Got Mail...

unplugged, books, bookstores, book sales, Kristen Lamb
So prophetic, Kathleen.

I remember the giddy feeling whenever I’d hear that ping. Someone sent me an EMAIL. OMG!

I’ve got…MAIL!

Now? I’ve got mail.

*weeps and drinks straight from the Hershey’s syrup squeeze bottle*

I remember loving email.

Hell, I remember LOVING the movie The Matrix. You wanna know WHY I loved The Matrix? Because I wasn’t LIVING IN IT.

I miss being unavailable. My Yahoo email went feral about four years ago. It pees on the carpet and bites people, so we leave it alone.

Same with my Gmail. No matter how many systems and filters…the spammers find me.

There is no way I’ve found to remain unplugged…even a little.

Now? My business email is close to joining the Yahoo and Gmail. If I am not on my cell phone deleting spam messages like Satan’s version of Space Invaders?

I lose stuff.

No joke. I had to create another business email (which, of course, I forget to check). It’s a never ending game of Hell’s Whack-A-Mole.

Oh, and I recently got sick, and couldn’t cull the endless author newsletters I was force-added to against my will because so many @$$hat branding gurus swear by newsletters as the key to wealth and fame to the point they are SELLING email lists to total strangers.

People like me who want some unknown author’s free book about as much as I want a free upper G.I.

Kill. Me. Now.

#IWillNeverEscape

Unplugged Life

unplugged, book sales, how to sell books, Kristen Lamb, self-publishing, publishing, authors

I’m a Gen Xer. We’re the sarcastic middle child who trusts nothing and no one, crushed and forgotten between the Baby Boomers and Millennials.

We’re young enough that we were a major force that set off the digital revolution. Yet, we’re also old enough to remember what life was like before computers.

Which is why we drink heavily or want to.

We remember what it was like to have to walk over to someone’s house, knock on a door and ASK IN PERSON if they wanted to hang out. Or, to CALL. And if the person wasn’t there, to have to…wait for it…call back LATER.

There weren’t even answering machines.

Hell, there wasn’t even ‘call waiting.’ You got a busy tone. Oh, the things my son (Spawn) won’t ever experience.

We lived our lives unplugged, not even knowing we were ‘unplugged.’

Now we track everything from packages to exes. These days, I can’t even have a conversation in the car that suddenly there aren’t ads popping up in my feed for something I was just talking about.

#CreepyAsHell

There was a time I TRIED to remain unplugged. I refused to use email and wanted all my bills on paper. I’d reset all the settings on my phone and clear browser histories, and… *taps out*

Problem is, everything is optional…until it isn’t.

Want to get really freaked out? Go read Fahrenheit 451. These days, I’m too old to mess with it and as a writer, I find great entertainment researching murder and poisons on-line just to see what sort of ads pop up on Facebook.

Apparently a LOT of ads for pre-paid legal, therapy, and hardware stores. I wish I were making this up.

Can We Even Live Unplugged?

Where else will I find people who share my socially unacceptable sense of humor?

Not to freak y’all out, but before we even posit the question if it’s possible to sell books off-line, we need to ask the critical question. Who’s even living off-line? Because if Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) is our target market?

Then there ya go!

But, even Ted communicated using the newspaper, which was the equivalent of the Internet during his day. He put out personal ads searching for a wife who wanted to live off the land, cut off from the world.

Wonder how many of us might take him up on that these days?

Considering that most of today’s population is glued to their phones, addicted to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs to the degree that specialists are treating new never-seen-before joint, back, eye, and psychiatric disorders….

unplugged, selling books, book sales, Kristen Lamb, publishing

Whether we like it or not, folks these days aren’t sharing word of mouth in person as much as they’re sharing among peers their on-line social circles.

***To be clear, this doesn’t mean they’re NOT sharing in person, just proportionally they’re sharing more on-line.

Additionally, people are shopping more on-line than in stores.

It’s why Cyber Monday has been beating out Black Friday by increasingly larger margins every year.

Not only are the deals better, but there’s also the added convenience. I’m just as guilty. For instance, Spawn’s birthday is RIGHT near Thanksgiving.

I didn’t have time to cook, work, write, clean, and shop for birthday gifts. So, I hopped on Amazon and ordered the game he wanted…which was delivered to my front door while I frosted his birthday cakes.

In sales, we had a saying, ‘Fish where the fish are.’ Safe bet the fish are schooling on-line.

Bookstores & Location

unplugged, book sales, how to sell books, Kristen Lamb, self-publishing, publishing, authors

Though, for NOW, I think it will be tough to sell books unplugged, that trend should shift. The reason? Borders and Barnes & Noble decimated the indie and mom-and-pop bookstores.

Granted, CBS recently reported some good news (which I also predicted on this blog a few years ago *gets cramp patting self on back*).

The small bookstores are booming after being nearly wiped out, which is fabulous.

The problem is that the big box chains all but annihilated these small stores, and there is a LONG road back from the edge of extinction.

Consumers will eventually shop at bookstores, but, as the founder of Barnes & Noble realized only after it was far too late, shoppers tend to gravitate to the store that is closest and most convenient.

In the October 21, 2016 article in The New YorkerWhat Barnes & Noble Doesn’t Get About Bookstores, Leonard Riggio, the man who bought Barnes & Noble forty-five years ago and turned it into a giant finally conceded this mistake:

The No. 1 consideration of where someone will shop is how close it is to where they are. It has nothing to do with pedigree or branding. If there’s no bookstore close to them, they’re more likely to buy online. If there’s one close, they’re more likely to buy if it’s a block away.

While we await the recovery of the local ‘Shop Around the Corner,’ odds are folks will mostly buy on-line. That’s business reality.

The Centrifugal Bumble-Brand

There are all sorts of gurus who’ll sell authors (or anyone) snake oil a sure-fire get-rich-quick scheme for using social media to make the big lists, sell so many books, etc. etc.

Mailing lists, pay-to-promote, ads, marketing campaigns, on and on!

I’ve never done any of this, and my blog gets well over a million unique visits a month, which is pretty good for a blog with such niche content for a niche audience.

My book and classes are fun and never go out of style because the focus is on people, not technology.

What captures people’s attention? How do we make them care? If we have to use social media, then how can we find our tribe? And have FUN and time to write books?

What can we do to attract those people who like what we like and are most likely to enjoy our content and probably enjoy our stories, too?

CLUE: How about post stuff they WANT to see and SHARE? Imagine that!

Technology changes, people don’t.

Whether we are plugged in or unplugged, how we interact with people is roughly the same if we want to be successful.

Even before social media, we didn’t like people who only talked to us when they wanted something.

We were NOT fans of people who were constant sources of drama, negativity, self-centered, manipulative, the list goes on.

We enjoyed people who made us laugh, who noticed US, who were genuine, who asked us about our day and our life (without an agenda) and who listened, instead of everything being about them.

Even before computers, we liked people who made us smile, who made our day better just being around them.

We ran from people who drained our energy, who took more than they gave. People hung out with people who shared at least some common interests, with just enough variety to add something new and exciting.

This has nothing to do with SEO.

Well, not directly. Humans are the same on-line as unplugged. They don’t want someone trying to sell them something all the time, etc. etc.

#Duh

Relax on social media. It’s really what we used to do off-line only on-line. Yes, we have to filter it, but we had to filter it at parties if we wanted to be invited back, right?

Remember, we aren’t trying to make EVERYONE happy. We CAN’T.

For instance, if you don’t have a dark sense of humor, you’re probably not going to enjoy my books either. I can’t please everyone. But when I please the right people—MY audience—they do the heavy lifting.

Like here…

Almost a thousand shares and I didn’t have to pay Facebook a dime. Here’s the thing. My goal is not to sell this blog or my classes or my books to EVERYONE. I can’t please EVERYONE, so I don’t try.

But I CAN please YOU….

unplugged, book sales, how to sell books, Kristen Lamb, self-publishing, publishing, authors

And probably even you…

unplugged, book sales, how to sell books, Kristen Lamb, self-publishing, publishing, authors

And you…over there.

unplugged, book sales, how to sell books, Kristen Lamb, self-publishing, publishing, authors

Yes, I have seven cats. Actually six. My *whispers* dog, Pippa, thinks she is a cat. Don’t tell her.

Anyway, what were we talking about before all the funny cats?

Oh yeah…no social media.

How would we share cat memes?

That and right now I started a pretty hysterical (and morbid) thread on Facebook that might earn us all an FBI van for Christmas….

*tugs collar*

But the comments are too funny! See? No marketing gimmick, just people having some seriously dark and disturbing fun.

I write mystery, suspense and thriller so those are the sort of people who are my audience. Many of the people in the thread having a good time, I KNOW FOR A FACT are not writers. They are READERS (or potential readers).

Which means these are the folks who DO go over and like my fan page and who DO subscribe to my blog here.

#TrueCrime

Oops, I meant #TrueStory.

Anyway….

Storytelling Unplugged

I know I’ve danced around the question, though I’ve not meant to. Can we sell books without social media or the Internet? Sure.

But for most writers who break out in hives at the mention of sales, the idea of setting up a table in some store and hawking a book with a PayPal card reader pales in comparison to building a social platform.

Thus, the only remaining way to sell books off the Internet (unplugged) is through the quality of the story.

We must write something SO spectacular, so singularly unique and well-crafted that it stands out like the Hope Diamond perched, glinting in the sunlight, on a pile of rubbish.

It must be so brilliantly crafted that it generates a tidal wave of buzz among readers, and then eventually the booksellers in the emerging small bookstores. Stories that booksellers will not only stock, but will go out of their way to recommend to the browsing shopper.

Writing Unplugged

This said, judging from most of what I see? The future is not looking too bright for most writers.

With the rise of self-publishing, it’s been too easy to skip the hard parts….like learning how to write well.

When I began as an editor almost twenty years ago, the samples I received were trying to pass a NY gatekeeper. Now? Most wouldn’t pass 7th grade English.

It’s downright depressing.

I encounter far too many ‘authors’ who know more about advertising and marketing than they know about story structure, POV, pacing, scene and sequel, etc.

Instead of reading, taking classes, applying what is learned to writing and then rewriting and practicing, too many authors are fixating on-line.

They’re more concerned about building numbers on their mailing list, their book covers matching their Facebook headers than whether or not the ‘books’ they’ve already produced are even readable.

They spend more time worrying if they should shift to Instagram than trying to understand why no one’s buying their existing books.

The hard truth is great writers do what anyone who’s a master at anything does. They make writing appear easy just like an Olympic gymnast makes the parallel bars seem easy.

Writing a novel is anything BUT easy. This is a skill that takes time, training, blood, sweat, tears, mentorship, and probably part of your soul to even become moderately good.

When we skip steps—either out of pride or impatience—there are consequences.

The most common consequence is our book will die a lonely death in obscurity. What is ignored offline will likely never thrive online. So YES…

Book Sales Unplugged

The technically correct answer is that we’ve long passed the event horizon that any sale happens off-line…technically. We’re living in a world that, short of a zombie apocalypse or a. nuclear war, the Internet will be a factor in the sale somewhere.

BUT…before the Internet ever gets a vote. Before Insta-Snap-Chat-Face-Twit is ever part of the equation, a story starts with us. The author.

Every sale happens offline when we write the book. Then, when the reader reads or listens to our story and our story makes their heart beat faster, keeps them up all night and generates so much excitement they cannot WAIT to tell someone?

That is the books sale unplugged. We have to get booksellers excited enough to be a street team without us even having to ask or offer an incentive.

They’ll VOLUNTEER. The best sales are always a passion project anyway.

In the meantime, READ, READ, READ. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. READ, WRITE, FAIL, REPEAT!

And know I’ll never fuss at y’all without offering help 😉 .

Go to THIS BLOG where I have a long list of resources—who aren’t necessarily me—to help make y’all better legendary authors (blogs, books, classes, etc).

Give yourself some goodies for Christmas.

I also have some treats, like a BRAND NEW class I’ve never taught before, and it turned out FANTASTIC. ON DEMAND Dark Arts: HOLIDAY SPECIAL Building Your Villain is usually $55 and for the next few days is only $25. Three hours of psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists, pathology and how that applies to writing.

It is like the Behavioral Analysis Unit for Authors. Tres FUN! Villains are some of the most enduring characters in literature. Why not add your own legends to the list?

I’m also offering ON DEMAND! Holiday Sale! Story Master: From Dream to DONE. This class is to train you how to plot whether you’re a plotter, a pantser or a mix of both. It’s also a crash course in creating dimensional characters.

I love hearing from you!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of NOVEMBER, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages (5K words) of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or fewer). 

October’s Winner is Charlotte French.

November’s Winner is rachelwordsmith and thanks for the blog idea, too!

FYI, one page is 250 words. Calculate accordingly, please. Send your WORD doc double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, one-inch margins to kristen at wana intl dot com. If I fail to respond within ten business days after sending, please know I am VERY human and send a follow up message. I may have lost your email or accidentally nuked it in my Hell’s Space Invader’s game.

In the meantime, PLEASE treat yourself to a class! We have a TON of classes that we will be deleting or putting into cold storage come January and will no longer be available. So STOCK UP while you can.

The BIG SPECIALS (other than what I mentioned above)

On Demand: Beyond Bulletproof HOLIDAY Barbie

Usually $55 and now only $25.

This is a THREE-HOUR class on guns, knives, weapons, fighting, law enforcement (from local cops to international espionage) and more. Everything you need to build a bad@$$—male OR female—and get the details CORRECT.

Spilling the HOLIDAY Tea: On Demand Blogging for Authors

Usually $75 and now only $40.

Get prepped and ready for the new year, new you, new blog.

New Classes

Tick Tock: How to Plot Mystery Suspense Series

Thursday, December 12th, 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST (NYC TIME)Use New20 for $20 off.

Can You Hear Me Now? Developing Character Voice

Friday, December 13th, 7:00-9:00 P.M. EST. Use New10 for $10 off.

NEW ON DEMAND CLASSES

Bite-Sized Fiction: How to Plot the Novella

Use New20 for $20 off

Why Are We HERE? Scenes That HOOK

Use New20 for $20 off

Popular On Demand Classes

The Art of Character: Writing Characters for a SERIES ON DEMAND

Use Binge10 for $10 off.

How do we create characters that readers will fall in love with, characters strong enough to go the distance? Find out in this THREE-HOUR class that also comes with detailed notes and a character-building template. 

This class dovetails with my previous class:

Bring on the Binge: How to Plot and Write a Series (ON DEMAND). Use Binge10 for $10 off.

Need some help with platform and branding?

Branding: WHEN YOUR NAME ALONE Can Sell (ON DEMAND)

Use brand10 for $10 off.

For the complete list, go to the OnDemand Section.

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  1. Great post, Kristen & I especially enjoyed the memes. In my day job I deal with the public and I’ve noticed an awful lot of senior-ish citizens who are tech-savvy. They’ve got the reward apps, Apple Pay and the like, and they use them. Even if they didn’t grow up with it, they’ve had the time and inclination to learn it. My 87 y/o neighbor still uses a landline and orders from catalogs, but I’m willing to bet she’s one of the few.

  2. I’m interested in ON DEMAND Dark Arts: HOLIDAY SPECIAL Building Your Villain but the link is blocked.

    1. Ugh, lemme look.

    2. Weirdness. Never had that happen. It’s fixed. If that ever happens in the future, all classes are always on this site. I simply hyperlink directly to save you scrolling 🙂 . It was an AWESOME class. One of my best. I’m very proud how it turned out and hope you love it, too.

  3. -grin- It’s barely 8.30am and you’ve already made me laugh out loud. On your serious points though, this: ‘Humans are the same on-line as unplugged’ is something I’ve known for a long time, but it clicked in a different way today. Yes, we are the same, offline and on…and that means we take our ‘popularity’ with us as well. It’s so obvious, and yet I feel as if I’ve just had an epiphany. If you’re the kind of person who attracts people offline, you’ll also be the kind of person who attracts them online.

    You are funny and sparkling [in a good way] online, so I’m sure you’re the same offline. And that’s part of the reason for your success. But it goes much further than marketing. The books you write and how you write them are also a reflection of your personality, and because you’re a ‘people person’, your stories appeal to a greater range of…people. 🙂

    Apologies, but a whole host of little things just clicked. I’ll go back to lurking now. 🙂

    1. Yes and no. Off-line I struggle. Always have, but I’m much better now *left eye twitches.*

      Before the Internet I had severe social anxiety to the point of agoraphobia. I used to shop at two in the morning because I couldn’t take the crowds. But that was a cumulative effect of a series of traumas, though I had generally been the child who preferred to stay in my room copying my encyclopedias than playing with others.

      My trigger phrase? “Group project.”

      Being on-line has allowed me to find people who like the things I do, instead of just being the lone weirdo who laughs at serial killer jokes and is the only one who gets the Monty Python references.

      I know I was very, very lonely before the Internet. Felt very much the outcast because I didn’t drink, hated bars, hated sports and never seemed to like the things ‘normal people’ liked. Still don’t. I loathe shopping, don’t want to keep up with the Kardashians, had no clue who the hell they were let alone why I’d want to keep up with them.

      And all those things are perfectly fine, but I never could seem to find the weirdos like me so I was always the outlier. Ended up hanging out with my dad a lot because I couldn’t find other people who loved books, Dungeons & Dragons, Dr. Who, and reading the DSM-IV for fun.

      Once social media came along, I learned that I wasn’t a total weirdo (okay I was, just that there were A LOT more than just ME) so I became a lot more comfortable being myself. This helped the social anxiety a lot. I am still an introvert. I like people in doses, but tend to be a hermit. When I am around people I’m like someone set off a comedy bomb and have to remember to let other people have a turn and TALK (but was always that way).

      I know social media has helped me a become a better listener, train myself to slow down and pay attention to others instead of trying to be non-stop one-woman comedy act (a learned survival tactic from switching schools NINETEEN TIMES). While that’s fun, I do wear people out. I’m working on that. I over-volunteer, overshare, overdo, and basically over-over everything.

      For years I sent people running for the hills after spending time with me. They needed a Xanax. Probably still do. I am practicing.

      *looks at notes*

      ‘Inside words stay inside.’

      ‘Let them talk, too.’

      ‘Breathe.’

      ‘No volunteering. Let others be in charge for a change.’

      ‘Ask them the next question. Let them talk, too.’

      I’m a work in progress, too.

      But what’s cool is after years of hating myself for not being like “everyone else” I now LOVE that I’m YOO-NEEK 😛 . I can come on here and be as weird as I want to be and people who don’t like it can go find someone more “normal” and that’s okay.

      And my books are a reflection of my personality. That, “Dear Lord, did she just say that out LOUD?” “Yes, yes she did.” Which is why I am not for everyone. And that is all right. I am a work in progress getting weirder…but politer by the day.

      1. -picks jaw off the floor-
        You’re a kindred spirit! I can so relate. I honestly thought you were a super extrovert. I guess it’s the comedy thing. I’m only accidentally funny, but my ‘I can do this’ persona is the teacher. But who wants to be ‘taught’ all the time, right?
        I am honestly glad to meet you Kristen. -hugs-

        • Jean Lamb on December 12, 2019 at 9:34 pm
        • Reply

        Yay, great to meet people like this. I read PDRs for fun drug interactions to torture the hero. Is that wrong?

  4. I’m at the oldest end of Gen-X. We lived in the country for a while and I still remember party lines. Very annoying trying to call a friend and find some gossipy old neighbor ladies hogging the phone.

    My third attempt at blogging has been an interesting endeavor so far. It’s starting off slow, which is OK. I’m just being my usual, goofy self and discovered two of my recent followers are a psycotherapist/screenwriter in London, UK and a psychologist. Should I be worried? (I write historical, but maybe it’s really hysterical.)

  5. Thank you for the reassurance that marketing whizzitude is no replacement for writing good – preferably great – books. I’m focussing most of my efforts on the latter.

  6. Some really exciting tips here. i recently went into a few of my local garden centres and sold them copies of my books. They were really helpful and polite. I left them my details so they could purchase more if they became popular.

    1. Non-fiction books are good for hand sales. If you’re a good speaker, Rotary clubs are always happy to host authors and you can sell copies of books at the back of the room (fiction or NF). It just depends on if that is a strength. I have a friend who wrote a book on wines and he tours vineyards and sells his books and has a lot of fun and makes a decent chunk of change hand-selling copies.

    • Michelle on December 5, 2019 at 5:48 pm
    • Reply

    I enjoy reading your insightful, humorous articles. You are one of the first authors I followed when I began my self-publishing journey. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Hi Kristen,
    While we bemoan social media and our forced entry into marketing, we must remember that were it not for the internet, we would truly be independent authors. Independent as in ‘completely alone in the world’ with only a small local critique group as an outlet. I have discovered and befriended many other indies as a direct consequence of the internet.
    Yes, I hate, loathe, and despise being a salesman even if it is for my own product. However, I was well aware of the necessity for marketing before I wrote the first word. But I also love any form of alternative strategy.
    Thank you for another wonderful post. They’re always an enjoyable read.

    P.S. Today marks one month since I released my first novel. Your class on ‘chapter 1’ was a great help. During that class, you turned me on to Les Edgerton and did a critique of my first ten pages. I’m forever thankful and grateful.

    1. I don’t bemoan social media or the Internet. Wouldn’t know you had it not been for the online world 😀 . I was very lonely before the digital age.

    • Stephanie Scott on December 9, 2019 at 5:08 pm
    • Reply

    This: I encounter far too many ‘authors’ who know more about advertising and marketing than they know about story structure, POV, pacing, scene and sequel, etc.

    I’d love to see more discussion on this because it’s something that derails my creativity a lot. Here I am working on writing better, reading books, taking classes, writing more drafts, and the rejection cycle keeps going (in trad pub). I intentionally limited my time in some author Facebook groups where ad strategizing, gaming Amazon algorithms , and writing to trend dominated the discussion. I want to venture further into indie publishing, but some of it makes my head spin.

    One of my critique partners has a software program that gives details on amazon ranks to the point you can see how much money a title makes in a given week or month, estimated based on sales. We took a look at top sellers in a certain category of interest to both of us. What we found was pretty bizarre. Titles that are strings of key words meant to optimize searches and books listed in categories meant to put them in front of the most readers despite being contrary to what the book was about. The Look Inside preview for one book made my eyes bleed. I’ve seen better writing from brand new writers in contests and those writers are actively looking for help and feedback. The worst though, these puzzling books selling. A LOT.

    I know I wouldn’t be happy with myself putting out books that are sloppy and gimmicky. By gimmick I don’t mean writing to market, which can be smart, but literally using keywords to sell a book when the book isn’t actually about that thing. I also know we don’t know what that person/author is doing to sell that many units. It could be spending $3k a month in Facebook ads to get $4k revenue. I’m in indie author Facebook groups where people talk about spending that level on ads that they’ve built up to. And then there’s the scammers who are cutting up other people’s work to make their own or stuffing filler pages for KU page reads…It’s enough to make me want to throw in the towel some days. “Just self publish” is not helpful advice. To be successful being your own publisher takes tremendous work, and I don’t want to end up hating writing.

    This year I did NaNoWriMo and attended in-person write-ins with writers who do Nano for the joy of it. That’s what I keep going back to is the joy of having made something and appreciating the craft of it. I’d just like to make some money too.

    1. Those gimmicks do work but only for so long. The moment Amazon cottons on to what they are doing? I.T. shuts it down and then what happens to that ‘author’ who just shelled out $3K? Exactly what they deserved in my POV. They will have their moment to make a fast buck, but they won’t win the long game. And, in the end, they aren’t writers, they are using our profession to make fast cash. Books might as well be vitamins or water filters or vacuum cleaners. It doesn’t matter.

      For us it DOES matter. We might never make money. But I am the same. If I have to play these Ponzi scheme games to sell garbage, then I am out because I am no longer an artist.

      Everything comes full circle. As the computers get better at detecting the frauds and games, the scammers eventually will move on to the next easier scam (hopefully). Seems like a lot of work to me. If you look at the ROI, it’s depressing. Why not learn how to write?

  8. I love this post. You literally made me laugh aloud at points.

    • Raymond Walker on December 19, 2019 at 1:08 pm
    • Reply

    Firstly, I enjoyed your post, thank you.
    Just to help out a little for those interested in selling outwith the net. When I wrote my first book I did all the usual things, Page on Facebook, website, Blog, Social media etc and a month after “producing my masterpiece” I had sold all of eleven copies (and I suspect that my mother bought the majority of them to give to her friends… “Your son is a doctor, well my son is an author would you like to see his new book?”)
    I started to wonder where people may pick up a book due to boredom and thought “Waiting Room”. I went round each of the Barber Shops, Hairdressers, Coffee shops and cafe’s in the area and asked them to display the books and that for any sold they would get ten percent of the sale. Many were happy to oblige, others turned me away. A small stand in a coffee shop, takes up no room and it just adds to the tips for the servers.
    Then I thought my book is set in the local area so I took it to tourist attractions etc and they were great. Then hotels and guest houses, B & B’s. Most are happy to help.

    Just thought I would add this for others with similar difficulties when getting started.

  9. I did a fair, met thousands of attendees, one happened to be part of a book club. Next thing I found myself selling copies of my book(s) to several near and almost near book clubs… one told another which told another. Being available to talk about my book(s) to the clubs, personally signing my books in their presence – the ladies eat that up. BTW the fair was in an area with absolutely NO internet/phone service. Imagine 11 days with a fancy iPhone clock. Almost died on my way home when the phone rang, scaring the ghost out of me. Yes, book sales was good, word of mouth helped and it was all done without any electronic assistance.

    • Mikaela Quinn on January 3, 2020 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Kristen, I enjoy your blogs. A lot, I do! But I’ve got a slight problem I hope you can resolve for me. I paid you $40 via PayPal on January 1, 2020 to download your ON DEMAND class: “Spilling the New Year’s Tea: Blogging for Authors.” The payment went through, but you have never sent me a link to download that class. How can I access it? Or do I need to cancel my payment?

    Thanks.

    1. It probably got eaten in your spam folder. Let me get that to you.

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