What is the definition of going viral? One million book sales? Let’s assume for this exercise that one million qualifies as “going viral”. With that assumption, 100,000 book sales might be called going “mini-viral”. Or 10,000 book sales might be “micro-viral”. With that extrapolation, 1000 book sales is a “mini-micro” or a “micro-mini” viral happening.
After two months, my book sales, that are measurable, are approximately 130. I have no idea how many sales have been mae by barnesandnoble.com or my publisher, Xlibris.com. I doubt if those will be more than 25 and are probably closer to 10.
I am close to exhausting all the opportunities among relatives, neighbors, golf buddies, poker buddies, bridge buddies, and other friends who are close enough to spend money to support a new author. I still have opportunities with fraternity brothers and friends in Michigan where I spend the summers. With luck, that should get me past the 200 number on the book sales tally by the end of summer.
So, the question is how do I get people, who I don’t know, to buy my book? How can I convince one million people to spend a little money to buy an entertaining book?
During the last two months, I have focused a lot of attention on twitter. I am now sending tweets to approximately 900 followers up from zero two months ago. Most of those followers are other writers. Through re-tweeting, my tweets are reaching over 100,000 people. The magic questions are 1) what % of my tweets are actually being read by the recipients, 2) what % of recipients who read one of my tweets, will act on the tweet, namely visit my website or facebook fan page, or other link, and 3) of those who visit one of those links, what % actually likes what they see enough to actually buy a book? Without any quantitative measurements to these questions, my subjective analysis concludes the answers are the following: 1) less than 5% will actually read my tweet, 2) of those, less than 20% will visit one of my links, and 3) of the visitors, maybe 10% maximum actually will buy a book. From that subjective analysis, the answer is this twitter work will result in 100 book sales.That is not even mini-micro viral.
How can I positively change those numbers? Persistance, increase the audience size, and find ways to get to other audiences.
I have also spent time working on facebook. I have grown my “friends” on facebook, and I have attracted over 60 likes to my facebook fan page, so far. Pretty small numbers, but you have to start somewhere.
And, as you can see from this posting, I am spending time writing on my blog. This is somewhere between keeping a diary, therapy, and some kind of marketing effort. I just don’t know yet which best describes the effort.
In addition to my social media focus, I have also been successful with some conventional media efforts. I have had articles written about my book (and me) in two newspapers. I sold 10 e-books on Amazon the week after the second newspaper article, and firmly believe most of those sales were a result of the publicity of the article in the newspaper. I have just finished a 5 minute TV interview on the local TV station on Hilton Head and will get the publicity from that interview running several times over the next several days. The TV station will also run a 30 second ad on my book for 30 days which may add some additional “brand awareness”.
I have had three book signings so far and hope to have several more during the summer months. And I have contacted a few book clubs in the local area with some interest and limited success so far. More of that also is planned in the future.
The next step in my conventional marketing plan is to look for ways to get my message in front of one or more of the target audiences for my book. Specifically, military personnel, both active duty and retired, will be one of the focuses of my attention during the next few months. Finding ways to get my message effectively in front of them will be the challenge. But challenges are good, right?