Embracing international sales channels

by Rebecca Hamilton

Being inclusive toward an international audience is something that has been important to me since I first published. If someone wants to read my book, no matter who they are or where they live, I want to make it as easy as possible for them! This is why my website, www.paranormalfantasybooks.com, has a purchase page that links to opportunities to buy my book in any country. Where some authors might only show their US and UK links, I think it’s important to remember that someone from India or Spain or France or Germany or Italy or Brazil or anywhere might want to read your book.

Is it worth it to put this effort in? Absolutely. You might think you’ll only reach one person, so why bother, but there’s a few reasons you should bother.

  1. It’s the right thing to do. As an author, I’m sure you don’t want to send the message that you only care about people who live in your own country. Because I know that’s just not true. Most of us authors have met amazing people and formed amazing friendships all over the world.
  2. Social Media doesn’t discriminate to location! I talk to people from all over the world all the time. They are often asking where they can get my book (and I like being able to easily link them to one place where they can find the right option for them!) And you make 1 happy reader in, say, Spain, and before you know it you have 2 readers in Spain. Then 10. Then 100.

Sometimes authors focus only one purchase venue, too. But not everyone reads on the same device! Not everyone wants to buy their print books through the same stores! I’ve met many readers who have a preference for various online retailers and many readers who have different reading devices. You want to be inclusive. Send the message that you care about your readers and want them to be able to read your book, as easily as possible. A reader is more likely to buy and read your book if they don’t have to spend an hour figuring out where they can get it that actually applies to them.

Also, by doing so, you improve your exposure and success! Consumers are more likely to buy a product if they’ve seen it in 3 or more places. This is why you want your books in as many stores and on as many blogs and mentioned on as many social media networks as possible.

the forever girlI owe a lot of success to my first novel, The Forever Girl, to my devoted overseas fans. It means the world to them to know that there are people that care about including them. And when they find an author like that whose work they enjoy reading, they will promote you endlessly to their friends—both in their own country and around the world, once again, thanks for the wide world of social media!

Of course, I have limits. For example, I don’t speak every language, so my book is currently only available in English. And it always makes me feel a little sad when people message me and ask when my book will be available in their language. With the help of my amazing agent, that is starting to turn around. Already there is a planned release for a German edition of my book.

Here are my top three marketing tips to get your book out there with international inclusivity.

  1. Create a website landing page that makes finding the purchase links to your book easy. This page should include links to every possible purchase options—be it print, eBook, international, etc.
  2. Promote across all platforms. Tweet/Facebook/Email/Blog—whatever you do, be sure you are targeting all device users, either together or separately! Keep in mind those devices that are just starting to grow in popularity are also less likely to have a lot of authors marketing to that audience—meaning it’s going to be a lot easier for you to stand out in that crowd!
  3. Engage your fans internationally. If they can’t find your book in their country, help them find it. If it’s not available in their country, find a way to change that. And if all else fails, consider sending along a free copy for them to read. They might not live in your country, but if they can talk to you, they can talk to other people in your country as well.

My biggest, most supportive fan lives in India. She has helped to sell countless copies of my book. I know I owe much of my success to her and people like her—people from all over the world who wanted to read my book. They were able to because I made it easy to do so. And you can do this, too!

Happy writing, and I wish you tons of international success and may 2013 bring you new friendships and book sales from across the globe!

******************

rebecca hamiltonRebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and three kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.

Click here to see Rebecca Hamilton’s books at Kobo (and yes, they are available INTERNATIONALLY)
Click here to download a free extended sample of The Forever Girl

4 comments

  • This is a GREAT entry, Rebecca. I’m definitely going to have to check out your website for some ideas on how to better market my work. But first I’ve got a driveway to shovel and a night shift at my day-job (?) to take care of. Why the heck does reality continue to get in my way?

    I’ll tweet this entry out to my fans at Twitter. Good luck with your future writing.

  • Reblogged this on YOURS IN STORYTELLING… and commented:
    International sales – something all of us independent writers NEED to consider. I am DEFINITELY going to look into this as a possibility. Anything that gets more books out there and more money flowing to us writers is a GOOD thing.

  • Another “How-to” that doesn’t say how-to.

    • Hi, Joan! Thanks for reading! Considering how easy it is to make your books available worldwide on Kobo Writing Life (or Smashwords, or whatever other platform you choose), we thought a more high-level conceptual article would be more useful. These are things not all independent authors consider, and when you can quite literally sell to a worldwide audience at the click of a button, a step-by-step “how to” article didn’t seem like something most people needed.

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