I have, apparently, 539 friends. Facebook tells me so.
I have a fan page for my book, with over 1000 likes. My Twitter is a healthy 600 odd and I have over 50 mentions on Google for the title. But you see, I know that not everyone rushed over to Amazon and picked up their copy the day it went on sale. I know this because I sold 23 copies on the first day. That was it.
So how the heck do I get every single one of those people to buy a copy of my book? Glibly “liking” my book page seems to be the done thing, a nod to my efforts, and a polite if awkward obligation by passers-by, as if I am at a cocktail party handing out flyers, a scenario something like this:
“Hey guy, do you know about my book? Here’s a flyer!” I cry, with my Facebook page.
This person, an acquaintance from 1997, who mostly likes kittens and memes about feeling positive, is kind of hampered to have to respond, but takes the flyer based on me two years ago, “liking” his band page (terrible band), and says simply ” Um, I’ll check it out.”
This is how my Facebook Likes seem to manifest. They are not what you call ” convertible” , i.e. they do not equate to a sale.
In the same effort, I respond to others. I write them encouraging messages, using emoticons. I hate emoticons. But if someone I think may buy my book, even out of sympathy, if I use them, I am all for the smileys.
Then I have my real life friends and family. Probably about 100 people on there.
I have a big family, many friends. But I used to be in a band too.
I used to have guest lists for gigs and give free copies of tape mixes and single CDs to give away to the “elite” few (anyone desperate enough to come out in rain or snow on a Tuesday night); these people still give me free stuff too. One friend gives me free tattoos. One always lets me into his nightclub for free and gives me drinks. Another sends me free books and DVDs. I get free haircuts and free clothes. I get dinner. I could probably live in some cities in this world for free, literally, for months on end.
I never pay for stuff with my friends. Hence, I have queered my own pitch, to use a very English saying.
My best friend cheerily calls,
” So, got that book out yet?”
“Yeah, it’s on Amazon. Here’s the link” (ding it on Facebook chat)
“Looks cool! When do I get to read it?”
I feel like saying ” Now, now! Press BUY and get it to your iPad now! I have a Kindle version!”
But instead, I say ” Um – I’ll send you a copy then”
At the cost of $3.
A cousin does the same thing. Then someone who vaguely helped me out during the writing of the book asks in no uncertain terms ” Send me that book now it’s out?”
Then there’s the so-called “proper fans”. People who did buy my book. People who read it. They then write about it. “Read this book that my friend (ah yes, they are my friend, they bought my book and now they are blogging about it) wrote. Very good”
I am happy. I share their update, and smile.
Until some person I instantly despise, outside my enclave, comments ” Oh hey (blah name) , I was gonna buy that, but can I borrow it? ;)” (Note the emoticon – sly yet encouraging)
The answer comes, ” Sure! :)” (That emoticon again, trusting and open)