Are your book sales figures discouraging? Do you feel like you have spent much time, effort, and money on promoting your book for little result? Maybe you need a tribe.
I recently listened to a speech by master salesman Zig Ziglar given back in the 20th Century. In this speech, Zig says the following needs to happen for sales people to be successful. He states:
“Unless you can get your customers to:
- Help you sell,
- Give you references,
- Be part of your sales team,
you will not survive.” In other words, if you have to do all the selling on your own you will burn out.
In book marketing speak, this means that unless you can get your readers and fans to:
- Write great reviews of your book, and
- Tell others how good your book is and that it is a must-read,
you will not make much headway with book sales. Eventually, you will become discouraged and give up.
Seth Godin popularized this concept in the 21st Century with his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Seth says that a tribe is necessary to successfully sell products (including books). He defines tribes as any group of people large or small who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. In other words, the people in the tribe believe in the idea and promote it.
Do you have a tribe? Every author needs one. Don’t confuse an audience with a tribe. You can have an audience and not have a tribe. A tribe is a group of people who believe in what you have to say and tell others about it.
Are your book sales lack-luster? Maybe you need a tribe. You can’t do it all on your own. But, remember, to have a tribe, you have to have a quality product (book) with a message that resonates with people. A message they believe in and want to share.
If your book is only generating mediocre reviews, it may need some work to improve its quality. Don’t attempt to turn your audience into a tribe until you have a quality product. It won’t work. A quality product is required to acquire a tribe.