Book Sales Down? Don’t Give Up!

I used to think I had seasonal book selling fluctuations all figured out. November and December were always pretty busy because of the holidays. Things would drop off in January and February. Revenues would pick up in the Spring, but drop off in July and August when people were on vacation. They’d pick back up again in September because school would be back in session and people would be getting back to business, and so on.

Major news items like 9-11, the start of the Iraq war, and even the recent hurricanes affected us, but in a very minor way and for only a day or so.

But, this summer, all my theories were proven wrong. August, previously and consistently one of the slowest months of the year, was our biggest month in the history of the company. And, September is looking like it just might surpass August. I’m dumbfounded and I can’t explain it. Perhaps people are more confident in the economy than they have been in the past few years. Maybe people have more money to spend right now. I don’t know and I probably never will.

A common assumption some authors have is that, when sales of their book drop, interest in their book has stopped. Too often, I see authors aggressively market their book and then stop at the first sign of lower sales. This is a huge mistake. There are fluctuations in every industry and they’re often caused by seasonal factors and the economy, not necessarily on one product’s current popularity, or lack thereof. If you notice a drop in sales of your book, don’t stop marketing your book to the masses! If you continue to market your book, you’ll notice an increase in sales, and another decrease later on, and another increase after that. These fluctuations are common in all industries. And, while it’s hard to determine exactly why 100 people will buy a book one month and only 5 the next month, followed by 80 sales, 140 and then 10, there are reasons…and sometimes it’s impossible to find those reasons.

What I do know is that if your marketing efforts are constant, your sales will go up and down, but they won’t go all the way down. Never let a dip in sales tempt you to give up on your book!