Life can be tough for authors when after spending weeks or months to write a book, spending money to edit, format and do cover design, publishing day came and gone and days after days, you keep checking your publishing dashboard to see how many books you have sold to see empty sales figures.
If this describes what you have gone through or going through now as an author, then in this post, I will show you why your books aren’t selling.
In the summer of 2012, I left my real estate job and for months, I keep trying to find what to do. I stumbled upon self-publishing and in two weeks, I wrote and published my first 3 books.
Weeks in and weeks out, I keep trying all the book marketing tactics and strategies I can get on the internet just to have readers buy my book but I got only a few sales every month for more than two years.
In 2014, I published my best and major book and I got different results from what I have always gotten before.
I got different results but that is because I did something different.
Why Your Book Isn’t Going To Sell
On Amazon alone, over a thousand new books are been published every single day and your own book is also part of them. On Createspace, Kobo, B&N, iBook Store, etc, tons of books are been published every day and your own book is among those books one time or the other after hitting the publishing button.
But only a few of these newly published books are going to sell well in the next few months after publishing.
In 2015, I took a break from writing books and I started working with self-published authors to write, prepare, publish and launch their books.
Today, after having spent more than three years working with over a thousand authors to either help them write their books, format their books, design their covers, publish their books or market it for them online, I do feel bad for most authors because from just glancing through most books, I could predict books that will never sell well after publishing.
Every day, I am working on one book or the other and most books written by authors are just adding to the list of self-published books on the internet.
Nobody gives or will give a damn about them.
Here is what I mean.
Apart from your spouse, friends and family members who love and care so much about you and what you do, nobody outside of that circle cares about what you do.
If you write a book that gives readers no reason to even care about what you write, how you write it, how you present your book to them in the first place, they aren’t gonna buy. Period!
The Not So Obvious Reasons Why Your Book isn’t Selling and Won’t Sell As You Want
In short, many authors out there are just writing a “me too” books and nobody gives a freaking damn about those kinds of books.
The books I have worked on that sells well from experience sells not because the authors are lucky or special but they sell because the book, how it’s been presented and offered as well as everything a potential reader will see or feel before they buy the book gives them enough reasons to not want to miss out on buying the book and reading it and this is why those kinds of book sell well.
You might have never heard this before but your books aren’t going to sell no matter how well you market it if you don’t give your readers any reason to buy your book.
Ok, let me explain a bit much better.
For over a year, I have been studying a lot about sales and why people buy what they buy and how to make people buy.
The problem is most authors who you might be one of them if you are reading this right now never see their books as products and never see themselves as a brand.
People don’t buy books, they buy solutions and that solutions defer from one genre to the other.
For most fiction books, readers are buying entertainment and stories that make them feel good about whatever things they like and for non-fiction books, readers are buying solutions to a problem or knowledge of something they want to learn.
If you see your book as a product that solves a particular problem, then you will be able to understand who your target readers will be and how you can position yourself and your book in a way that will show them so many reasons to buy your book.
All of these are what I call Book and Author Branding.
These words might be strange to you as few self-publishing gurus will tell you this as one major thing you need to get right before any marketing tactic or strategy cam work for selling your books.
Author Branding: What Makes You An Author That Readers Should Love?
Have you ever put serious thought into who you portray yourself to be as an author?
Some years back, I stumbled on a post by a guy called James Altucher and this was a time in my life when I was trying to figure out myself as a man and really understand myself around what I do, why I do it and other important aspects of my dating life.
James in his writing style spoke well to me and in a short period of time, I was a James Altucher addict and without him knowing who the heck I was even till now, I have recommended his website and books to friends who themselves have become his raving fans as well.
I have read all of his books – all are best selling books anyway and not only do I love the way he writes to the point that I adopted his style of using personal events, lessons and experience as a center point of my writings to teach and show what I know and have experienced instead of some random theories or thoughts I have.
James has done a great job of branding himself as the guy who teaches self-development, contrarian living and self-improvement with his life’s failures and wins in a humorous, practical, insightful and thought-provoking ways.
He owes that brand to himself and his books all have that in them – stories that teach well and show what he is trying to pass across.
He has created so many popular ideas from his writings and teaching like “idea sex”, “choose yourself” and the likes.
He is not just another author like many authors.
He has built himself into an author brand that people like me who love to get better in life, career and relationship love to read and buy his books.
He doesn’t even advertise to me to buy his book other than just reading his email with a link to his book and that is all I need to buy his book.
What type of author are you anyway?
Are you like 99% of all authors who just write books for the sake of writing one or you are one of that 1 % who knows they won’t be ok with just being an author but being an author brand that readers can associate themselves with all the time.
I have written more than five books for the last three years that I have published my last book and that is major because I hardly have time to write a book that I can be proud of writing and a book that will cause my target audience to buy without even thinking twice.
Instead, I have been practicing my writing style for those years, trying to get my own writing voice which I finally got a year ago when I became an active writer and expert on Quora.
And more than three years of working with different authors across the globe also has helped me to be able to understand why some authors are celebrated and why many are been ignored.
It’s really tough to brand yourself as a sellable author brand. It takes some expertise and skill and knowing what to do to get that done but once you get it right, you are in for a great ride in your authorship career.
James aside, Pia Silva, Dan Lok, and Gary Varyachuck are examples of author brands I follow for a reason – they are not “just another author”.
There are countless examples of well-established author brands out there who you can learn from depending on your own book genre.
This author brand sells their books, in turn, have helped them become an expert and some kind of “a go-to guy” in their niche.
Book Brand: What Makes Your Book A Book That Readers Can’t Afford To Buy and Read?
Now the rubber is meeting the road.
Most of my failure as an author when I started as a result of getting a lot of things wrong with the way my books are been presented to the world.
I was broke then and had no money and that made me be the editor, the cover designer, the website designer, the book description copywriter and the interior design (that was years before I became a book interior formatting expert).
My books were horrible and nobody cared or gave a damn about them.
My covers are done with Microsoft word, I was a non-English speaking writer who edits his own book that ended up having lots of errors.
Not only that, I wrote stuff that nobody will get value from and also, my book descriptions, book title, and sub-titles that should be my best opportunity to get a lot of book sales from readers sucks.
Today, I look back at those years and I laugh at myself when I remember how horrible my craft was and how those few readers who bought my books should receive a thank you note from me for managing to spend their money on my crappy books.
Take a five minutes break now to look at your book(s) and point to two or three standout points that position your book as the one your target readers should be.
One, two, three….five minutes.
If in just five minutes, you can see anything in your book cover, what you write, your book description, book title or subtitle and your book content that can convince someone to buy it even if it’s priced for $100, then you need a book branding makeup.
Putting It Together: A Formula That Makes Things Easy For You
A Standout Author Brand + A Saleable Book Brand + No Fluff Book Marketing = Tons Of Book Sales
Forget about the tactics or latest shinning book marketing strategy, your book must pass the two branding test well enough before any marketing tactic or strategy can make a difference or bring results.
I have spent a good amount of money on Facebook and Goodreads ads on my books and that of authors I have worked with and I only got meaningful results from the books that have most or all of these factors sorted.
Before talking about marketing budget or strategy, sort out your book and author branding and you will see how well your book will sell with great results from your well-targeted book marketing jobs.
Let’s paint a picture here.
In the US, the UK or any country in this world, Coca Cola, Apple, Microsoft, etc sell well because they know who they are, who they are targeting and what message those targets need to hear to buy.
Addicts of Apple products won’t mind leaving everything to queue for days to buy the latest iPhone and lovers of colored sugared water won’t stop buying Coca Cola anytime they feel thirsty – I myself inclusive.
I mentioned my love for some authors the other time.
Any book published by those authors is a sure buy for me anytime any day.
That is why these kinds of stuff work well for them. They have positioned themselves the way they want their books and themselves seen, known and remembered,
Get a clue from these authors and popular world brands and get an author and book branding makeover after which you will need little or result bearing marketing to sell your books.
If you read through to this last paragraph, kudos to you. It means you are serious about making changes to your book sales figure and if that is right, you need the right guidance to guide you through all these steps to get yourself and your book on the right path of visibility and profitability. Click here to find out out more about how I can be of help to get all these done here.