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06/22/2010

The Call to Action

I mentioned to my son last night that my blog had gotten a lot of hits over the last couple of days. Then as sort of afterthought, I said. "but not selling any more books". Son, being a man, immediately piped up with a solution. "You know, Mom. "Every post should have something at the end inviting people to buy your book. You're not giving the call to action. Without that you can't make the sale."

Okay, fair enough. I don't and I haven't. But, here it is from my prospective. I have a website and a blog and a facebook and a twitter account. I maintain a good web presence. If I take the time to google my name or my books, the first page or page and a half of results all have to do with my books or my web page. I'm pretty tickled with that. I was under the impression that's what I was working toward. Now, I'm finding out that I need to close the sale, get the yes, make the call to action. And well, that makes me feel all creepy inside.

Over the course of my life, I've sold a lot of things: Avon, Tupperware, Christmas Around the World, Pampered Chef, water filtration systems, Amway, car parts, and automotive service. I suck at it. Pampered chef wasn't too bad, I actually made some money at that because I'm a good cook. I didn't have to sell, I just cooked with the product and made people's tummy happy. The product did the selling. Books, not so much. You have to sell them; to bookstores, to reviewers, to strangers on the street. Um, yeah, that creepy feeling, it's almost a physical illness.

I hate selling. At least, I hate selling myself. Much easier to sell other people's stuff. Selling me, well, ick. So my answer to my son about his call to action comment was, "well between my blog and my website there are about fifteen different ways to click yourself into position to buy the book. Throwing a call to action into every blog post seems like overkill."

"Yeah, but you're not selling that many books. It's not working."

*Sigh*

So I'm really hoping to get some dialogue going here with authors or salespeople of things other than books. How to make a call to action without looking like a car salesman, or one of those window people that just keep showing up at your house and pestering you over and over even after you say no. I want to know what the general consensus is on the use of blogs and websites for book sales. Should it be passive, or active?

Oh, and click here if you'd like to own a signed copy of a KD Easley mystery.

Comments

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Oh, I SO know what you mean!!! But including a link isn't so "in your face" as, oh, say, telemarketers or door-to-door sales people (all of whom I feel sorry for because it must be awful to put yourself out there for rejection so much...oh wait...I do that all the time as an unpublished author! It IS awful!). Maybe your son can do the selling, since he seems to have a handle on what's required!

Hey Susan, Thanks for stopping by. As for passing the sales off to my son, he understands the mechanics, but he's not a salesman. I'm actually laughing as I type this. Would that it were so easy. My youngest is another story, but Uncle Sam has him for a few more years.

You have a great product KD, so don't be sheepish. However, I do know what you mean. The problem with BSP is that we've been taught that it is tacky, and yet we also want to meet authors and actors who have entertained us. When we see some actor on TV, they usually are there promoting a product and we fully expect it. Actors are allowed to be actors and personalities. Authors are authors. Some handle the PR stuff better than others, but just like any entertainment business, it's now expected of everyone, even authors. It's hard because we usually aren't out in front of the public like celebreties, and none of us really want to be.

You are right about that. I did a street fair over the weekend. I blogged about the disastrous finale, but I didn't mention the part that was the most painful. The part where I stood out in the street in front of my booth smiling and accosting strangers to ask them if they were mystery readers and practically begging them to come and talk to me. You know what, Day One of the festival I sat in the shade of my tent and smiled and waved as people walked by. i sold two books. Day Two, when I walked about giving away bookmarks and making conversation I sold a dozen. Which day did I enjoy most? Oh, the first definitely. Doing the glad hand sales thing, UGH, but it works, I have the empirical evidence to prove it. That doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.

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