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Word of Mouth

As some of you readers are well aware I’ve been promoting my book a lot more lately. I’ve found that so far approximately 50% of my sales can be traced back to a post, comment or status by me somewhere on the internet. While I’m thankful to see my hard work paying off I know that it shouldn’t really be that high. The reason being, readers and other people that like the book should be doing more of that kind of selling than me.

The biggest way books are sold is from word of mouth. The recommendation of a friend or someone in a book shop. Unfortunately with a fresh author it’s difficult to get the kind of level of word of mouth needed. So I’ve had an idea, (ok I admit I have mostly nicked this idea from JA Konrath, self published success story making almost $1 mill from his own self publishing sales per year) I want to reward people for encouraging others to buy my book.

Several of my readers and friends have already come to me and said things like, ‘yesterday I was chatting to this person and I told them about your book, they said they would check it out.’ So the simple thing I want to do is reward people for recommendations that turn into sales for me.

Here’s what I’ll do

  • When friends fans and readers have managed to sell 10 of my books to their friends and acquaintances I’ll put them in the acknowledgements of the next book I finish.
  • If they manage 25 I’ll name a minor character after them.
  • If they manage 50 I’ll name a major character after them.

If anyone manages to go above that I’ll start thinking of other awesome things I can do to thank the people doing it for me. I do expect people to be honest though and to keep a track of how many people have actually bought the book because of your recommendation. Future books and shorts will also count as well as anything else that might lead to a sale like an audio book.

With the character naming I will obviously try to name nice characters but depending what I am writing at the time of the achievement I can’t promise I won’t kill the character off or anything like that.

Most importantly, however, while I do appreciate the help in spreading the word about my books, please don’t recommend the book to everyone all the time. Not everyone is going to enjoy a swashbuckling tale of adventure on the Caribbean sea’s of the early 1800’s (they might be a tad weird if they didn’t, but not everyone is the same). I would much rather people were telling others about my books because they enjoyed them and genuinly thought the person they were telling would too. This is just a cool way I can say thanks for doing so and perhaps a small incentive for mentioning it here and there. Also please don’t do this just becaue you’ve decided you like me. Do it because you like the book.

Finally, I would prefer you to inform me when you hit these targets. I won’t chase anyone up. There are already too many of you. I don’t mind being updated occasionally of your current totals though and I’m happy for this to be retroactive.

Thanks for all the people already helping in this way.