Why Is My Book Not Making Me Money? Part 2
I hope that you are taking on board the advice given in the last couple of articles. Some of it isn’t easy to swallow, but without doing as I’m suggesting, you’re likely to remain trapped in the Phantom Zone, invisible and inaudible to your potential readers across the planet.
It boils down to four basic — very basic — stages:
1. You have to APPEAR in front of people in a form that they can perceive.
This means, these days, having your own web domain — your name.com, or co.uk or whatever it might be, and your own website, even if it’s just one page. Without these things, you’re a ghost in the modern world. And you need your social media aligned so that it looks reasonably professional, not originated by someone working at random times from a kitchen table: you need a smart-looking profile picture, a concise and informative bio, and everything looking more or less the same across the different social media sites. Those things add up to Square One: you are there, you can be recognised as an author.
2. You have to have a WELL-WRITTEN, thematically alive book which stands out from the flat offerings of other people in your genre or sub-genre.
This has been covered at length, but in summary, without powerful themes, metaphoric and symbolic content and depth of meaning, your fiction will be two-dimensional and will be lost in a crowded marketplace. Having at least ONE book which possesses these qualities gives you an item of communication — it’s you, in a package, speaking out your message to the world. For this to work well, of course, you need to have a message, to know what it is exactly that you’re trying to say.
3. You have to KEEP COMMUNICATING long after the book has been finished and published.
You do this through social media, blogs, appearances at events and in workshops, and any other way that generates what we call ‘social proof’, which is another way of saying ‘visible staying power’. Your book was your standalone, single, powerful communication — you talking about it, or things relating to it, along every available channel, continues that communication, repeating it or parts of it again and again until it arrives in the minds and hearts of your readers.
4. You have to FIND YOUR READERS.
Your readers are not ‘any old readers.’ You don’t have to bombard the planet with spammy ads trying to get every reader to read your book. It’s cleverer, more authentic — and more fun— than that. You have to do the detective work to find YOUR readers. It’s really worth doing so, because these people are going to love your work, by definition — not only that, they’re going to spread the word about you to others like themselves.