The Self-publishing journey – update (2) – Data Mining

Writing the book was the relatively easy bit. Selling it is harder but I get a buzz from each and every book sold. Amazon and others have combined with social media to make it so much easier to self-publish. Anyone can do it. That’s great but it’s also the problem.

With hundreds of thousands of books, both traditional and self-published, hitting the market each year how do you get noticed? Book marketing gurus like the word “discoverability”. How do you discover your readers and vice-versa?

I am sure that many of you are familiar with the practice of data mining. How do you find that sliver of readers who want to buy your book? Right now, I am not mining. I’m still panning for gold, just hoping that if I keep at it I’ll get lucky – and I do unearth a small nugget now and again. Recently, I got a hint of what it might be like to hit a rich seam.

In July of last year I posted a short piece on my website. It was entitled “A Donegal Encounter”. Over the next couple of months it received only five hits. Then, over just two days in October, it got over 230 hits. Why did this happen? Who told who about it and how were they connected? I wish I knew the answers to these questions. What I do know is that most of the referrals were from Facebook and the hits were spread fairly evenly across the USA, UK & Ireland. I think they may be fans of Daniel O’Donnell because I mentioned him as a famous son of Kincasslagh – the village in which the story takes place.

I reckon I got no more than four or five book sales from that spike in hits. That tells me that panning is too much like hard work. I need to find the mine which has a rich seam of readers. Is there someone out there who knows someone who is connected to 100 people, all of whom will buy my book if he/she recommends it to them and each one of them know 100 more people  who will do the same?

If you are that person please contact me and I will buy you lunch!

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