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If you don’t do this, you won’t sell your writing. Ever.

Hey Writing Etc. Subscriber,

More books are getting published than ever before. Wikipedia tells me that in the USA alone, roughly 350,000 new books were released last year. The worldwide stat is around 2 million.*

So… competition for your readers time, money, and attention is fierce.

That’s the bad news. The good news?

I’d bet my bottom dollar the vast majority of these new authors/freelancers don’t know word one about how to market.

So, how do you break through and sell your writing?

Let me give you an example of what not to do. I recently received an email with this subject line: {Author Name} has a new book available.

Hmmmm. My goodness. I’ve never heard of this person. I couldn’t help but wonder what incentive I had to open the email. But, because I’m evidently a forensic writer who can’t help but dissect advertising efforts, I opened it. The text read like this:

Happy to announce this and to ask for your help in passing the word. Love to write but hate to have to promote. Promo is required, however.

{Link went here.}

First, this is clearly a mass email with no salutation. I didn’t sign up for this person’s email list. While this person seems like they’re nice, I’m not sure why they contacted me. Perhaps they’re a Writing Etc. subscriber. They’re clearly not a reader because if they were, they’d know better than to construct an email campaign with so many newbie mistakes.

Also, I didn’t find much incentive to click through. If the person emailing me couldn’t write an interesting email, how could they write an interesting book? But I clicked the link for reporting purposes.

What I found was a book announcement. That’s it. No links to actually buy the book. No real book description. Not even an excerpt.

So let’s break it down a bit, eh?

When you promote your writing, remember… this is nonnegotiable… your writing is not about you. It’s about your reader. All your reader cares is “WIIFM.” In layspeak, that means “What’s in it for me?”

Every sentence, every thought, every link needs to somehow, in some way, answer this question.

This means, if you’re hoping to land a freelance gig or get someone to help you sell your book you should probably take the time to know who they are and (perhaps) use their name in your correspondence.

Once you get your reader to your site, you need to make purchasing your book (or your writing skills) super easy. Provide direct links to places where visitors can buy your book. Display an easy way to contact you (if you’re hoping to attract writing clients). Make your reader’s next step effortless.

This means you don’t make them google your book to find it. You don’t make them rummage through the phone book to find your phone number. You provide everything to create an easy buying experience.

Sure, as you market, you’ll make mistakes, I know I have. Sometimes technology doesn’t work as expected. But to make the matters you can control less than optimal is unfortunate.

We live in a busy world. Attention spans appear to be shrinking. Don’t make those for whom you write struggle to hire you (or buy your book).

I received another email yesterday. I just may dissect that one for you next time. It illustrates a perplexing, super interesting trend I’ve noticed the past few years.

‘Til then, write on!


*Wikipedia stats come from here:


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Writing Etc./Filbert Publishing News – September 17, 2013

ISSN: 1545-5580

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I Recommend:

Writing For Dollars! The FREE ezine for writers featuring tips, tricks and ideas for selling what you write. Receive the FREE ebook, 83 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WRITING when you subscribe. Email to -*-

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