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Giving Readers More Reasons To Buy

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One school of thought has it that, after the text of a book makes it online, the author’s screwed. Everyone will just spend a few hours in front of their computer monitors, reading it, and never purchase the novel. But – even assuming this is correct – the problem may not be too hard to address.

Simply try, if you can, to make your book more than a book. It could be as easy as turning it into a keepsake – think of the leather-bound, silver-studded pieces of art that J.K. Rowling created not too long ago. Or some construction pocketbook could come with inches and centimeters marked off on the edge.

Or you could take some extra-special steps. Mike Masnick writes, “I was excited to hear from JC Hutchins, who was telling us about the way he’s selling his new novel, Personal Effects: Dark Art. . . . [T]he story goes beyond the book itself. . . . If you Google the names of certain characters, you can find their webpages and blogs (and accounts on certain social networking sites). The phone numbers on the business card work. You can email characters in the story, hear voicemails and hack into different websites and emails, as well.”

Masnick later continues, “Hutchins works to come up with interesting ways to ‘connect with fans,’ including the ability for fans to ‘commit themselves’ as patients to the psychiatric hospital at the center of the story. The story in the book revolves around a therapist at the hospital who uses an individual’s ‘personal effects’ to help treat them — so this part lets you submit your own backstory and whatever ‘personal effects’ you want, in order to ‘become a patient.’”

Try to come up with similar ideas and you’re liable to generate buzz and increase sales.


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