The Reluctant Book Marketer

Ask Your Way to Fame

August 31, 2022 Episode 64
The Reluctant Book Marketer
Ask Your Way to Fame
Show Notes Transcript

If you don't ask people to buy your book you aren't going to sell it. In this episode I cover the art and mindset of asking for the sale and why what you're currently doing to sell books is actually slimier than being transparent about what you want.

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0:00

today we're talking about asking for


0:04

what we want


0:06

ask


0:07

for what you want


0:09

only by asking for what you want are you


0:12

going to get what you need and what you


0:15

want


0:16

and here's the deal you probably have a


0:19

perception that some people don't have


0:21

to ask for what they want you probably


0:23

think


0:24

that there are authors out there on the


0:27

bookshelves


0:28

who never had to ask


0:31

because somebody else asked for them


0:34

you probably think if you publish


0:36

traditionally that somebody else will


0:38

ask for you and you can sit back


0:41

and not


0:42

do the work of asking


0:45

but every author who's been successful


0:48

has asked


0:50

somebody to buy their book


0:53

maybe not the finished copy bound in a


0:56

beautiful hardback bound in and


0:59

captivating softcover


1:01

digitally bound on your kindle


1:05

but at some point every author asks


1:09

someone


1:10

to buy


1:11

their book it's a very specific


1:13

transactional thing that always happens


1:16

and the beauty of it is


1:17

when you choose to make this request you


1:21

do two things


1:23

one


1:24

you actually get a sale you sell your


1:27

book to somebody maybe not the first


1:29

time you ask maybe you have to ask 10


1:31

times maybe you have to ask 100 times


1:33

probably closer to 100 to get that sale


1:36

but when you get that sale you sold a


1:38

book


1:39

the other thing that happens is you


1:41

built your brand


1:43

there are 99 people along that journey


1:46

who


1:47

did not say yes i want to buy


1:49

your book


1:51

but they know your name now you are


1:54

familiar to them and the way that you


1:56

interacted with them the way that you


1:58

asked is a legacy creation of your brand


2:01

that is going to walk through this life


2:03

with you


2:05

some authors have done this very


2:08

intentionally in some interesting ways


2:10

and so i hope you're familiar with


2:11

haruki murakami i wanted to pick


2:13

somebody different for today's episode


2:15

to share with you an illustration of


2:17

asking for the sale


2:19

haruki murakami's story and i'm not an


2:21

expert in his whole story but what i do


2:24

know is that he started out very niche


2:27

in his audience he's a japanese writer


2:30

he's writing books that have kind of a


2:32

magical surreal feeling to them a lot of


2:35

people call it speculative literary


2:38

fiction


2:39

interesting things happen but it's very


2:41

character driven at any rate his first


2:44

few books didn't get a ton of traction


2:47

but he did start to build a little bit


2:48

of a cult following because he was


2:50

fascinated with things like jazz and


2:52

baseball and those were big elements


2:55

inside of his books and cats he


2:57

incorporated those elements and he


2:59

started to interact with some of the


3:02

jazz community with some of the baseball


3:04

community


3:05

and he built those relationships


3:07

specifically with those people and he


3:09

was asking them to read his books to buy


3:12

his books


3:14

then


3:15

he had a revelation


3:17

he wanted to be a household name


3:19

in order to do that he had to make a


3:22

fairly big turn


3:24

he wrote a book you might have read it


3:26

it may be the only book of his you've


3:28

read it's called norwegian wood


3:30

he wrote that book with the intention of


3:33

going commercial


3:34

oh scary scary jody commercial i mean


3:38

it's art we don't want to do that we


3:39

don't want to go commercial that's nasty


3:43

a lot of people consider it his best


3:44

work it's a really great book because he


3:48

wrote it for readers shamelessly


3:51

and it's fun and it's interesting and


3:52

it's a different departure from what he


3:54

usually does


3:56

here's a secret


3:58

i haven't read norwegian wood


4:00

hope you could hear that i haven't read


4:02

norwegian wood


4:05

i've read almost everything else that


4:06

he's written i really like his weird


4:09

magical style but he pulled a fast one


4:12

on us because he quickly jumped into the


4:14

community and started asking more people


4:16

to buy his book he got out there on tv


4:18

programs in japan he got on radio


4:20

programs he became


4:24

omnipresent everywhere present all the


4:27

time people were seeing and hearing


4:29

about haruki rookie murakami people were


4:33

running into articles about him in in


4:36

major literary magazines he was he was


4:38

featured in the new yorker


4:40

he was using a combination of grit


4:44

and grinding it out


4:46

and advertising


4:48

and perfecting his story any time you


4:51

hear haruki or calming talk i don't know


4:53

i'm having so much trouble saying his


4:54

name he's going to talk about one of a


4:56

few things running baseball cats


4:59

jazz


5:01

something of that is going to come up


5:03

and he's going to start to riff on it


5:04

and he's going to get a little bit


5:05

excited but he's not he's not too


5:07

emotional


5:08

so you know his level of excitement


5:09

would be kind of like me taking a sip of


5:11

coffee


5:14

thank you ryan switters for this


5:15

beautiful coffee mug i continue to use


5:17

it daily


5:19

oh and this is a good moment by the way


5:21

to ask you if you enjoy the podcast i


5:23

would love it if you would hit the


5:25

follow button on your app that you're


5:27

listening on right now or youtube you


5:28

can smash the like button this is my


5:30

second episode on youtube i really enjoy


5:33

doing this video thing


5:35

but it also forces me to perform at a


5:36

level i didn't use that for a format


5:38

because i wasn't like visible to


5:40

everybody i really i really liked it so


5:42

thank you for for being with me on this


5:44

experiment and i hope that you're


5:47

gaining a great amount of value out of


5:49

being reminded that even though our


5:50

books are art they are also an object of


5:53

value for other people it's not this


5:56

precious little piece of our soul that


5:57

we don't share no we give it we give it


6:00

away and


6:01

oh this is good this is really good


6:04

your book is worth more than you're


6:07

trying to sell it for that's why people


6:09

buy it because they feel like they're


6:10

getting a deal


6:11

nobody and i mean nobody would buy the


6:15

first printing hardback copy of a haruki


6:17

murakami novel if they didn't actually


6:19

think they were getting a deal the


6:21

problem is they couldn't wait for it


6:23

thirty dollars they couldn't wait to


6:27

throw thirty dollars at the cash


6:28

register and run out of the store with


6:31

that book because they knew it was going


6:33

to deliver


6:34

that was going to be the best 8 to 12


6:37

hours of most readers lives who bought


6:39

it they knew it was going to be good and


6:41

it delivered it over delivered you had


6:44

so much fun reading that book


6:48

that you recommend it to other people


6:50

hey listen i want you to give 30


6:53

to


6:54

the cash register at your local


6:56

bookstore


6:57

ours is the bookworm in omaha i love the


6:59

bookworm great place


7:03

and get that book because it's going to


7:04

be so worth your time


7:09

and here you are right now maybe you're


7:11

a self-published author i know i'm


7:12

talking to a lot of self-published


7:14

authors


7:15

you're putting your ebook out there for


7:16

99 cents or free 99


7:20

and you're complaining because you're


7:21

not moving copies of your book well a


7:23

couple of things are happening one


7:24

you're not asking for anybody to buy


7:26

your book you're putting it out there as


7:28

a link on your social media profile to


7:31

the 500 friends that you currently have


7:34

that all know you


7:36

they know you before you were an author


7:37

they know you now that you think you're


7:39

an author and i do say think you're an


7:41

author because


7:42

well i mean if nobody's reading your


7:43

books what are you you're a writer i


7:45

don't know you're a journaler and please


7:48

be offended by that by all means be


7:50

offended because i would rather you have


7:52

some kind of feeling than self-pity stop


7:54

pitying yourself if you're not moving


7:56

books you're not asking for it and


7:58

posting a link to your book on social


7:59

media does not count you're not asking


8:01

anybody to do anything when you post


8:03

something on social media except


8:05

please waste your time looking at this


8:07

thing that i'm not going to build any


8:09

value in for you


8:12

hey


8:13

do you have cats in your book you think


8:15

cat lovers would like your book do you


8:17

have jazz in your book do you think that


8:18

jazz enthusiasts would like your book


8:21

you have baseball in your book


8:24

will baseball enthusiasts


8:26

be enthusiastic to read your book


8:29

because


8:30

if you've said yes to any of these


8:32

things


8:34

now you know who to ask


8:36

i'm going to go a little bit deeper into


8:38

some tips and tricks at another time


8:40

but i want to get your mindset right


8:43

first


8:44

you have to have the right mindset if


8:46

you're going to do this you have to


8:47

realize it's not a gross nasty dirty


8:49

thing to ask somebody to buy something


8:51

it's a gross nasty dirty thing to force


8:54

it on them it's actually worse to post


8:56

it on your social media without asking


8:58

anybody


8:59

hoping that they might click the link


9:01

and yeah okay i understand there are


9:03

some people out there who are spamming


9:04

the hell


9:05

out of the internet and selling some


9:07

books because again it is a conversion


9:10

type of numbers thing you reach out to


9:12

10 000 people and two of them are gonna


9:14

buy just because like the link looks


9:16

perfect for them you you stumbled on


9:18

with a gamble with a casino-sized bet


9:23

and you hit twice out of ten thousand


9:26

yuck


9:27

that's nasty so stop doing that and


9:30

start building a community around your


9:34

readers


9:35

it's not hard that's the funny thing


9:36

it's not hard it's fun when you start


9:38

finding people who are kind of


9:40

interested in the same stuff that you're


9:42

interested in oh my goodness it feels


9:44

good it feels really good to have


9:45

conversations with people who care about


9:47

the things we care about we'll save it


9:50

for another time that you're eventually


9:51

going to have to get outside of your


9:52

comfort zone and hang with people who


9:54

don't share your values that's really


9:56

the way to build your brand build your


9:57

brand by contrast but we're not going to


9:59

go deep into that right now right now


10:01

we're going to say hello to the train


10:02

that's going through oakland and we are


10:04

going to wrap up this discussion by


10:08

reminding you that if you don't ask you


10:10

don't sell and if you want to sell your


10:12

books and if you want to have a brand


10:13

and if you want to be really really well


10:15

known if you want to be a household name


10:20

ask


10:22

for the sale