My Flirtations

Norman Bacal

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My life would be so much easier if I had no interest in selling the books I write. I love the writing process, though I never would have guessed that would have been the case when I began writing seven years ago. I take great pleasure in writing my mystery novels, which I find to be considerably more difficult than writing my non-fiction success manuals for young professionals.

You see if I could take my ego out of this, I could tell myself that the writing is itself the reward for a first career well lived. I am writing from the safety of rewirement, though I have to admit that if I had to make a living at this point, I might have more security as a Walmart greeter.

But that’s not me. The same bug that got me writing has transmutated into a virus that has infected my credit card accounts. You see I figured that if I could learn how to write, I could learn how to market. How difficult could it be? You cannot imagine how many online courses are out there teaching people like me how to advertise profitably on Amazon or how to grow my email list on Facebook.

The one common feature of all these courses is the ease at which the promoters convince me to take their free online courses which eventually and inevitably become “only six monthly payments of $79” to get the enhanced version. Eventually I will be making a profit by selling more books to people who are out there just waiting to click on the right ad.

And you will not believe all the freebies they are prepared to throw in if I subscribe during the webinar. A coaching session worth $149, a critique of my current advertising, worth $789, all thrown in. Like all the extras we used to be able to get when we subscribed to those late night TV infomercials.

You also get to join a Facebook group so that you can commiserate with people just like you all over the world, who didn’t have enough sales resistance to turn down the paid course offer.

So far I am pleased to report that I am successfully learning all of the required sales jargon, like sales funnels, conversion rates, impressions, and click through rates, among an assortment of critical skills for my online sales success.

In my most recent Amazon advertising challenge, which just ended, I have risen from obscurity as promised. I’ve gone from absolutely no one looking at four of my books to over 100,000 impressions of my book cover and advertisement, “He rose from the slums to become America’s most successful lawyer. When he found the girl of his dreams his life became a nightmare.” Or something like that. I now have a number of ads running.

It’s so exciting to believe that one of my ads may have shown up on your smartphone screen yesterday!

Did I leave out the part where I sold an e-book? One. According to the statistics, since it cost me $32 in advertising to make that hard-earned $2.99, that’s only about a 1000% cost of sales, before Amazon’s 30% rake on the sale price. Now if I just scale that by one thousand I’ll have sold one thousand books and it will only have cost me $32,000.

Therein lies the real issue. Whenever I run into acquaintances, mostly on Zoom these days, the first question they ask is “How are your books doing?” I’m really tired of answering that the first was a bestseller and the following three have won awards. They all know that my answer is code for “I really enjoy the writing process.”

I’d love to be able to answer, “I had one week alone where I sold a thousand books.” Is that really worth the cost of a cruise around the world?

I think so, but I better check that one with my life partner….

In short, if you’d like to get 1000 free downloads of my book, please let me know. I can save the $32,000 and I’ll still be able to brag about the increase in my readership.

Hey… that’s really not a bad idea. If you act now I’ll throw in an electronic abs massager at no extra cost, other than delivery charges and sales tax where applicable.

Benjamin Hotel
Benjamin Hotel


Norman Bacal

Norman Bacal is an accomplished best-selling author. After practicing law for over 35 years, Norman shifted to writing, where he has now published numerous books across fiction and non-fiction.

A proud father of four and grandfather of six, Norman enjoys spending free time playing golf and bridge.

He resides in Toronto, Canada.

Visit Norman's Official Website