Why Won’t You Buy My Book?
Please Let Me Change Your Mind!
I have spent a lot of my time reading, reviewing, and even promoting Indie authors. I enjoy doing it as it provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. It is also extremely beneficial to the author. When I find a work I like, promoting and spreading the word to as many readers as possible is my goal.
Considering this, I always feel a distinct sense of loss when an Indie author disappears from the scene. I cannot help but wonder where they went, or what could have happened. I fear too often the reason is a lack of book sales leading to disillusionment and their inevitable departure from the scene.
I truly think it does not have to be this way. Launching a book is a “long game” and takes loads of patience and perseverance. It also requires a whole boatload of strategic planning. This will ultimately be the key to success. If you are a big believer in the “If you write it they will come,” philosophy…you are in for a serious disappointment!
The question then becomes:
What actually sells your books? What are the key factors?
While there are a whole host of answers to this question, the strategies listed below are critical to generating the success you are seeking!
If you are a writer of articles and stories, you are more than well aware that the headline draws a reader in. It captures their interest and attracts them to your work. Like flies to honey ( or so we hope!). The same is true for books. The title will give a very powerful first impression. It will make the potential reader curious and left wanting more. The importance of a powerful title that is able to evoke emotions cannot be underestimated!
Let’s be honest here. If you have the best story in the world- but it sits behind an amateurish and goofy book cover- nobody is going to pick your book. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is a fact! There is no doubt about it… people DO judge a book by its cover. Human beings are visual by nature. We become easily attracted to vivid and pleasing images. The first step to selling your book is to get it noticed. An attractive book cover with a stunning image will do just that. Once your striking cover has hooked the reader, it is time to start reeling them in. Gently, however. We don’t want to scare them away. Let’s start by guiding them to the next critical factor. Namely… the book description!
When you go to the library, bookstore, or online shops to purchase your next reading selection, what do you do after the stunning book cover reels you in? Well, the vast majority of us instantly go to the book description (more commonly known as the book blurb). This is where we will find out if this is actually something that truly interests us and we want to read.
The biggest mistake that authors make when writing their book blurb is turning it into a summary of their work. That is not what a book blurb is! ( my personal advice is that authors should not write their own book blurbs. Let an outsider with a unique perspective and skills attack it instead!) Instead, the description is like a sales pitch for the novel. It is full of vivid words and enticing ideas. You are trying to give potential readers a taste of what is to come in the most exciting and provocative way that you can. The reader needs to finish the blurb and be intrigued about what lies within the pages. Once that is done… it is time to land that fish!
No matter how appealing your book may look… nothing will disguise poor writing. Poorly written stories with lousy editing will lose you any chance of having repeat readers. They may buy your book the first time… but they will never come back for seconds. That is huge!!! Repeat readers are your bread and butter. You have to ensure that what you put out there is absolutely the best of what you have to offer. This is not the time to cut costs. Landing a solid proofreader, editor, and Beta Reader is essential! They will be your best friends. Use them!
So you have now sold some books and you feel pretty good about that. You should! That is a major accomplishment and something that you should definitely be proud of.
Don’t stop there, however. The next phase of your work is set to begin. Sorry… as I know this is not an area that many authors are too fond of! Be that as it may, one huge factor which will contribute to the success and potential sales of your work is the elusive book review!
Don’t ever underestimate the power of book reviews. They are an amazing source of social proof. Readers deliberately search for them. They want to know what others think, and if the purchase is a good idea or not. Also, they elevate books in the search rankings on various sites such as Amazon. That is a proven fact. More book reviews equates to more visibility. A book review written by a popular reviewer is worth its weight in gold. It will drive sales your way!
Keywords and Categories
Whatever you do… do not overlook the importance of keywords and categories. Other than book reviews and promotion, it is one of the most important ways that readers will discover your masterpiece. Selecting the right keywords and categories will help readers find you and your book. You just cannot sell a book that people cannot find! Think of it this way if you like. When you walk into a physical bookstore and are looking for a great horror read… are you going to browse the children’s section? Of course not! Selecting proper keywords and categories WILL increase sales.
Build A Platform
Do you want to sell your book? If so, you have to become known. Readers need to know that you exist. Once they do, they will deliberately search you out. That means more exposure…and a sharp increase in book sales!
Sounds simple- but how is this actually done?
Marketing, promotion, and a strong online presence are key. You need to have such things as an author’s website, and also be active on social media. That is where people hang out. You cannot ignore or escape that fact! Pick a few platforms and utilize them to your best advantage. Whatever you do, don’t spread yourself too thin by signing up for every social media platform that exists. That will get you nowhere and you will spend more time on social media than you do actually writing! I choose to work with Twitter, Pinterest and sometimes Facebook. This serves me very well.
Once you have established your audience…engage with them. Don’t just blast out “buy my book” ads. That is just a turn-off and gets old very quickly!
There is nothing easy about being an Indie author. It is a tough gig that requires you to juggle many different things all at the same time. Unfortunately, the romantic notion of just writing and sitting back to watch the readers file in is not a reality. However, a good strategic plan which enlists those who can help you in the quest will absolutely increase your chance of success. It can be a tad expensive at first…but when you start gaining traction it is the best feeling in the world and the red becomes black very soon. If you choose to go it alone, that is cool too. Just know however that there are only so many hours in the day. At the very minimum, a second person there to help you in your quest is so important. That is just the reality.
About the Author:
I am an educator and writer. I have spent the last 30 years as an English teacher and School Principal. I also have over 28 years of experience as a blogger, editor, and freelance writer. I offer my services to various publications.
I am extremely passionate about writing, and the same can absolutely be said about reading! There is nothing I like to do more than sit by the fire and read a great book. In fact, I have read so many books in my lifetime that I lost count a long time ago. That brings me to this point. I would like to help readers and authors find one another. In particular, I strive to help Indie Authors reach a larger audience by providing honest and comprehensive reviews of their work. So many great writers and authors are just not having their voices heard. My Grandfather was an amazing writer who wrote 5 amazing books. They were never published as it was such a difficult market to break into. I want to help people like him.
My interests, in a nutshell, are animals, kindness, writing, and reading. I wish to live on a kinder planet in which all are treated with the respect and love they deserve. This includes animals and nature.