Easter's Lilly

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What sells books?

This question has been plaguing my brain for a few weeks now. Which form of marketing works the best? Is it book signings, social media, newspaper adds, virtual book tours, reviews, or is it just simply, word of mouth?  With bookstores closing faster than we can blink, book signings are no longer as popular as they used to be. That is, of course, unless your Steven King or Nora Roberts. It has been my experience that they will generally give you a place to sit (if you’re lucky) but that’s pretty much all they’ll do. We have to advertise, bring snacks and often bug passers- by to get their attention.  I even went to one bookstore where the manager promised me they would advertise for me and barely left me a dirty tray table at which to sit where I could sign my pretty new books. I was never more grateful that I brought my own sign.

So far, it has been my experience, that word of mouth is the best seller. There are many ways for this to happen. People will tell people if they liked your book and will want to share it with their friends. Reviews about your work will undoubtedly sway readers from time to time, although not always. When purchasing a book online, our natural curiosity often causes us to read what other people have to say about the novel. Again…word of mouth. Virtual book tours can boost sales if done properly. If your demographic is truly represented by the bloggers who are chosen to review your work, word will spread like wildfire and everyone will want to know what all the excitement is about. Now don’t get me wrong. Someone out there will not like your book. You know what they say…you can’t please everyone, so why try. But bad reviews can boost your sales as well. When giving bad reviews, reviewers tend to have a lot to say and they reveal things about the novel that often peek the interest of others. It is often as though they feel they need to justify themselves for the one or two stars they give you and in the process reveal a lot of the good stuff that maybe they just had a personal distaste for. So word or mouth, whether it be good or bad, can still be beneficial.

Although I will still try to find my niche in the world of book signings, until I am popular enough for someone to arrange these things for me of course, (she says hopefully) I suppose I will go back from time to time to the place with no sign and the dirty tray table and just learn to bring my own next time.

"I'm not interested in pleasing the critics. I'll take my chances pleasing the audiences." Walt Disney



  1. I couldn't agree with you more Judy. You have inspired me. I believe in you. You have a great book. I couldn't put it down. I am kind of frustrated with the whole marketing thing too lol. My hardest clients yet have been family, sadly. Because I don't know how to approach them without feeling pushy. They just assume I hit the big time and want my help to get them published. They don't realize, I can't succeed without their help and support. Plus family feels weird reading sex scenes written by a family member go figure haha. So I have yet to give a copy to my papa... lol But cheers Judy, we are here. Who knows we could be the next Stephanie Meyers.

  2. Thank you so much for the kind words, Natalie. This has certainly been an exciting journey. I can only strive to have the kind of success Stephanie Meyers enjoys.

    As far as family goes, don't forget that not even Jesus was accepted in his home town. Sometimes when people are too close to you, I think they have certain expectations. But I am very excited about reading your book. I read the first chapter, the first day I downloaded it and it looks very exciting. Just tell your friends and family and this is all still very new to you and after you have a little more experience you'll be happy to help them. But first...tell them to help you with the marketing...it is a full time job all by itself. :)