By Laurie Winslow Sargent:
Do you really want me to buy your book, or are you just teasing me?
If someone asked you as an author, “Do you want book sales?” you would answer, “Of course!”
Yet many authors these days lead potential book buyers down multiple rabbit trails . . . to the point that readers finally become annoyed or distracted from buying that book that originally caught their attention.
At least that’s the case for one voracious reader: me.
Last year I actually purchased more books (including Kindle books) than I have in years past. But this is how it usually works for me:
I see on Twitter a book title–with a clear topic–linked directly to the Amazon (or other bookseller’s page) where it is sold. Or within the text of an article I see a hyperlinked book title or cover image I can click.
Click 1 and I’m to Amazon. Click 2 and I’ve bought your book. Maybe a bit impulsively, but if priced well, I’ve rarely regretted that.
Sometimes I do take time to read reviews, or even open another browser tab to visit the author’s website. But at this point the Amazon sales page is already open for me to make a decision on — one way or another.
Sadly, there are too many other great-looking books I ALMOST bought. Was so very close to buying. And never did.
Did you ask me to click from Twitter, to Pinterest? Then to your website to find out more about you? Then make me hunt on your website for your book tab? Then make me hunt within that book webpage full of lovely images and text about your book for an actual link to buy it?
Sorry, but I am WAY too easily distracted to hop from social media to blogs or websites without losing track of my original goal — to possibly buy that one book. Please remember, I’m a reader. I love to read. That means if you keep giving me new things to read, and click, and read, and click, I will forget what I was doing in the first place.
Call me flaky, but I end up thinking: Oh, my, what an interesting author! And this article is fascinating. (Read through article.) Wait . . . why am I here?
Oh yeah. Her book. What was that title again? (Hunt on the blog or website for the Books link.) Ahah. Here it is. Oh, look at all her interesting titles! Hmm. Maybe I want that one instead.
Suddenly I’m temporarily distracted by new mail in my Outlook folder, so I stop to check that. An hour later I realize I still have the author’s website page open on my desktop, with all her books.
Hmm. She looks so interesting, but I can’t decide which book I want. I’ll bookmark this site, check it out later… I fully intend to, but never do.
Authors, I’m begging you . . . although Pinterest itself may be great for book sales, please don’t lead me from one teaser to another. A teaser on Twitter to a teaser on Pinterest. With a click to a teaser on Facebook. Call me impatient, but at that point I often think, Good grief, I don’t feel like logging into Facebook right now. If I do log on, but am led at that point to a blurb about your book on Facebook with no link to where to buy it, I’m just frustrated.
Even when potential readers want your book, they don’t necessarily have time to explore all your sites. Value their time. Get them to your book sales page with 1-2 simple mouse clicks.
Many authors who are timid about book marketing fear pushing what they think is a hard sell. Other authors use so much automation, connecting their social networks, that it just creates a maze of confusion.
Are book sales your goal? It’s OK to be honest about that. Readers know it anyway, and if they’ve clicked at least one link they are already interested.