Trying to drive buyers

Created over 2 years ago by johnsoncm with 21 comments
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Screen shot 2018 10 22 at 10.04.47 am Elena Stofle · Inksharesian · edited over 2 years ago · 5 likes
Hey guys, as an avid reader of drafts on the site, I think people respond more to individualized messages, instead of what is obviously copied and pasted into the DM. That is how I learned about @Christopher Johnson ’s book in the first place.
18278952 10105531439962004 7699412381249820269 o Evan Graham · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 5 likes
The direct, one-on-one approach seems to be key above all else. If you say "I need you to buy my book!" to a room full of 100 people, they’ll each think to themselves "Eh. Probably everyone else will. I can sit this one out." If you say "I need you to buy my book!" standing nose to nose with someone, they’re going to have a much greater difficulty deflecting it.
I’ve gathered the vast majority of my readers from facebook. When I posted "Hey, I need you to buy my book!" statuses, I’d get about three new buys. When I started directly sending personal messages to literally everyone on my friends list, I started raking in as many as 20 supporters a day.
That seems to be "a" important thing to remember when driving buyers. I’ve officially messaged everyone I personally know at least twice now, and I’ve pulled in about a quarter of them as supporters so far. I’m starting to stall out too, though. I’ve earned about 20 referrals from friends as well, but there comes a point where you’ve mined your personal contacts for about all you’re going to get.
Definitely talk to people who have successfully been funded and take their advice seriously, even if it goes out of your comfort zone. I wouldn’t have gotten this far without that.
Beyond that, I can’t really say what it takes. I’m hoping a snowball effect will hit Tantalus Depths (shameless plug) from the inkshares community when it gets closer to Quill goal. Even though I don’t plan to stop at Quill, I’ll be able to use it as a measurable goal to promote a sense of urgency, much like I was able to do with the Geek and Sundry competition. Telling people your book is in a contest that ends in three days is more likely to pull in their support than telling them you’re trying to get 500 pre-orders in the next 2 months. You kind of have to take it in little chunks.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · added over 2 years ago
@Joni Dee  I’m already a member ;)
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · added over 2 years ago
@Christopher Johnson Joni Dital said:

start approaching other authors - follow others, in hopes they follow you. and Join our goodreads group 

Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 3 likes
I do have to admit that when I sent a DM to some of the folks that followed me or are in my reader pipeline, I saw a huge jump in pre-orders and recommendations.  It’s true that the close circles seem to pay off and I guess that on a site like this when you get more personal it seems to matter.  Like instead of mass emails and messages, contacting a person directly makes them feel like you are invested in them, and then you can develop relationships and help them out too.
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · edited over 2 years ago
@Brian Marsden why go far? I emailed you/answered your email and u never responded... start with ur closer circles, could have easily got an order from me... 

edit: he did see and responded - i’m the wolly!! sorry 
Picture Alexander Barnes · Author · added over 2 years ago
@Christopher Johnson I commissioned all the art for my page. High Quality Art helps tease the story elements in a way that is very compelling for story telling. Some might argue we read books to let our own imagination take over and create the art but trying to sell a story becomes significantly easier if you have visual elements that help catch people’s eye.
Lxftacps Brian Marsden · Author · added over 2 years ago
I just sent out about 200 tweets to people in barely (or don’t) know on twitter. I think it got me a few views and at least on retweet but you never know. Some intern who is stuck answering the company twitter account just might be interested in my book.

I not proud of marketing that way, but if someone says "Hmmm, what’s this?" it’s worth a shot.

Now, I’m waiting to get my twitter and email accounts declared spammers. Then no one will be able to hear from me. :-)
Picture Brian Quentin Webb · Author · added over 2 years ago
@Joni Dee Pft I wish. Before I was an Elementary school teacher I was a software engineer. I can speak Mandarin well-enough (I’ve lived in Taipei for 20 years), but reading/writing Chinese is hard. I can barely write my name in Chinese. :D
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
@Brian Quentin Webb LOL dude u just switched to Chinese in the middle of the paragraph there? ;-)

@Christopher Johnson I used Filmora to edit my video, but Splice is cool too 
Picture Brian Quentin Webb · Author · added over 2 years ago
@Christopher Johnson  On the fan art, I can’t help. That was done by someone who read one of my shorts and, after I described what the book would be, emailed me that. On the trailer, you can use something like the Animoto website or mobile app. It has a built in template for a book trailer. That’s what I’m going to play with this week.
Picture Brian Quentin Webb · Author · added over 2 years ago
@Joni Dee The Trump method of selling with ignorant ego. LOL

I actually have a few different domains that fit, but "shift" is a category I use on my blog, so none of them can end with "/shift", otherwise they’ll go to the blog category and not here. I guess that I can move the line of code up in my .htaccess, but WP can be weird and I don’t want to blow anything up.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · added over 2 years ago
So fan art and a promo video.  How do you do those things? I can draw ok, but I assume by fan art that it’s done by a fan. And I’m hopelessly lost regarding how to do a video
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
I Agree with @Brian Quentin Webb  - let me just add that whether u make a webpage, or a forwarding address... find something a bit easier than  ;-D
Picture Brian Quentin Webb · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 3 likes
Twitter is a marketing black hole. If you write (and you do) and and tweet about writing using writing-related hashtags (and I’m assuming that you do), then most of your followers will be fellow writers, not readers. Basically, marketing on Twitter is selling to other authors who are only there to sell to you.

I’m in the same position that you are. So far, the vast majority of what I’ve sold (only 17 copies) has been from personal connections...friends, direct emails via the project panel, etc... .

I’ve added some fan art to my page to spiffy it up a bit and am working on a simple book promo video, but there’s still the issue of driving eyeball traffic to the page in the first place...

*cough* (forwards to inkshares page)


Dsc00487   copy Craig A. Munro · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 3 likes
I started my campaign with no Twitter or Instagram account and a half dozen followers on my Facebook "Author" page. It doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. Dive in and build it aggressively. I had a couple thousand Twitter followers by the end of the first month and had sold books to several people I met that way. Set aside a little time for it every day and try to start conversations with people. 
Picture Alexander Barnes · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 4 likes
My advice would be to get as much art as possible up on your book page. Even though Inkshares is a book kick starting site we are still very much visual creatures that respond positively to eye candy. That being said some thoughtful formatting of the text on your book page can make it pleasing to the eye and go a long way. Check out my books page. I get a lot of comments on its layout.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
Thanks.  As to the twitter thing, that’s kinda my point.  I’m not really on twitter or instagram nor do i have a ton of people on facebook, which I’m getting that in this situation is a bit of a handicap.  I wanted to go this route because going to a typical publisher requires a market survey and graphs and all kinds of stuff to convince them you have people who will read your book.  Well it doesn’t work out well for fledgling authors, so I came here, and now I’m building a following bit by bit, but with how far I have to go and the time I have left, saying I’m anxious that I won’t make it is an understatement.
Img 0137 p bw C. Brennecke · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 2 likes
The most tried and true way of getting big numbers is to reach out to every individual in your circle directly. After that, it can be a big help to get an influential friend/family member or two to do some reaching out on your behalf.
There are dozens of other avenues to consider, but their success rate really depends on the individual. Some people are great at pitching to strangers in a coffee shop/comic book store. Other people are able to turn their twitter followers into buyers. Not many people are able to get press coverage, but those who have typically get some mileage from it. You know your skill sets and abilities best, so this is the time to test their limits.
Definitely check out the older posts on the goodreads forum, as there is a TON of advice on there from successfully funded authors.
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 5 likes
Chris Inkshares is a lonely place.. that’s why i personally advise new authors to do some preperation work and 1) get a solid Inkshares followers base before luanching 2) make sure the manuscript is nearly done, because the campaign is consumming....

As someone who saw, liked and ordered your book - I can only suggest bugging your base from home, i.e. friends/family so u gain momentum.
start approaching other authors - follow others, in hopes they follow you. and Join our goodreads group 

If anyone has other thoughts please chime in - i’d love an advise on how to get social media followers/likes to order. i haven’t cracked that just yet myself! 
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 3 likes
Hey all, I’m trying to drive more people to Seven Days Dead.  You can check it out at

So far I’ve done the facebook mentions.  It’s a zombie book so I’ve gone to about 5 to 10 zombie related sites and tried to get them to feature it.  Only one really got back to me and hasn’t put anything up yet (just shot them another email today).  Went to authors on Inkshares, promoted their books to my followers (about 100, and I’m following a little over 400).  I only have 20 orders to date and even though I’ve gotten about 9 recommendations and a couple of killer reviews...I’m stalling out.

I’m not sure what else I can do to get people interested in this with a limited social network footprint.  Any ideas?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.