Here is a common problem, you write a book and are thrilled about “getting it out there” and then your labors are not rewarded as you had anticipated because your books are not selling. At that point you have to make the decision to quit or keep going. Most people will not immediately quit they will try to find solutions. Then they try the solutions and find that most of them don’t work then they quit. This is a huge problem with independent authors and the very reason for fierce competition of self-publishing houses to find them.
Self-publishing companies have built their empires off of writers dreams and they know that dreamers come a dime a dozen. This endless supply of dreamers will keep their coffers filled and heavily overflowing with massive profits. They could not care less if you ever find readers for your book and they will milk you dry with their shiny promotion programs. I’ve had clients that have come from the milking stations and I have had to help them rebuild their dreams and re-inspire them to move forward.
So how do you get beyond dreams to selling books?
You’ve got to get in the trenches and stop expecting things to come easy. Authors who sell books are in it for the long haul. Getting in the trenches means you put as much effort in getting people to know about your book as you do the air that you breathe. You learn the value in knowing that your book is not for everyone and focus on laser targeting the specific people that you wish to connect with your book.
I had difficulty selling one of my cookbooks until I learned the concept of targeting. At first I tried to make it available to everyone. My reasoning was that certainly a cookbook was generic enough for the masses to enjoy. I was so wrong and it caused me years of frustration. Then one day I decided to focus on a specific type of readership and then the book began to sell. The more specific you are able to identify your readers the greater chance you have at selling books.
People often say that reviews sell books. That has not been my experience. I’ve had good reviews and helped my authors get good reviews and the needle did not tip. My experience has been that descriptions and outstanding book covers sell books. One of my authors had over 4,000 downloads of an e-book within 2 days and our main marketing push was the cover and the description of the book. The cover was viewed over 22,000 times and we created a sensational description. Afterwards the readership began to leave reviews.
Get focused and do you. Learn as much as you can about good book marketing but shift through it thoroughly. There is a lot of hype in the book selling industry and there are far too many “experts” saying do it my way. How about doing it your way? Never be afraid to test things out and try different paths. Never be afraid to fail, because success if often found through eliminating things that did not work.
I am happy every time I get a royalty payment. Because every person that has purchased one of my books has the potential to purchase the next one. Instead of being self-absorbed about sales, you need to learn to be grateful for the people who took the time to purchase and read your book. You need to understand that the person who bought your book and is happy with what they read will buy your next book. You will build your business one happy book customer at a time. Learn to value the power of little’s. Here is one of my favorite quotes that explains it.
Pick up a grain a day and add to your heap. You will soon learn, by happy experience, the power of little’s as applied to intellectual process and gains.
John S. Hart
So stop focusing on wanting to become a best selling author and focus on becoming the best writer and let the power of little’s bring you wealth. Retailers do it every day with their .99 cent specials. If you have any book selling tips please feel free to leave a comment.