These six ways to sell a ton of books have been the cornerstone of my success with the Lei Crime Series. As the launch date of the Lei Crime Kindle World approaches (April 7) the excitement is increasing—and also the questions. How did I do it? What makes the Lei Crime Series special enough to have its own licensed fan fiction site?
After mulling it over, I decided a blog post was the best way to address these questions.
- Write a good book—with a niche. It’s not enough to just write a good book anymore, with its accompanying great professional cover, editing, proofreading, formatting etc. Having a niche is key to discoverability—and the Lei Crime Series was one of the first “Hawaii mysteries” to come out and grab a portion of a largely unexplored market. Now there are dozens of Hawaii mysteries, and it’s its own subgenre.
- Crank out the titles. There’s just no substitute for having a lot of content out there. If you’ve only done one or two books, the single most important thing you can to do increase your reader base is write more. I wouldn’t even bother advertising and such until you have a least three out.
- Write a series. Readers love series, no matter the genre, because they fall in love with characters and their world. You can still build a brand and a name on standalones, but if so the feel/experience of the books should be similar so readers have a sense of recognition/anticipation when they pick up a book of yours. My good friend Holly Robinson writes women’s fiction standalones, and is building a loyal readership who know they will have a certain kind of experience with her books.
- Use giveaways and bargains to hook new readers. I have been lucky enough to be a Bookbub favorite author, and I do a giveaway or .99 c sale once a month. Every time I do, new readers discover my books. And they go and buy the rest. This is where the actual sales and money are made.
- Capture and nurture your loyal readers. I have links to sign up for email notifications at the end of every book, and in doing so, readers can choose to be a part of my Book Lovers Club and participate in contests, giveaways, get advance reader copies, etc, or simply be emailed when new titles come out. This strategy is the single most important, to my mind, because readers who enter into a relationship with me will be there for my books regardless of Amazon changes, fluctuations in the market, etc.
- Use social media to enrich your readers’ lives. I honestly think a lot of my success, after the quality of the books, has been built on the relationship I’ve built with readers through social media. This is not about selling books to them. It’s about enriching readers’ lives with no ulterior motive. Good social media is just that: GOOD. It gives joy, support, laughter, genuine sharing to people around the world and makes their lives a little better each day.
I do this through photography and uplifting messages. I am a dedicated iPhonographer, and I try to challenge myself daily to share some wonderful glimpse of my island home with readers and friends through social media. I use Instagram to instantly share, then to FB and Twitter. Please, find me and join in! I’m tobyneal0 on Instagram, Facebook and @tobywneal on Twitter.
You will have your own way to share goodness…but make it consistent, make it often, and make it pure “ALOHA,” just a gift with no strings attached, and you can’t go wrong. Goodwill will follow, and readers will become loyal friends. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I get to live my dream of writing, and be surrounded by such support.
Have I missed anything that’s worked for you? Is there anything here that you particularly agree with?