A friend and I have decided that we need to know more about how to promote our books and stories. Well, I've decided – she and I just talked about it. And I don't have any books to promote, yet. She's got some awesome stories on Circlet Press called The Moonlit Path (go here: http://www.circlet.com/?p=3108) Note: it is Erotica. You need to be 18 or older.
So, thinking about helping people to buy books, I started by thinking about what makes me buy anything. What have I bought lately? Well, in the past year and a half I've made some major purchases.
1) A Car. I had to because a tree fell on the old one. (See above.)
2) A Stove. The old one was, well, old, and I didn't like it much. Plus, they were having a sale on stoves.
3) A mattress. It was time.
I always comparison shop. The one time I impulse bought a used car, I bought a lemon. People would shake their heads in sympathy when they heard what kind of car it was.
So why did I buy the things I did.
1) I bought the same car that the tree killed. It was a good car.
2) I checked a couple of places for the stove, after I realized that everyone had stove sales on. I went with the place my mother has used for years, on her recommendation.
3) I tried a whole bunch of places and went where I could get the best mattress for the best price.
In doing this, I realized a couple of things:
Quality – If something is good quality, I'll go back and buy from them again.
Recommendation – If someone whose opinion I trust recommends something, I'll look closer.
Something I need – I wouldn't have bought the car or the mattress if I hadn't needed them.
Something I want – While I didn't need the stove right then, I wanted it. And I bought the stove I wanted, with the features I wanted.
I bought these things from people who appreciated me and who didn't treat me as if I were brainless. If they talked down to me, I left and didn't look back.
What does this mean? Still working that out. But, for me, the first thing is to give the best product possible. To write the best book I possibly can.