Where Should You Be Selling Your Books?

When I was a kid my brothers and I played a board game called Risk. The goal was to conquer the world. This is our goal as writers, so it's a good analogy, right?

The board was a map of the world. Each player started on one continent with a number of armies. Rolls of the die determined the outcomes of battles, introducing a certain element of chance, but good strategy usually triumphed.

One concept my younger brother never grasped was that one big army defending his borders was stronger than 3 or 4 small ones. But he liked spreading things out, so he'd have 4 armies each in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia rather than putting all 12 in Mexico.

Our older brother would come down through Texas with 6 armies and blow through like Santa Ana. Or whoever would have been blowing from the north.

Like Butter Spread Over Too Much Toast

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Personal: Trust Trumps All

Our last post was about making sure your newsletter is relevant, and before that, the effect of ensuring it's anticipated. The final post in this short series is about how being personal trumps them both.

When a stranger interrupts, it's offensive, annoying.

When a close friend interrupts, it's probably just conversation. We do it all the time. Sure, in some settings we're careful to be more formal, to listen politely until the other person is done speaking, to use active listening and all those cool techniques for really connecting.

But if you and I are chatting about music and you start raving about Eric Clapton and I butt in with "Clapton has gotten boring; have you heard Steve Winwood play guitar lately?" that's just conversation — friends talk over each other and interrupt and generally treat conversation like a rugby scrum.

And we love it. … more … "Personal: Trust Trumps All"

If It Is Relevant They Will Read

Our last post was about making sure your newsletter is anticipated. Today: what happens when it's relevant.

If your favorite show is interrupted so Bob can yell at you about his low low life-insurance prices, you'll resent it. (Maybe you'll just numbly endure, but we'll call that "resentment" for now.)

If your favorite show is interrupted so the National Weather Service can alert you to a life-threatening situation hovering over your rooftop, you won't resent it, you'll appreciate it.
http://www.freeimages.com/photo/bad-weather-1398005
It wasn't personal.

It wasn't anticipated.

When the level of relevance reaches 100% personal and anticipated can drop to zero and the message will still be appreciated.

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Personal, Anticipated, and Relevant: Keep Your Email List Up to PAR

If you were to ask us why you get Ausoma's newsletter, we could tell you that there are only two possible ways: you signed up for it yourself at the website, or you asked to be on the list.

We didn't add you just because we wanted to.

We didn't get your business card at a mixer, and add you to our list without telling you.

We didn't sell you a book, and add you to our list without telling you.

We didn't connect with you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Bob's Social Media and Lawnmower Repair, and add you to our list without telling you.

Your email newsletter is your most valuable marketing asset. Well, it's how you access your most valuable marketing asset.

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If Your Goal is to Sell Books . . .

. . . change it.

As a nonfiction author, your goal is to build your business using your book as an elegant, even extravagant, $5 business card to give to prospects.

Selling books is an outcome, if it happens at all.

… more … "If Your Goal is to Sell Books . . ."