"You need to talk to bookstores. When you interact with someone, get their email and sign them up on your mailing list. You sold books last night, but you should have done more!"
My friend was right, but I had my handy list of excuses ready.
"If my book is carried by a bookstore, people won't know to look for me. It just sits on a shelf with its spine out and no one buys it."
"If my book doesn't sell, I get charged back."
"If I ask for someone's email, I'll annoy them."
These things may or may not be true. Deep down I know I'm not going to sell books if I don't try. Putting them on sale online gets me traction that may last up to two months, but it dies off. Social media is an awesome tool and I will keep on posting and podcasting, but these things aren't generating direct sales. There's a reason why well known authors still go on tour and do book signings, even though people know to look for them. Word of mouth can't gain traction if people don't know about a new book.
I've worked for sales organizations and helped people excel at their jobs by providing them with information to help them target potential customers. I have the utmost respect for sales people who spend their days approaching people they've never met. They get told 'No' eight or more times for every time they hear 'Yes.' It's a job I have said over and over that I can't do. Now it's exactly what I should be doing. I'm terrified.
When it's all said and done, it's time to try new things. I'm just not exactly sure where to start.