Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for Direct (as in sales)

Welcome A to Z Bloggers! As many of you know, I am spending my month putting all of YOU to work! I will bring up a book marketing or publishing topic then ask for YOUR experiences with it. (so be sure to check back later for answers!)

Her books, her chatskis, and her daughter's art
Today's topic came to me courtesy of my friend Allison Dickson who went to a comic con this weekend and sold a bizillion books! Now she has a series that I think is superhero related, and a PI series not unrelated, but that isn't all she sold. She took her huge supply of MANY of her books (and some cute things she made) and SOLD OUT.

So my Direct Sales Questions to all of YOU...

1) How does a person find these opportunities where ready buyers are already there?

2) How hard is it to get involved? (is it a fee? Or do you have to earn a spot?)

3) Does it pay off?

4) Do you have to talk to people while you do it? Erm...

5) Have you ever done it and what are your experiences?

Don't forget to go visit other A to Z bloggers!

Also, I am over at the Parallels blog today discussing DECEIT as it relates to my short story The Seventeen.


Jan Morrison said...

Short story that may inspire. One of my pals was an old codger named Arlo Moen. ( I bet u remember him, Tartlette ) He wrote a book in his 80s called A Sailor's Stories ( Amazon ). I helped edit it and he had it self-published at my urging as he didn't appear to have lots of time to dick around as it were. In Halifax we have a cruise season where loads of these sailing cities dock in town and passengers swarm the city. Arlo hooked up with a bookstore that kept a booth at the pier and he would sit and sell books to those who streamed off the ships. He sold thousands of books. And better yet, he met many lovely people who believed his life as a war veteran was meaningful. Across the road from the Pier was the Writers Fed. Sometimes I'd go in there and tell young writers to go have a look. Believe in what you have written and connect with people at every opportunity. Put your shyness or ego behind you. This isn't about you, it is about your work.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Unfortunately, you do have to talk to people. Yeah, bummer.

Stephen Tremp said...

I am an introvert. Until it comes to shamelessly promoting my books. Then I can talk up a storm.

I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings.
Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

Em-Musing said...

What a great story - and advice! Most writers don't like public speaking but it goes with the territory, but nowadays, if it's what we have to do, then we should just do it.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I would like answers to that as well. But I think you just need to keep promoting your work and finding opportunities to share and sell the books and merchandise.

Blog: QueendSheena
2016 A to Z Participant
Joy Brigade Minion

Arlee Bird said...

You're doing a good interactive series for A to Z. I like the idea of direct sales. I think it probably works best in a situation such as when an author is giving a talk or something of that nature. It seems more effectual to pitch the sale to a group than one at a time though I'll admit it does take some nerve. I'd do it if I had a book to sell--well eventually I guess.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am doing a Sci Fi/Anime/Steampunk convention from the 8th to the 10th. Last year I did it, too, but did not sell a gazillion books. I was unprepared since I only expected to speak and not be given an author's table. I came early to help my friends set up and was surprised to see they had given me a table!

This year I am prepared with 11 paperbacks with an added incentive that with each book bought a ticket will be issued for an autographed movie poster of THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

That should help with sales and the fact that three of my books are Steampunk. Wish me luck!

Leslie Moon said...

It does work but I think the book draws best when you are at an event that shares some relevance.
A crime novel is more likely to sell at a gun show than a children's book.
I am not a marketeer but I had several people underwrite one of my books so that we could give the book to children (all around the world) for free.

M.J. Fifield said...

I've done a few book fairs, but nothing like a comic con, though. Apparently, that's the place to be. The most I've ever sold was four books, and yes, I did have to talk to people who came to my table, but I think it was a good experience over all. I even signed up for a couple more fairs.

Liz said...

I haven't actually sold books at an event for something else - I have sold them after giving talks about animals, and after readings and things like that. I find it quite hard!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've done dozens of those events. They range from free (for a reason - low turnout) to very expensive. You really have to weigh the costs and determine if your target audience will be there.

You can do a search for conventions, book festivals, etc. There is a big list at the IWSG site.

You will have to talk, interact, and hand out bookmarks like a maniac to make it happen! If you can get in on one of the panels or talks, that will greatly increase your chances of sales.

Andrew Leon said...

You're going to provide answers to all of these questions, right?

Sue H said...

1) No idea, but would love to find out.
2) No idea, but would love to find out.....
Seriously, though, as a totally green newbie, the one aspect of this whole "writing thing" that scares the jeepers out of me is knowing I'll have to be involved in the marketing, very heavily. I'm going to (attempt to) go the traditional publishing route, but I've read that more and more they leave a lot of marketing to the authors, especially if they don't know you well and don't know if their marketing efforts will pay off.

Sue Hernandez
WordPress Blog: Learning to Write and A-to-Z Challenge (#965)

Yolanda Renee said...

Making money depends on the audience, the cost of the table, and yes, your ability to hawk your merchandise. It is not easy, and while I've sold over one thousand books doing it - it took a year and I spent way more than I earned. Still the process is fun. Best time to sell is during Christmas, at craft fairs, as long as you share the cost of the table. Books make great gifts, but hard work, oh yeah! I've done a few since the inception of the Kindle, and now they look at the book on the table and buy it on Kindle, at least that's what they tell you. LOL