Saturday, May 5, 2012

John Locke: Success More than Just a 99-cent Price Point

John Locke, who has sold more than a million eBooks, is frequently cited as responsible for stimulating the use of the 99 cent eBook. A strong proponent of self-publishing, he credits the arrival of eBooks as offering the opportunity to compete against traditional publishers. 

In his book, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! Locke is quick to criticize the traditional world of publishing and the denigration of self-published authors. “How is it that self-publishing is the only business where self-funding is considered undignified?” 

However, initially he did use traditional methods of promoting his books – and spent approximately $25,000 on various forms of promotion.  The failure of these techniques led him to his own marketing platform.

And, yes, he definitely used the 99 cent price point as one tool.

However, there is far more to John Locke’s sales of a million eBooks than just offering his books for 99 cents.  After all, four of his books were available at 99 cents for more than eight months before they started to sell. 

He fueled his sales using the following “system” which I am providing here in total because I focus on tips in this blog and his system seems an excellent blueprint for self-published authors. In addition, he offers more actionable tips in his book to achieve each of these Keys to Success.

Locke’s Four Keys to Success as offered in his How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

(1) Have a plan

·      For writing books
·      For marketing them

(2) Know your target audience “Love your readers and personally respond to them!”
·      Write to them
·      Blog to them
·      Email them
·      Build loyalty

(3) Take a business approach
·      How to write, publish, and price your books
“My decision [to price my novels at 99 cents] came down to whether I thought I could sell seven times as many books at 99 cents as I could at $2.99. I felt I could, because my target audience was big enough.”
·      Turn your books and characters into a brand
·      Think of your books as employees
·      Maximize your profits

     (4) Use your tools properly “Twitter cost me no money to join and my blog cost me very little. But these two platforms became the one-two punch that made my marketing successful.”
·      Your books – “Keep writing books!”
·      Your website
·      Twitter –
                                               i.     “Use Twitter to create a Friendship Circle.” “
                                             ii.     “Drive your Twitter friends (and book readers) to your website. . . and your blog site”
                                            iii.     “Use Twitter to generate buzz and create leads.”
                                            iv.     “Use Twitter search and hash tags to create a Viral Circle.”
·      Your blog
Bottom line: it takes more than a low price point to be successful. Consider inexpensive and available social media as a way to promote. Price your book according to the size of your target readers.

1 comment:

  1. You have a most excellent blog. This article cuts to the heart of self-publishing strategies, and one I have been watching closely and learning from. My own self-publishing progresses as I learn ever more about being in charge of one's publishing future. I continue to learn from those that have gone before.

    Grant Handgis
    Brother Coyote Publications