When I was a very active member of several non-profit boards, I used to have to “dial for dollars” to get donations. It was a very miserable experience. When I was on the board of many early-stage companies, I would also have to “dial for dollars” to help these companies raise investment capital. Also, a miserable experience! Now I am “dialing for readers” (actually emailing is more accurate) for my book, The Flight of a Wild Duck.
Getting readers is not about getting sales/revenue. My book was never meant to be a profitable activity. It is just the opposite. But I felt/feel that I had something to say, to share, and to offer. Perhaps a book is no longer the best medium to communicate. But it would be hard to capture a lifetime of experiences in a 15 second Tik Tok video.
So every day, I reach out to friends and former colleagues to let them know about my book. Most say they will get it, but the sales numbers demonstrate that this is not the case. But I would say the same thing. First, however, I would buy the book and at least attempt to read it.
I have done about ten interviews (podcasts and Youtube videos). By in large, they have had good experiences. But I have no way to know how many people listen to them. I thought that this might be a way to get more readers. However, it is not working that way. After listening to me be interviewed for an hour, people probably feel that they have enough and there is no reason to read the book. I might feel that way too.
Pushing people to buy the book does not serve my purpose because I want them to read it. However, sales do affect how Amazon, for instance, behaves when it comes to their recommendations.
I have gotten many great reviews, but I mostly had to ask for those as well.
Do I sound discouraged? Well, I am a bit. However, I should say that if no one had read my book, I would still have written it. So I gained a lot from experience.
Soon, I will be publishing essays (3-5 pages) and lessons (1 page). I may use substack to distribute them. Possibly, they will be more viral and could lead people back to my book.
Now do your part!