May 7, 2012

Three Sales Away From Success: a guest post & giveaway by Graham Parke

Graham Parke is in the middle of a blog tour right now, promoting his new book, Unspent Time, and stops by the blog today with an amusing guest post for all the would-be best-sellers out there. It didn't have a title, so I decided to give it one myself--editorial privelege and all that. Enjoy.

A Guest Post by Graham Parke
As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.

That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my first novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me, somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said;

‘But what if I don’t like it?’

I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’

My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.

‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’

My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she did like words in general, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.

‘What usual stuff?’

She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’

‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’

‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’

I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!

Bio: Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

You can win a Kindle Fire by buying any of his novels during May 2012:

Unspent Time (Kindle)
Unspent Time (eBook other formats)
No Hope for Gomez (paperback)
Unspent Time (paperback)

Just e-mail your receipt to

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