I’ve written about this before and, unfortunately, I must do so again because it keeps coming up. Another author contacted me for advice this week, saying she finds it “unbelievable” that her book isn’t selling despite the fact that it’s on Amazon.
I asked her what she’s done to promote her book and she responded, “I sent out some emails to family and some of my friends and colleagues when it was released. I also posted a note to my Facebook account. I figure since it’s on Amazon, people MUST be buying it. I don’t believe the sales figures I’m seeing. It’s unbelievable that only five people have bought my book.”
Actually, five copies with essentially zero promotion is astounding!
As you know by now, that was her mistake – assuming that just putting a book on Amazon would result in a windfall of sales. Nope. Doesn’t work that way, folks.
If you are not actively and aggressively marketing your book on a daily basis, or almost daily, it won’t sell. Period. There is simply too much competition. Amazon has millions of different books for sale on its site. In the old days, you could put a book on Amazon and it might sell a couple or a few copies with little or no promotion because there wasn’t so much competition. Unfortunately, those days ended over a decade ago.
If a book isn’t selling, it’s from insufficient or poor-quality promotion, or because of the book itself, not because of Amazon or any other retailer. Emailing your family and friends doesn’t work. Posting a few notes on your social media accounts the first week your book goes up for sale, or sporadically for a few weeks after that, doesn’t work. You must have a firm, consistent, ongoing marketing plan.
And, don’t forget that the “sales” numbers Amazon provides to authors through Amazon’s Author Central are essentially bogus. They don’t even come from Amazon. See:
Is Amazon REALLY Giving Authors Accurate Sales Numbers?? Read This!
If you want to sell more books, check out 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online.
If you don’t want to sell books, dump it on Amazon and forget it. Because, if you do, it won’t sell. That’s pretty much guaranteed. Unfortunately, too many authors are too interested in writing “the next book,” and are then gobsmacked when their first book, which they’ve abandoned, doesn’t sell.
- Well-known Book Publicity Firm Refuses to Provide Book Sales Numbers!
- Ebook Sales Continue Their Downward Spiral – Is Anyone Really Surprised?
- AUTHOR ALERT! How Amazon Can Instantly (Poof!) Make Your Book Sales DISAPPEAR!
- SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP! How to Handle Bad Book Reviews (Hint: Do NOT Ask Amazon to remove them!)
- WSJ Claims Amazon’s “Publishing Business” is NEW…But It’s Over a Decade Old and They Are STILL Having Problems!
- IS AMAZON REJECTING BOOK REVIEWS FROM YOUR READERS? We Found a Work-Around! by Angela Hoy
- AUTHOR ALERT! HIGHER BOOK PRICES ON AMAZON and NO PRIME SHIPPING! Has Amazon Given Your Book’s “Buy Button” to a Third-party Seller?
- Complaints About Amazon’s CreateSpace (now named KDP Print) – Part V
- My Amazon Ranking Shot Up For One Day! So, Why Didn’t I Get Paid For That Sale? By Angela Hoy
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!
TRAVEL WRITING 2.0: Earning Money from your Travels in the New Media Landscape - SECOND EDITION
Completely revised edition of the ground-breaking travel writing book that provides a road map to success in the digital age. It dives headlong into the entrepreneurial world of blogging and digital books, while still acknowledging the real money to be made in declining print forms.
Drawing on interviews and survey responses from more than 100 successful travel writers and bloggers, this is the definitive guide to creating success instead of waiting for permission. Written by a veteran, award-winning writer with two decades of experience as a book author, online publisher, freelancer, and blogger.
Read more here:
The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing
Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.
The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.
Read more here:
90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online is an excellent guide to self-promotion. I find FB and Goodreads to be good venues for promoting my book. I am in over 40 book/author groups on FB, and I post a review or blurb or interview on these sites, as well as my FB author page and my FB personal page, once or twice a month. These posts are also added to my Goodreads page, my personal website, and my Twitter account. I’m not religeous, but I do like the saying: “God helps those who help themselves.”