It has to be admitted that there are times when I stop and confess I don’t really understand the workings of the universe. Oh forget dark matter and quantum pairing, I want to know why we have a Guinness ashtray on the draining board in our kitchen?
Yes I understand that my lady wife found it when tidying up and decided to clean it, but still, that begs a more serious question. Given that nobody has smoked in this house since about 1962, why have we got an ashtray at all? I certainly don’t remember acquiring it (although I do have a beer towel from a long defunct brewery) and I’ve not got round to asking all three daughters whether they acquired it in their travels. But let’s be fair, it’s too damned big to slip into a handbag.
Still it sits, inscrutable on the draining board, proof that if I ever thought I knew what was going on, I’m kidding myself.
Then we have the fact I was apparently recommended on Amazon’s Daily Deal! The first thing I knew about this was when another author messaged me and asked how one earth I’d managed to pull of this marketing coup!
The embarrassing but truthful answer is that I genuinely haven’t a clue. Indeed until I got his message I knew nothing about it. (In fact because I made a point of not signing up to any of Amazon’s promo emails, I wasn’t even aware of the concept of the ‘Daily Deal.’)
As an aside, at this point, Amazon is comparatively honoured. They have my ‘real email’ or at least an email I check regularly. Given they occasionally send me money, I felt that they were probably entitled to that. Facebook has an email that goes to an account I don’t necessarily look at every day. One or two other of the internet giants still have an email address of mine that died some years ago. If their marketing people are reading this, don’t worry. If I ever want to hear from you, I’ll send you another email address.
But back to the point, my marketing genius and getting on the daily deal. Talking to people who know, it appears to be the algorithms frolicking away on their own with no human input. If somebody has looked at my books, and even better, bought one, Amazon remembers this. They then give them a period of time deemed appropriate by a superior algorithm and then more petty algorithms send them an email offering my books on the daily deal. Given that most of my work is priced at the princely sum of 99p, I’m not sure what they discounted them down to, so that they could call it a special offer. But I’m never going to find out, because there were no sales that week.
But whilst talking about selling and getting in touch with your readers, apparently now the thing to do is to have a newsletter. Basically the writer hoards email addresses and then every month (or some such suitable interval) and sends everybody an email of such scintillating wit and brilliance that it loosens their purse strings. Your readers then develop the spending habits of premier league football managers and dash out and buy everything you’ve ever written, in every format.
Now between ourselves I think I’ve spotted a flaw in this business model. Well actually I’ve spotted a number of flaws.
Firstly how many newsletters do readers want to read? Because it’s not just going to be me who sends them one, they could end up getting dozens of the damned things. They’ll get so many they’ll need a special dustbin on the desktop to put them in.
Not only that but those of us who leap on this bandwagon are going to be playing catch-up, struggling to compete with those who’re already up and running. There again I’m not really the person best qualified to discuss this. I must confess that I don’t think I’m signed up for a single author newsletter. Perhaps I’m missing out on the cutting edge of literature? Perhaps the best writers have given up on books and now pour their literary souls into their newsletters?
No, it struck me that the clever thing to do is to get ahead of the curve, to find a way of selling that nobody else is doing.
Anyway I’ve done it. I’ve found the key to infinite book sales and for just £500, cash down, I’ll have the name of your book chanted by massed monks in a hidden mountain monastery. This will imprint your book title on the very soul of the cosmos and people won’t be able to stop themselves buying it. Send the money now to avoid disappointment.
On the off chance that you’ve not yet been drawn in by the chanting monks, you might still like to purchase some quality literature
As a reviewer commented, “50 year old Benor is back in his home city of Toelar, enjoying a quiet life of roof running, paramouring, etc, when one day his routine gets disturbed, making a fast getaway necessary.
However, his escape route is blocked by an Urlan Knight.
Fortunately, the said Knight saves Benor’s life, without even unsheathing his sword, by just being there.
Unfortunately, the said Knight has been looking for Benor and has a little proposition to make.
And so it begins…”