When I’m not posting my rantings here at the website, I’m reading a lot. Not just fiction but a plethora of non-fiction. It’s imperative for me as I’m not signed with any big publisher and I plan on keeping it that way as long as I can. In order to do that, I need to keep my three fans in the loop because there are a couple things an independent publishing writer needs to do and that is connect with his or her audience. Today, that is done primarily through a list of social websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. For me specifically, I do not utilize Facebook. I use Google+ exclusively. The reason for that is for experimental purposes mostly and that those outlets aren’t good for selling books generally.
However, they are good for cultivating reader relationships and that can lead to book sales. It’s knowing what tools to use and how to use them. Social networks are for socializing. Building relationships. When an independent writer connects directly with their readers, they build trust. When trust is garnered, people are more inclined to plunk down some change to buy whatever your latest offering may be. This is why I find it very important to try to post as regularly as I can. I don’t always succeed but I do have a new system I’m implementing to see how that will take my three fans to six. Having a system is pretty important. Developing a system where you can keep in touch with your audience on a regular basis goes a long way in building familiarity which builds trust which will increase the likelihood of sales.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying to do it just to make sales. You have to actually care about your audience and don’t look at them as just a cash funnel for your pleasure. You have to be willing to interact which means you have to be willing to connect with them whenever you can through whatever social media you use. Responding to comments, posting helpful or fun links, and being as involved as you can be. So it’s imperative that you get a website up and running that helps foster that. One place that should be in their face is the option to buy material directly from you. No Amazon. No Kobo. Right from you. It’s what they call direct-to-consumer sales or D2C.
So how many of these D2C contacts should you shoot for? As many as possible, of course, but to put a quantifiable number on it, 1000 should be the goal according to a recent article at Digital Book World by Murray Izenwasser. In that article, he points out that not only should the option be there to buy direct from your website but there should also be an incentive to do so. For example, including an extra that is not included when buying from other retail outlets or offering a discount.
To make this happen, it’s imperative that you build an email list. If you are familiar with WordPress, there are a slew of email-opt-in plugins that are affordable that helps you make this a reality like Ninja Popups, HelloBar (which you see at the top of my website here), or PopUp Press. There are a slew of others, many of them free. Your mileage may vary so do your research.
All in all, it’s about connecting in whatever way possible to build solid relationships that need no middle man and can be more lucrative for you in more than just a monetary way.