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Owen Jones

Owen Jones

Selling Books Online

Sunday is the best day of the week to sell my books, followed closely by Thursday. I don’t know whether this is true about book buyers for everyone and I have only just discovered the fact myself, because last week, my friend Lord David Prosser asked me which day of the week was my best day for selling books because I have lots of graphs, and to our surprise I didn’t know.

However, I soon copied the data from the book sales of the last ninety days at Kindle and then I had another graph to add to my collection of almost thirty. Now, I am not a statistician, so some of them might be utterly useless, but inventing then and studying them keeps me amused and off the streets.

Anyway, Sunday. I quite enjoy online promotion, almost as much as I enjoy the fruits of it, but I know that a lot of people feel the same way towards promotion as they do towards dental work. However, I am strange like that, so it would appear.

Still, it has to be done and Sunday is the best day to sell books for me.

I would love to hear your favourite promo tips for selling books, I might be doing it all wrong.

My basic strategy for selling books online is to join with friends on Facebook and, using Twitter, Retweet for each other. List-sharing I suppose you could call it.

I have been participating in this for over a year now, and I think that it has helped my book sales enormously. I also use Hootsuite to schedule Tweets and send one immediately, whenever the time happens to be.

I tend to schedule three Tweets to be sent out automatically while I am otherwise engaged, usually sleeping.

I use a list, or three lists for this.

I live in Thailand, so I wrote the numbers 1-24 in a column down the centre of the page. Most of my sales are in the UK, so down the left side of the page I wrote the equivalent times in the UK, so 1am here is 6pm there. My second best market is the US, so I wrote a third column on the right. Now comes the guesswork.

When I worked in the UK, lunch was at one, but we also got a tea break at three. I assume the same is true in the US. I also think that many people surf after dinner, so between five and twelve o’clock.

I marked all these as optimal times and a few others like 11am as OK for sending my messages out on Twitter

Now it’s easy. Where there are two ‘Goods’ opposite one another, the time in the centre is the best for me to be Tweeting about my books online.

I have six such optimal times for selling books  and a few lesser ones.

I send 4-10 Tweets X 4 a day, so to avoid ‘crashing’ them, I am fairly flexible with the minute hand of the scheduler.

One more point. I have a Twitter a/c that is sort of dedicated to information on Thailand. If I use that account for this purpose, I shed followers like a tree sheds leaves in Autumn, but I have another account where people know I’m a writer and so write about books. The opposite is true there. People tell me often how interesting the Tweets are and it has risen from 280 followers two years ago to 10,000 now with zero effort.

Horses for courses, springs to mind.

by +Owen Jones