I know, I am late to the party again with this 2013 release with 2016 forward but… I have a funny story to tell.
First, the Description:
How to sell a ton of books (even if you’re starting with no platform). If you’ve found this book I’m assuming you have or will soon have a book out on the market, and are exploring ways to turn it into a best-selling powerhouse that will slaughter the competition and pay for your retirement. The indie publishing world is thrilling because of the possible returns, and I hope you and your book do well. You’re probably searching for things like “book marketing” and “book promotion” so you can learn how to find readers and convince them to buy your book. But almost everything you read will be wrong.That’s because marketing in general is dead. Advertising is dead. Selling and convincing people to buy: also dead. The new law of book sales is this: if you’re talking about your book, promoting your book, sharing your book… you’re screwing it all up. Don’t make “Old School” marketing mistakes that will sabotage your efforts! This book will help you to…
- Avoid the common mistakes that kill book sales
- Set up an author platform quickly that will triple your results
- Use Social Media (like an expert) without being annoying
- Advertise for maximum impact (at the lowest cost)
- Make powerful friends online who can move thousands of books
Before you spend a lot of money on book marketing services or author publicity… Make sure you’ve plugged all the holes in your sales funnel so you’re not throwing money away. If you’re looking for a “Bestseller Campaign” but don’t have a big budget… This book will show you plenty of ways to improve sales without spending a dime.
Now the Funny:
Over the past year, I have seen Derek Murphy on You Tube while searching in a desperate, late-night manner for help with book marketing. His awkwardness and his soothing gravel-voice always put me at ease. I took in and nodded at everything he said.
I’m a good student, I swear. After all, I learned Russian in a year from those ladies at DLI and somehow survived. But I didn’t practice what Derek Murphy preached. While I nodded, agreed, and clicked on more videos, my left hand looked for quick fixes. Those one-time bandits in the book marketing world.
About a month ago, I was on a long stakeout (I moonlight as a Private Investigator) and I had Audible credits burning a hole in my pocket. I searched “book marketing” and found this book.
I did not, however, put the author and the videos I already watched together. Perhaps because I work 3 jobs + writing. Perhaps I am my own worst enemy.
This book is a new template for my Battle Plan. Because I want Letters Never Meant to be Read to be a thing, and because I want Letters pouring in from all over the world, I needed some guidance.
What I Liked:
This book is full of the basic concepts that don’t require an attempt at bludgeoning new readers into advertised submission.
Derek Murphy talks about marketing as we know it far into the actual book. He emphasizes having your pages, cover, reviews, and author platform in place before putting any money up for advertisement.
Also, the concept of stacking marketing efforts is much easier for my military brain to understand and more clever than hoping on those one-offs.
Unlike what most people think of authors, I am an extrovert and I love to make friends.
This is a blessing and a curse. Pitching my book to people is easy in person. Where I have failed in the past with social media is blasting “Buy My Book!” type stuff which Murphy warns against. I now see how silly this is. It’s hard to stop.
Instead, I need to use my talents for making friends and be the all-around likable guy I already am. I NEED to actually meet people on the web, which is awkward for me even though I can talk on the phone for days.
I am doing this, Derek Murphy. I am out there replying to Tweets instead of re-Tweeting after reading articles. I used to read anyway, then just re-Tweet. How dumb. These are difficult habits to break. I feel awkward sometimes, but I just remind myself that most people are real and will respond similar to what they would in person.
I am also working on my battle plan. I have a 15 short story collection coming out soon, and I will make the stars align just as Mr. Murphy suggested. I will align the free days for Letters Never Meant to be Read, I will run simple Facebook ads for my book page, and I will get reviews. Slowly but surely.
The truth is, I like it better and I get discouraged less by marching the slow ground. The easy solution that my left hand looks for, that quick fix, is always there.
In reality, there is no silver bullet to shoot off when it comes to book marketing. I know that now but I have to remember, daily. Derek Murphy explains so many pitfalls, some I have already toppled into, head-first. I feel silly, but I have to keep moving.
What I Don’t Like:
If you’re looking for a “Bestseller Campaign” but don’t have a big budget… This book will show you plenty of ways to improve sales without spending a dime.
Yes, it does this OK. I tallied all of his advice and you would need some chump change. If you want to do it “right” you will need a little more. Every time he mentioned a figure, I cringed when I added it to my total. Not his fault, but I am an unfortunate older millennial with 3+ jobs and “My number is negative, I work for a negative number…”
Of course, I was looking at it through the goggles of my latest Letters Book and I know what I need to do.
Some tasks I’ve already done since reading this book, like fixing my Amazon page, optimizing keywords, and adjusting my categories using almostfreemoney on Fiverr. Worth every penny.
I’ve signed up for MailChimp but that is as far as I’ve gone so far, sorry Derek. I HATE pop-ups and I only signed up for yours on CreativIndie because I wanted to. For the most part, I ignore my email. I KNOW that email lists are important and I will come around and find my way eventually.
I also have a hard time with his other section on reviews. I advertised that I would do book reviews on my blog. I did not solicit or ask for reviews in return. Most of the books I bought and I will continue to buy with Kindle Unlimited or Audible Credits unless I need an ARC to do the review.
Yesterday, I received a nastygram from Amazon with a warning about reviews which I can only assume are the ones I got from other authors or a marketing campaign. Murphy does warn about this. If authors are in the same category, you can get tripped up. I didn’t think I was in competition with any of the reviewers. The Amazon warning, which is not uncommon, doesn’t give specifics, go figure.
This is less of a knock on Derek Murphy and more of a pleading to Amazon. If I lost access to selling books, I don’t know what I would do. This is my dream, my purpose. Amazon doesn’t care and is likely ran by a robot that has no feelings. Still, I need that mean robot.
I also get the feeling from his latest videos that Derek is getting away from helping authors to work on his fiction. That’s understandable. Perhaps I am reading him wrong here, but I need him to stay with me for a little while longer, or come back someday.
How this Book Changes My Writing:
Collaboration. I am working on a psychological thriller now with AM Hounchell and it is quite exiting. I am also thinking about the next book or series in a different light. I want to write something that will market itself. For some of you that think this is selling out, I don’t care, and neither does Mr. Murphy. I want to be prolific. If that means writing what people want to read for awhile, fine. The Beatles did it, then went on to make what they really wanted. In this case, The Beatles and Derek Murphy can’t be wrong.
Ok. I’ve spent some time here and this is a long post. I love this book and have listened to it 2.5 times in the car and at home. I am making my battle plan and this is my manual of sorts. I will have to buy the print version too so I can circle things and make notes. Derek Murphy does mention in a more recent version that there are some things that might not be valid any longer.
I want to thank Derek Murphy for writing this book. I know he sold a bunch of copies the past four years, but he has given me hope. And that, Dear Reader, is priceless.
Derek’s site: Creativindie Post after post of helpful guidance.
Watch Derek Murphy on YouTube
Follow Derek Murphy on Twitter @Creativindie
Check out D.S. Murphy’s latest fiction:
Buy the Reviewed Book here:
My Latest Book: