Monday, December 31, 2012

I Wrote a Book, How Do I Get It To Sell?

I read a great post this week on a blog I follow by a fellow indie author, Derek Haines.  It had such invaluable information, the same kind I try and offer on this very blog, I was compelled to contact the author and request permission to reprint the post, in its entirety, on my blog.  I was thrilled when he responded immediately, giving his approval.  

The information is nothing you, the new author, indie author, or aspiring author, have never heard before.  It is simply presented in such a precise format and so succinctly, that in my unending quest to be a source and tool for new writers, I knew I had to share it.  So, please enjoy, take heed and put into practice.  And then believe this:  you WILL publish AND sell in 2013!

Happy New Year!

I Wrote A Book – But It Won’t author Derek Haines

My book isn't sellingOne of the most frequent questions I receive is from newly self published authors asking why their book isn’t selling. While there are a thousand reasons why a book doesn’t sell, there is one fact that many newly self published authors often fail to realise. The book market and the ebook market in particular is well and truly over-populated.  Try to get your head around these numbers.
300,000 books were published in the U.S. 2003.
411,422 books were published in the U.S. in 2007.
1,052,803 books were published in the U.S. 2009.
Approximately 3,000,000 books were published in the U.S. in 2011.
And . . . drum roll, please . . . Bowker estimates that they will issue15,000,000 ISBN numbers in 2012. (Or so Seth Godin said in an online interview.) Source
With these statistics it’s easy to see where one new book sits. Lost in a huge crowd.
The fact of the matter is that it is getting harder and harder to sell books and for a writer new to self publishing, there is going to be a lot of hard work ahead; just to get noticed. So what can you do to get some attention?
Firstly, write a damn good book. This may sound simplistic, but have you had independent feedback about the quality of your book? Just because your mother likes it, this doesn’t count for anything in attracting attention or climbing bestseller lists.  Yes, we all love our own books, but you really need to know if other people will love it enough to buy it.
Does your title attract attention? This is the most important few words of your book, and yet I see so many poorly titled books. Give your title a lot of thought.
Does your cover attract attention? Especially when viewed as a thumbnail image. This is important as this is usually the first image of your book that a potential reader sees, so you really want them to click on it. Look at you book cover as a thumbnail size image. Is it attention grabbing or a fuzzy little box?
Does anyone know your name? I’m a firm believer in promoting your name as an author rather than promoting the title of your book or books. Getting known is vital, so use social media to build your name recognition. Yes, it’s slow going and hard work. But nothing is going to come easy in a crowd of fifteen million new books.
Use social media intelligently. Don’t fill your social media streams with posts about the kids, the dog or details about your headache or hangover. Build a professional image of yourself and use separate accounts for your friends and relations chatting. You want to sell books not inform people about cup cakes. Build a quality Twitter and Facebook Page following and concentrate on your reputation.
Be patient and don’t give up after 3 months. It takes a long time to build your profile and to write enough books to be noticed. If you are expecting instant success through self publishing, I would really suggest trying something else. It’s just not going to happen.
Set realistic goals. In your first year with one or two titles, don’t expect to sell many more than one or perhaps two hundred copies. The average royalties earned by self published authors is less than $500 per year, so don’t even think about getting rich quick.
Market your book. Don’t sell it. Let’s face it, you don’t like getting ‘Check out my book‘ or ‘Buy my book‘ messages, so why would anyone else react differently to you? Guide your followers to you, your books and your blog and or website. Don’t just repeatedly post your Kindle page. It drives people away from you, not towards you.
Write better, and better. With each book you write, you improve. So if you truly want to be a writer who will be noticed, keep writing, improving and learning.
Okay, followers:  please contact Derek and join his blog.  Information of this value is presented constantly on his pages.  
Check him out here:  
Derek Haines

1 comment:

  1. Also, book tours are helpful :)
    For me, the most important is cover. One automatic disqualification is if it looks like cartoon. I don't even bother reading the blurb.

    Romantic Maidens Book Tours