The workshop  presenter was A. David Singh, a soft-spoken man with a hard but realistic message about getting more views on your web pages and increasing sales of your books.

  • A well-written and edited book with a professional cover and no formatting errors is the cost of entry into the market.
  • How do I increase my book sales? Write more books. Find more readers to find the books you write. BOTH ARE UNDER YOUR CONTROL.
  • How do I find more readers? Generate reader traffic – Convert readers into subscribers [BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH READERS + MAKE THEM RAVING FANS] – sell them books


Reader traffic:

  • You need an Online strategy & Offline strategy
  • Online [global traffic] – influencers (build a relationship, be helpful). Blogs – similar topic, industry leaders (e.g., associations, professional social media sites), similar authors, professionals who might benefit, Amazon/Kobo/iBooks/Wattpad, online groups and forums
  • Offline [gives you local presence]– bookstores, readings, clubs, libraries

Convert readers into subscribers:

Social media – are you building your home on a rented lot?

You don’t own FB or Twitter – someone else does and they make the rules about how you connect or contact readers – they limit your reach (FB did this years ago for fan pages- make us buy ads to reach our target audience). What will happen if social media dies out, e.g., MySpace?

OWN YOUR READER AUDIENCE – if you don’t you can lose connection with them

  • Open rates: Email vs. Social media
  • Facebook author pages – reach less than 4% of followers
  • Twitter feeds are too fast – 2% of posts get seen
  • Encourage people to contact you through email – even Pinterest sends info re ‘popular in your network’. Why? Social media sites require you to use an email address – they build their own lists for contacts – don’t use their own platforms.
  • 88% of email marketers say that email marketing is bringing them positive ROI. 68% of consumers report email is their preferred method of contact for information.
  • Comparison of most effective online marketing tactics for 2015.

Advantages of email lists (powerful tools):

  • Author owns their own list – can download as Excel/Numbers files
  • Direct communication
  • Email is personal – use the right language, use their name in each message
  • Control the message and build a relationship

Functions of an email list:

  • Launch new books
  • Sell backlists
  • recruit new readers

Which email service should I use?

  • ESP – email service provider – MailChimp – free for up to 2000 subscribers, 12,000 emails a month
  • Aweber  – USD $19 a month
  • Contant Contact
  • Active Campaign
  • Convert Kit

Functions of ESP

  • personalize emails – address readers by name
  • Track open and click rates
  • Send emails to a certain segment, e.g., send emails according to their interests (fiction, non-fiction, different genres), those who did not open last email
  • Automation sequences – powerful features

Reader magnets (ethical bribes) – you want click-throughs

  • Gifts for your readers in exchange for their emails –
  • Non-fiction – workbooks, cheat sheets, resource guides, checklists, video course
  • Fiction – novellas, short stories, advance access
  • PDDFs, images (maps for historical fiction), audio books, charts, apps – they have to be related to your work and proved value to readers
  • Convert readers – sign up forms….Have to clearly state – what’s in it for me? Why should I give a stranger my email address to sell me stuff?
  • Use humour and personality that make a statement.

How do I start to grow my email list – my platform

  • Blog, etc., Public appearances, author events, author signings, other authors, reading groups
  • Industry standard – Average email open rate is 20%, click rate is 2%. They tend to be more faithful in sign ups and purchases than simple email.
  • Write more books + more engaged subscribers = circle of joy


  • Form networks of like-minded authors
  • Cross-post, cross-promote, share experiences
  • work together on projects

Build relationships with readers:

Mental triggers: trust, likability, reciprocity, authority, social proof, scarcity (Influence, the psychology of persuasion – Robert Cialdini

  • Introduce yourself and your author brand – before they’ll commit, they want to know what to expect, what you commit to do
  • Take them on a journey – what value do you bring
  • Connect at a deeper level – not faceless
  • Start a conversation – engage in one-on-one
  • Get them to invest in your writer journey
  • Build TRUST – if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy your book


  • Send emails with links – your blog post, research, useful information, lessons learned
  • Ask them to review the paid book you sent them for free (value) and ask them to submit a review to Amazon – LIKABILITY
  • Make sure your READER MAGNET relates to what you are trying to sell – don’t mix fiction and non-fiction offerings

LAUNCH TEAMS OF READERS – Incentivize those who join your email subscribers list – get them to be familiar with your brand through multiple emails – offer to give them an advance copy if they will leave a review on Amazon.

Types of Email  subscribers:

  • Readers who are already fans – nurture them
  • Readers who will never buy
  • Fence sitters – like your reader magnet but are unsure if they ant to buy (they can be converted to raving fans)
  • Indifferent – don’t feel compelled to buy, what value it has- price is not a consideration because they don’t care to look – how to make them care? With non-fiction – show the tangible benefits, affect their lives (transformation), what does your book solve for them (WIIFM). IN fiction – we are writing to entertain Them. Promise to entertain them on their terms – send them sample chapters through sales emails at book launch – only available to those on your email list – they become part of the in-crowd
  • Sceptic – is the book worth reading, is the author a scam artist, does not trust you or the quality of your book. Give him Trust Markers (Establish your credibility – reviews (social proof), editorials, accolades (build authority), awards, bestsellers, packaging – cover, formatting, description that align with the book)
  • Worrier – more concerned about themselves (internal factors). Will I benefit? Will I try and fail, e.g., a diet book), will I feel stupid when I buy this book. Show them case studies and testimonials (non-fiction); use a reader magnet – ask them if they enjoyed the free download, if there were any problems.
  • Procrastinator – there is no incentive for them to buy now – most common type of reader, most dangerous, I’ll get it latr’ – they are not compelled to buy now

Make the procrastinator ACT NOW – scarcity – give something of value but limit the time period for availability – scarcity sells. Drop the price of the book during launch and inform the readers for a limited time; promotion through BookBub. Give them a freebie if they buy within the limited time – prequel, price drop, backlist book, sample chapters of book 2.

David graciously shared a copy of his slide presentation with the When Worlds Collide Facebook Group. Click below for the PDF file. 4 readers_A. David Singh