Fat Mogul vs. The (Sales)man Inside Me

from mashable.com
from mashable.com

Hey, notice something different about me?  Yeah, that’s right, I’ve cleaned up a bit…the site’s…well…you know…different.  And look at that beautiful mug up on top of the page.  Who’d have thought you’d be seeing anything about him on here…

So, yeah, redesigned the site a bit…made it into something a bit more…well…you know, sales-oriented (only slightly) and less crazed-looking blog for a maniac with a keyboard.  It’s not like I believe that a change in the design of the site will do much toward bringing in sales and sales and sales, but it’s more to mark a change in the business that is Adam Oster, Author.

You see, I’ve been moping about for quite some time now, trying to determine what the next best step in my personal career should be…not just talking about as a writer, but just looking to see what I should do with my occupational life, since…well…I’m old and all that.

During all those considerations, I came under the realization that I have done absolutely nothing as of late to actually work on selling my products…I really hate that phrase…selling product.  But that’s really where the change in design here stemmed from, because there’s a need to change my thinking, to come around to realizing that my books are a business, whether or not I actually like to think about them that way.  Sure, they’re up for sale, and I run promotions from time to time, but I’ve long just considered my books as a silly little pasttime, while sitting in a corner dreaming of the day where folks would be picking them up before they board the plane…Those are some pretty differing concepts.

If I keep treating my craft as a hobby, there’s very little change they’ll ever end up in airport gift shops.

So…I made a change to the site, one that I’m still feeling a bit uncomfortable with (and there will be changes to come in order to make sure the design is as user friendly as possible).  The main purpose for the change, to act as a sales portal instead of a blog.  Sure, the blog will still be around, and sure, you’ll still catch me rambling about all sorts of random things that probably shouldn’t be rambled about on a sales site, but that’s just the way I am…but it’s a change in thinking, moving toward actually branding everything, moving from this whole fatmogul mentality where there’s just this online presence that doesn’t actually connect with me, the author.

For too long have I feared selling my book, due to how much it makes me look like I’m too eager to get people to buy my wares…which is really dumb, considering how much I’d really like it if people would buy my stuff.

But, I’m also making a change in how I think about sales.  I’ve done a lot toward following the crowd, doing the things that everyone says authors need to do in order to make people aware of who they are.  They’ve all just felt like doing another thing to get lost in the crowd.  It’s time to think smarter, to turn this thing into an actual business…to use phrases like “generate sales” and make pretty pie charts (okay…maybe not quite that far).

The change in the site marks a change in thinking…a change that will mean I will spend less time writing, unfortunately, but will also possibly increase readership and help me actually make what I’m doing be more than just some silly hobby.

In other words, the site change means one simple thing.  I’m done considering myself an amateur author.  I’m done feeling the need to focus on the phrase self-published.  I’m an author, dammit, and I’m going to start acting like one…which may mean the need for things like a facebook fan page, an actual useful twitter feed, and…yes…posting links to my book on sites all over the web….but the plan is to act smart, not desperate.  To look for readers, not to shotgun advertising.  To think about it as a business instead of hoping for grand success.

I just hope I can stick with it.

There have been those of you who have offered ideas in the past, and I don’t want you to think that I’ve ignored them. Many have involved financial investment, which has been something I haven’t quite been ready to make.  That may change.  I’m still in the research phase of trying to determine next steps, but there will be next steps.  Marketing is now an official part of my job description.  And I aim to succeed.

Have fun out there!  I’m going to be busy developing my marketing strategy…

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