Before You Write Your First (or Next) Book… Read This

Why Am I Not Selling Books?

Years ago, I had dinner with a therapist from New York. No, I wasn't seeing him as my therapist. We happened to have a couple of things in common.

  1. We belonged to the same mastermind group.
  2. We both loved writing, especially books.

The therapist was incredibly proud of his first (and only) book. The book focused on behaviors that don't serve us. He showed me a copy, immediately asking what I thought.

I was relieved that I could honestly say, “Looks great!”

“How are sales?” was the obvious question I would ask. As someone who has been marketing books for years, I'm always intrigued how a first-time author does with marketing and sales.

Embarrassed, he told me he didn't know how to market and never took the time to learn. As a result, he hadn't sold more than a  handful of books.

Sadly, this happens to a great majority of authors… crickets when it comes to sales. Fact is, most authors sell under $100 worth of books a year.

Beware of Assumptions

He went on to tell me how he had invested a great deal in getting the book published, but never realized he needed to market the book. He, like many naive authors, was under the mistaken belief that if his book was published it would sell.

He had invested tens of thousands of dollars to get the book published with little to show for his investment.

“I really thought the publisher would market it for me.  At least that's what they told me when they sold me the publishing package. It turns out their idea of marketing was sending out a press release and sending one email to a select group on their subscriber list,” he said with great disappointment in his voice.

This is an all too common scenario.

What Does Marketing Really Mean? (ask)

Another common mistake is that an author contracts a mid-tier publisher believing  the publisher will do all the marketing. A “mid-tier” publisher is one that will take care of everything to get the book published, but you pay all the expenses. You don't get an advance. You don't get royalties. This is not a traditional publisher in the way that most people would think of a traditional publisher.

The eager author is led to believe their book was “selected” because of the quality of their writing. Granted, there are some very reputable mid-tier publishing companies that turn down a high percentage of books submitted to them. On the flip side, there are those who could care less about the quality of the book and will gladly take the money of any eager author who wants to pay them.

The author is so excited to get their book published, they likely never ask what “we do some marketing for you” means.

The Ugly (and Expensive) Truth

Almost every author learns the truth about marketing their book the hard way; by not selling books. The fact is, you as an author have to take full responsibility for marketing your books regardless of how it gets published.

As a side note, whatever agreements are made with a publisher, get it in writing. When they say, “We do some marketing for you,” what specifically does that mean?

Three Common Ways To Do This

Back to taking full responsibility for the successful marketing of your book.

Option one… you do all the marketing yourself. For many authors this is NOT the best choice due to not knowing how to market and the amount of time it takes to learn. If you have more time than money, this could be a great choice.

A second option is for you to hire a book marketing company that does everything from A to Z to gain traction for you and your book. This can be very, very expensive. Few authors have unlimited funds to pay someone to do their all their marketing.

A third option is a combination of both you doing some of the work and hiring a company to guide you through it.

I love the third option for my clients. It allows the author to learn a lot about marketing while not being left to figure it out for themselves.

Currently, I'm working with a few authors whose books have either been published or soon will be. In every case, I'm helping them map out what needs to be done, teaching them a lot of how to do it, helping them to build a support team to keep them on track and making sure lines of communication are kept open every step of the way.

Although I have a very diverse marketing background, I learned a great deal about book marketing with The Law of Achievement. It was then that I realized how important it was to go beyond simply writing and publishing books. It was also then that I discovered the fact that most authors know zilch about marketing.

For many, it is some mysterious activity only those initiated into the “secret club” of marketers knows how to do.

You CAN Learn to Market

The fact is, virtually any author can learn how to market their book(s). And… they can do so without spending a fortune on their education or the marketing.

The main thing to keep in mind is this; you need to start your marketing before your book is published. The sooner you can lay a solid marketing foundation, the better.

One aspect of marketing is building a list of potential book buyers. This takes time, effort and strategy. You also have to gain visibility before, during and after your book is published. Again, this takes time, effort and strategy.

Here are four things you can do that will start the process of building a list and gaining visibility.

1.  Gain visibility in forums where your potential readers congregate. Get involved, share in discussions, network and build trust. If you are authentic about your involvement many people are likely to support your efforts of getting your book into the hands of many readers. If you are simply in a forum to sell, this becomes apparent very quickly and rather than people supporting your efforts they tend to get irritated.

2.  Blog on a regular basis. Gain a readership for your blog by providing high quality content. Again, as with forums, when you are authentic you tend to gain the trust of the readers.

3.  Host teleseminars on topics that are in line with the genre of your book. You can offer complimentary teleseminars that participants must register for. This allows you to build an opt-in subscriber list of potential buyers.

4.  Host a paid teleseminar where the price of admission is a book. You would need to set up a landing page where buyers would send in their receipt number as proof of purchase.

Get Your Book to #1

The dream of many authors is to hit #1 on the biggest online book seller. Yet, the reality is, it won't happen for the majority of authors. Unless, they understand how.

One of my goals in working with authors is to arm them with as much information as possibly. Information that gets them a solid result, fast.

Want to learn the most important aspects of getting to #1? Access my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon at www.oneonamazon.com

Hit #1 on Amazon shows you exactly how to rise to the top of the charts in record time

  • Understand the three phases of a book launch and why knowing this has a huge impact on your Amazon position. Most authors focus solely on writing their book without considering what to do before, during and after it is published. In Hit #1 on Amazon you’ll learn exactly where to focus your attention to get the greatest results for your efforts. 
  • Learn the three most important things you MUST DO with an Amazon book listing to get the greatest results when someone searches out your expertise or genre. Most authors never focus on this and that’s why most authors never hit #1 on Amazon. 
  • Find out how to get a boatload of interviews to promote you, your book and your products and services (this one insight will be a game-changer for 99% of authors). 
  • Discover 20 ways to promote your book with one blog post. That’s right… ONE blog post you can promote 20 different ways to gain massive visibility for your book. Visibility that equates into book sales and higher rankings on Amazon. 

Get immediate download at www.oneonamazon.com 

Once you read the report, you'll know more than most authors will every learn.

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Comments

  1. Excellent advice. Anyone with doubt only has to watch a Patterson ad on TV to affirm you are correct regarding the need to promote your own. ……….. However, I’d like to add one thing. Before an author starts on a full blown promo program, a “world is round” evaluation is required. I judge novels for a couple of orgs and some of the stuff I see is ………. charitably speaking, lousy. I remember reading a NYT article in the 80’s lamenting the fact that the publishing gate-keepers had become lax. Effectively there aren’t many gate keepers left with the advent of self publishing (Something I heartily embrace IF the people engaged are responsible) I would like you or someone to offer an affordable EVALUATION SERVICE to the masses of authors who try and fail so they can try and succeed. Simply stated, you need a quality product before you can sell it.

    • Kathleen Gage says:

      Excellent insights and I completely agree about the need for evaluation of one’s work. The upside for authors is that it’s easy to get a book to market. The downside for readers can be poor quality books.