After breaking contract with a prominent NY literary agency nearly four years ago to pursue the ebook/indie publishing revolution I can now confidently say I know what it takes to sell books. This revelation comes after spending thousands of dollars on every marketing and promotional tool, sponsorship, and gimmick available. I can say that although some of these applications yielded modest sales, nothing compares to the secret I’m about to reveal. So here it is the miracle way to sell more books. Ready? Drum roll please.

 

Word-of-mouth!

 

Yep, it’s a simple as that.

 

“Oh, come on,” you say; and like in the Geico ad, “Everybody knows that. But how do you get word-of-mouth for your book?” Therein lies the hard part. There is no instant solution for getting your book noticed, if it were easy then everyone who ever wrote a story would sell millions of copies. The way to get people interested in your book is to engage in forums and topics on books and writing. I can’t tell you the exact number of books I’ve sold because I’ve engaged someone online, but it far outweighs the amount sold by spending money on promotions.

 

What I’ve discovered is a whole internet universe of potential readers and a whole lot of writers willing to help each other out. For example, through forums I’ve met an exemplary group of writers who have started the group Enovel Authors at Work. For the zero cost of participating in cross-promotion, they have put me and many of my books up on their website http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/neil-d-ostroff/ I’ve already noticed an increase in sales.

 

My point is it takes community to start the buzz on your book. You can’t be a lone island in a sea of titles. Helping each other out will reap many rewards. The internet is like an infinite spider web; tapping just a small portion can cause the whole structure to vibrate. Working together with writers and readers to garner exposure. This does work! Don’t waste money on paid advertising/promotion, there are just too many books out there to choose. Let a human being spread the word for you.

 

To learn more about my books and myself, please check out my blog: ALWAYS WRITING. 

 

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com

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Thank you for sharing your experience!

thanks i am going to check it all out!

thank you  for sharing this experience...actually I have such problem with marketing my book which I did write in english version and another arabic version about immigrating to canada , and found not too many copies were sold despite it has been at amazon for more than six monthes.

Thanks for your insight!

I agree with you about it being word of mouth, bu it is not easy. t I found self publishing was a little daunting not so much with creating the book cover and submitting it but the marketing of the book. That is where self promotion comes into play and it is time consuming to say the least but I suspect worth it eventually.

Thanks so much for sharing this information with us.

Thanks for this useful info! I agree that community is the key and I'm on my way to check out Enovel Authors at Work.

Thanks for the enovel authors at work tip! Glad to have found that site!

Uh, I have found that at some point or other you really do have to fork out money to promote the book, otherwise nobody will notice it. I buy advertising spots in genre magazines or take out booths at local conventions and book fairs. I participate in forums like this one, but I have found that word of mouth has not netted me any gains. Besides, I am not privy to what word of mouth exchanges have taken place, nor when. I prefer to rely on the certainty that my books will end up seen by strangers, even if for a brief moment, than the expectation that my books will be talked about. The major publishers spend money to get the books they publish seen. I don't see any reason to do otherwise.

I agree word of mouth is vital to a book taking off, but it's how to get that word of mouth started. You have to start somewhere and it does take time. Very few authors have become an instant success. :)

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