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S is for Sales

S is for Sales
This entry is part 19 of 26 in the series A to Z 2014

Marketing, promotion, PR, business development, networking … it’s all really about sales.

Do you know who lives under your neighborhood?

This is sales in action: please buy my book. No, really.

I love writing. I would do it for free. Wait, I already do it for free. But someone (or something) has to pay the mortgage, right? Here let me help clear that up, here’s the link to my book: The Secret of Kite Hill. Was that blatant enough? There you have it. I need to make sales or I can’t keep writing. Or, well, yes, I could keep writing, but there’s that mortgage to pay. See the dilemma?

Most writers and artists see sales as a bad word. OK, fine, call it something else: promotion, marketing, even marketing strategy, distribution, delivery, exchange. However sugar coated you make it, you have to pay the mortgage, you have to make sales.

Someone has to give up their hard earn cash, dig into their pocket and hand over those dollars to you in exchange for your book (or your product or your service). It’s that simple–and precisely that difficult.

Beyond whether or not you like the idea of sales, it has to happen. Great, so now what? In ancient times (as my kids like to call anything beyond 10 years ago), you write your book, find an agent, an agent finds a publisher and you sit back and collect royalty checks. Please note that this version of ancient history is slightly modified and gussied up as I have limited time and space here. But you get the idea. In modern times, you’re pretty much on your own. Sure, you can get a publisher and all that and it helps for certain, but you’re still pretty much on your own. So now what?

Exactly. Now what?

Now is the hard part. Sorry dear writer friend, you’re not going to like this, but you’ve just gone from being a writer to being an entrepreneur or worse yet: a business owner. Sorry. Even if you accept that, what do you do, where do you start? What’s the plan, Stan?

I’ve been focusing this year’s A to Z Challenge on writing and hopefully some of the business of writing. That might be a bit of help. But I’ve found help running a business through communities of like-minded people and those loads smarter than I am with more experience and more … sales than I have. One community I’ve really enjoyed and benefitted from is called Fizzle. I found this on their home page:

The education, motivation and community to inspire your next step. Fizzle

If you wrote your book and you now need to sell it, I would consider that a clear next step and you probably need some inspiration. Speaking of sales and sales-y speak, I’m not going to go into what it is other than suggesting that you give it a try. They usually have a promotion that costs you $1 (that’s one dollar) for the first month and you can get your feet wet and stick around if you like. Anyway, that’s my recommendation.

Funny, I hadn’t meant for this post to head over to Fizzle, but the deeper I got into sales, those are the guys who I look towards for help with sales, marketing, and overall entrepreneur advice. Because remember, now that you finished your book or project or product, congratulations, you’ve just become the Vice President of Sales.

Someone has to pay for what you've done.

Someone has to pay for what you’ve done.

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  1. R Scott Amsbaugh

    I loved your take on sales. I landed a contract for my novel, out in June, and my life is already overrun with the need for sales. Guess I better get this part right or the mortgage won’t get paid. Thanks and hope to read more. Good luck with the A-Z!

    • Bradley

      Congratulations on the contract! That’s a huge step. In fact, you can use that to your advantage because you have achieved Step 1 and that will make it an easier sell for Step 2 and so on.


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