I confess that the business part is my least favorite part of being an indie author. Many creatives share this sentiment, but I feel guilty for disliking it because my Day Job provides the skills for me to handle this stuff. I ought to be a little better at it; I earn my “real” living doing stuff like this for a corporation.
Surely I can figure out how to sell more of my own books.
This morning I’ve been working on SEO optimization on my website and studying the analytics feature to determine what users are hitting so I can improve the content. The dashboard of pie charts could be either science or roulette wheels. The jury’s still out. How do we match the people who are looking for things with the people who have the things they want? Does the data help us connect buyer and seller?
I’m not convinced. When I think about my own book-buying process, browsing feels so random. Almost all of the new fiction authors I discover happen in brick-and-mortar stores, where I wander through the shelves and pick through the spines until something catches my eye. On the other hand, I tend to pre-order my favorite authors on Amazon because I will want their next book no matter what it’s about.
In either case, the author website only comes into my concern after I’ve read their book and I decide that I like them and am curious about them. What else have they written? Who are they? What do they have going on? Do I like them?
Visiting their site has nothing to do with selling more books. Not really.
I’m not sure that what browser, device type, operating system, or source is going to help in all this. In the end, it’s about connection between reader and author. The first encounter might be a chance one, like a passing on a subway platform. Maybe a book is picked up or maybe not. Maybe a site is clicked or not. All of it seems very mysterious. But then, statistics was my worst subject in college.
Perhaps I’m dismissing the math because I prefer the mystery. I like the story of the chance encounter better. I like the story of the book discovered by accident.
And the rest is happily ever after.