Sunday 29 November 2020

How I choose books - and what that might mean for my own marketing


Or if you want to sell your books to me.

I buy lots of books. I have 117 pages of unread books on my Kindle. These include classics, literary texts, holiday reads, books by people I know, non-fiction mainly to do with areas I’m researching, books on creativity, books like the ones I’m trying to write, and books on the craft of writing. I’ve probably missed out come categories. Some texts are in French, German or Spanish.

Here I analysed how I’ve come to buy these books and I put these influencers in order.  Then I look at what that might imply for the way I should market my own books.

Reading what I know

If I come across a book by an author I’ve read before, and if I’ve enjoyed their work, I’ll generally buy – or borrow from the library – their new book once I’m aware of it. Here’s an interesting example:

I bought a really tatty copy of Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy from a second-hand bookshop. I enjoyed it so much that I went to read all of her books, sometimes buying them as hardbacks as soon as they came out.

I’ll also often buy books written by people I know, sometimes even if they’re not quite the sort of thing I’d normally enjoy reading.  It’s called friendship.


Book events

I really enjoy these events though I do only tend to go to the ones where the sort of book I’m likely to like is being presented. Listening to the author read, finding out the story behind the book and seeing it there is its 3D reality normally persuades me to buy it.


Lists in my mailbox

I’m on a couple of email lists and bookshops like Amazon and The Hive and publishers such as Simon Shuster or Penguin Random often email me as well. I sometimes find something I like the look of there. The Hive is particularly good at knowing what I would like.


Social media

I’m actually glad that people post about their book releases on Twitter and Facebook. I’m not obliged to buy the ones that don’t interest me. I’m glad to be alerted to the ones that might interest me.



Book reviews in magazines

I often pick up reading ideas in magazine I read. These include, Mslexia, Writing Magazine, The Tome Higher Education Supplement and the Sunday Times.



I can’t resist them.  Many a time I’ve gone shopping for clothes and come back with a book.  

So, now you know what to do if you want me to buy your book.  And if I want to find people like me as readers of my work I must:

·         Tell all my friends and acquaintances about my work. This is actually the hardest to do but it is the most effective marketing tool:  WORD OF MOUTH.

·         Arrange a snazzy book event. Okay, it might be a loss leader but I may pick up some of those readers who will buy my work again and again.

·         Build up my email list and use it effectively.

·         Put my work on social media.

·         Get reviews in quality publications. This is tricky. However, both Mslexia and  Writing Magazine offer feature type ads that you pay for.  The prices are reasonable  

·         Approach local bookshops about stocking my book

In that order.

There you have it! Happy reading and marketing!    

Image by InstagramFOTOGRAFIN from Pixabay 

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