Being in sales can be rough. The best of those businessmen and women might make it look easy, I know, but don’t be fooled.
Unless you’re a natural-born schmoozer, it’s hard work.
One of my brothers-in-law used to take on that kind of role. He actually went door to door for certain companies back in the early 2000s, hawking whatever wares he was told to hawk.
He had doors slammed in his face. He had people snip at him and flat-out yell. But you know what? He learned a lot from the experience.
Why? Because he had to in order to survive.
He learned about reading people: which expressions were worth pursuing and which were indicative of lost causes, for instance. And he learned how to talk, engaging people into better moods to buy.
In fact, considering how much he learned about sales and selling during those adventures… I’d love to say that every author should go that route for six months.
Because that’s the only way their books are going to make money.
I know that most of us creative writers are introverts, which makes the Writing Rule below rather annoying.
While being introverted doesn’t mean we’re automatically terrified of interaction, shivering in fear every time we come across a conversation… we’re also not necessarily comfortable in a sales role.
It’s not our “thing.”
If that’s the case for you as it is for me, then here’s my seriously loving, caring advice: Suck it up, cupcake and start resigning yourself to the fact that this is whatcha gotta do.
Successful self-published authors are successful salespeople.
When self-publishing isn’t an act of delusion or disillusion, it’s often an act of bravery: the writers’ declaration that they can do it alone apart from the establishment. They don’t need the man! They’re rugged individuals, and they'll prove it!
In which case, good for them. Just as long as they realize that they’re going to have to be brave long after they press the publish button. If they want to be successful, self-published authors have to act as their own publicists. And there’s just no room for shyness or reservations in that regard.
Sorry. But them’s the breaks, kid.
So how do you become an effective salesperson for your book or book-to-be? That’s another topic for another day. A day that happens to be in December, so we’ve still got a little ways to go.
For now though, why not start doing a few beginner’s searches for “how to be an effective salesperson.” You can also search for “how to sell my book,” but I have two warnings for you if you do.
Don’t be fooled into paying anyone for the so-called “expert advice” advertisements that will no doubt come up. I know it’s October, but don’t be tricked. You’re just looking for tips at this point.
Expect to get a lot of duds amidst only a few nuggets of wisdom. You’ll get suggestions to write better books – which doesn’t really help here – and “give books away” – which doesn’t really work, as far as I’ve seen so far. All the same, you should be able to piece together some interesting and worthwhile ideas.
Write them down in a notebook or type them up on a computer file. We’ll be weeding through some of them by the end of the year.