Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How He Sold one Million ebooks in Five Months

John Locke is a super-salesman/businessman who regardless what he does figures out how to make money and be a success. Everything he touches turns to gold. If he ever writes a real memoir, I'll buy it.

I'm not one of his niche readers, will never buy one of his .99 books or even read a free one. Not because they aren't good, I have no idea if they are or not, but they're just not my kind of read. However, a book that gives guidelines and tips on being more successful especially when it has to do with my own rather unplanned, unorganized, write it and they will come approach to my career definitely has my attention.

And speaking of niche readers, that is a big part of his plan. An author must find their target audience, write to them, email them, love them. I totally agree with this! If only I could find my target audience, I'd do all of these things!

How can anyone not be impressed with Locke's accomplishments as a self-published author? In his book How I Sold 1 Million ebooks in 5 Months, he outlines how he did it. Some of his plan is applicable for about everyone, others are the kind of things a born salesman/successful rich guy will do and that would be really tough for a reserved, anxiety-ridden, overly stressed already woman (like me) to follow suit and have even 1/10 the same results.

Besides, I don't believe that everything works for everyone, but what I do believe in is making plans and setting goals. What Locke's book made me realize is that although I do this kind of planning and goal-setting in nearly every area of my life I have never done it for my own writing career. So he really opened my eyes to that.

As I read his business plan for marketing books, I was inspired to set up a professional author website. I finished it this weekend and am very proud of it!  Anyone who wants to stop by and say hi, I'd appreciate it! Better get in there now before it's crowded with all those one million readers who will rush over just as soon as I publish House of Diamonds.

27 comments:

  1. I am off to check out John Locke & your new site! Congratulations on completing it and the inspiration. It is those little moments that can make all the difference.

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  2. Just checked out the new website... IT'S FANTASTIC!!! Love what you have done there. Will have to check out this John Locke.

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  3. Your web site looks great. Thank you for making it so easy to navigate and easy to read.

    Re: Locke
    I can't bring myself to buy Locke's book. Everything you said seems to be repeated by others. He found his niche audience and milked it. Well, duh.

    The real question is HOW did he find his niche audience. That book I would buy.

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  4. I must have my nose deep in writing/reading because I haven't heard about this John Locke, unless we are talking about that bald character from Lost... Will definitely go check him out.

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  5. Congrats on the website Karen, it looks nice!

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  6. ...well done, Karen on the website! That's something on my "must do" list as well.

    Regarding Locke's self-help booklet, I read over it as well, and truly didn't find anything otherworldly that many of us aren't already doing, or have considered. Take out all of his sale's pitches for the upcoming releases and his prior series already available, and you've got yourself a book roughly half the size of what was purchased. The man's a genius, but it took him years to achieve what he's pulled off. And I've got a sneaky hunch that he could sell a sweeper to a Hoover dealer, which of course doesn't hinder sales ;)

    El

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  7. Hi Karen .. I got there before the other 999,992 commenters did .. glad I visited that early!

    Interesting about John Locke - I guess the main thing is .. he's shown the way - we may not all get there .. but some of the way would be nice?

    I don't think he's that 'clever' .. his books are 'sex' oriented and that will sell regardless .. and they were in the background waiting - he'd had little success going the normal route .. but found the way through .. and the ebook aspect of a few $ rather than print copy price - makes a difference.

    Good marketing, hard work and taking the opportunity .. true .. cheers Hilary

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  8. Hilary, Thanks for visiting my website! Glad to know you have our visit planned for when I get to the UK *wink wink* There are so many elements that came together for his success, and the fact that his books are appealing to those who want a quick fast entertaining read, and that he had a lot of them ready. In his book he says he never really started marketing until his 4th book came out. So according to that, I need to pull back on the blogging & twittering and get busy writing. (Course I already knew that)

    Elliot, Haha, so funny about the sales pitches! Yes they were everywhere, plus his appealing to the niche audience for this particular book which is self-pubbed authors. Some of the stuff he said about publishing was so over the top as to be ridiculous. He may not understand the publishing industry but he knows sales. He knows how to push people's buttons and get them to buy. He made his first million by the time he was 27, in insurance. I'd actually like to real memoir of his life, I think it would be fascinating.

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  9. Just been to your new site. Excellent! And I do agree with you. There are lengths that I wouldn't have the energy to go to when it comes to marketing myself or my work.

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  10. I like your new site.

    I would also like to sell 1,000,000 copies of my book but if that means compromising, I don't want to do that.

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  11. Your new website is fab! Congrats and also congrats to your daughter. Thanks for the introduction to this author, I will check him out.

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  12. My publisher gave me his book. I'm doing his Twitter-blog trick in reverse I think. And yes, being a successful businessman probably had a lot to do with his success.

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  13. Hi, Karen,

    Thanks for the info on John. Congrats on the new website. How exciting... I am on my way.

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  14. I haven't read John's book because I know I wouldn't be able to emulate his plan. I'm in no sense a "born salesman/successful rich guy". But I do appreciate you pointing out the necessity of setting goals for our writing. I've been very lazy about that.

    And I do wish you "millions of readers" for House of Diamonds.

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  15. The most important part of Locke's plan is the value he places on readers and having a relationship with them, I think. Great new site--it's lovely. (And easy to read--a major plus for me.)

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  16. Congrats on your new website! And Locke's figures are amazing, definitely worth reading up on.

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  17. I've been hearing about this John Locke and read some of his promo stuff, but not his books. Some people seem to have that Midas touch which coupled with a lot of ambition and a whole lotta gumption can make money pour in. I've got to give the guy credit for that.

    Your website looks very nice. I'll have to explore it a bit more. Good luck on your upcoming million seller.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  18. John Locke is a huxter in the truest sense of the word. His background in sales has served him well. Although, the fact that most of his techniques revolve around "playing" his future fans, I don't have complete respect for him.

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  19. it is impressive that he's accomplished so much so fast. I'd be interested to read his strategy, too. But I wonder if it would apply universally?

    Good stuff, KG~ :o)

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  20. He's certainly worked for his sales.
    I love your new website.

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  21. Thanks for the links and the info on Locke...and while I agree with you about everything not working for everyone...no harm in borrowing a few tips, just like you plan to do!

    I wish I knew who my niche audience was too!
    -----
    Join me at the Rule of Three Writers' Blogfest!

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  22. Nice web site. Never been much good at plans myself : I have a bit of an organic approach to these things, so maybe I should follow that advice some more ...

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  23. Simon, I like the word "organic." It sounds so much better than "unorganized." I am at least trying to be more of a planner now after reading his book.

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  24. He did? That is amazing!!! I'm going to have to check out his book. Wow.

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  25. I read John Locke's book and it was certainly interesting - it's not a method that would work for everyone, everywhere, though, imho. Or maybe it would! I might have to give it a try to see!

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  26. Congratulations on your new site! :) I checked it out--it looks awesome.

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  27. That's awesome that he can make that method work- incredible diligence. I also love that his name matches one of my favorite LOST characters (before the show turned "wrong" haha)

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