Tomorrow, March 7, is National Salesperson Day.
The site recommends that we recognize salespersons of all kinds—store clerks, manufacturers reps, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, even car salesmen. (Telemarketers, who have a knack for calling during dinner time, are not on the list, but that’s another blog.)
Also not on the list of salespeople are WRITERS. And yet, more and more, authors are looking like salespeople. The release of a new book is the occasion of launch parties, and a flood of postings to yahoo groups, writers and readers organizations, and email lists pilfered from who knows where. Like my book, please, and if you do, consider giving me a 5-star review. It used to be that publishers paid attention to sales for the first couple of months, then, the first week, and now, the statistic on which a writer’s career stands is PREorders– if your book doesn’t get enough preorders, that may be the end of your career. 20,000 people bought your book in the first month? Sorry, too late.
More and more book announcements are accompanied by requests for Likes and reviews. The phenomenon of “street teams,” popular in the music world, has taken hold among writers and readers. Spare me.
Blurbs are another nuisance. Though I’ve never refused to write a blurb when asked, I *hate* asking another author to blurb my books. Don’t readers know that blurbing is about as meaningful as a message from a “doctor” in a television commercial?
I recently received an email from a stranger. He had an offer I shouldn’t refuse. He’d send me a free copy of his amazing book IF I promised to give it a 4- or 5-star review, if I liked it. If I didn’t like it, would I please NOT post a review, and also reimburse him for the cost of the book.
Whoa. Win-win for the author. If you like his book, he gets rave reviews; if you don’t, he gets money.
So far, with my 19th book coming out in a month, and my 20th and 21st (not counting e-only books) in the pipeline, I’ve avoided any direct pleas to buy my book. Yes, I send out postcards; I blog, I Facebook; I do book events. And in this blog and this particular paragraph, yes, I’m marketing/promoting my books.
Is there a difference?
What do you think?