Why Isn’t My Book Selling?

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I just googled my book. There are 16 websites selling my my book. I cannot understand why it’s not selling. Can you help?

Any website / bookstore with an Ingram account can pick up the Ingram feed to instantly add Ingram’s books to their website.

These websites are not promoting the Ingram books at all. They’re just adding the listings to their databases. If someone is not promoting a book, and directing readers to a specific online store to buy it, nobody is going to go looking for it. When a site has millions of products for sale, the chances that one person is going to stumble on your book and buy it are remote.

Some authors used to (and some still do) think that just listing a book on Amazon would mean their book would immediately start selling. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just having it listed on other websites also doesn’t mean sales will automatically happen.

An analogy I give authors is this. Picture a large bookstore with 5 million single-copy books (like single book pages on the Internet) lined up, end-to-end. A customer comes in to shop. They can’t see every book on each shelf. They can only see batches of books that they are searching for (search terms) at any one time. Even the search terms may turn up too many books for one person to review in the short time they have to shop there. A customer may even be looking for a book like yours but may use the wrong search terms. The chances of a customer finding your specific book among the millions available are very small. The only way to guarantee sales is to heavily promote a book and send customers to that store specifically to buy your book.

Remember, just because a book is there doesn’t mean anybody will find it. And, even if they do, it doesn’t mean they will buy it. Authors can’t depend on availability only to sell books. Selling books takes creativity and hard work. For marketing advice, please refer to my popular series on free online book marketing HERE.