book marketing, Featured

The Anatomy of Books that Don’t Sell (Plus Tips on How to Make Them Better)

Sway to the music and sing to the tune, “Celebrate good times, come on. Let’s celebrate!” If you’re a self-publishing author, then let’s have a toast because the industry is flourishing at last.

According to the latest report from Author Earnings, “Self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but — and here is the surprise — they are also taking “significant market share in all genres.” But if this is the case, why do a number of indie authors still have difficulty in selling their books in the competitive market? Perhaps, they are making these following mistakes.

The book tackled an obscure topic.

As a writer, you must think about the people who might buy your book. Hence, it would be better if you can reach a wider audience to increase the possibility of sales. Wrong. Don’t try to appeal to all the readers. This will only make the subject of your book vague and broad. And it might possibly become confusing to anyone reading it. Therefore, when you’re writing a book, it is better if you can narrow your target market to a specific niche. This way, you can focus on the story according to a distinct audience. Like, you can use appropriate terms or situations that your readers can easily relate and understand.

The overall quality is just BAD.

Let’s face it, not everyone can write a magnificent first draft. There will be typos and the layouting just doesn’t work. But since you’re on a tight schedule (and budget), you don’t have the luxury to edit it prior to printing. Oops, wrong again.
Have you ever heard of big publishing companies rushing their processes? Nope, don’t think so. Therefore, you have to think like them if you want to sell your work. Don’t try to take a shortcut so as not to sacrifice the book quality. Take the time to eliminate errors in facts and data as well as typos and grammar issues. And as much as possible, think of a layout that will work best with your story and book format.

The cover is just plain ugly, sorry.

In the real world, “Don’t judge the book by its cover” is just a cliché. But it’s the other way around in self-publishing. More often than not, people are drawn to books that stand out because of their covers. Remember that a clean and professional front cover would always win the day.
So, if you want to attract the attention of your readers and entice them to buy your book, then throw in a sales pitch through your covers. If you don’t know what to do, then perhaps hiring a professional designer will help. Trust me, the time and resources you will invest will always be worth it.

There’s too little effort in marketing.

What’s the use of writing the most amazing book if no one knows about it? Hence, you have to exert your best effort in marketing it. You need to put yourself out there in any way possible. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to promote and sell your book. You can try spreading the word in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. In addition to that, you can look for online forums and communities where your target audience usually hangs out and get connected with them. Moreover, if you still need more marketing ideas for your campaign, you can always read relevant resources online.

The price is not competitive.

How low can you go? This should you be your main concern when it comes to setting the retail price. Remember that you’re competing with other books in the market. Therefore, you need to have a competitive advantage against everyone. So, try to study your competitors and look into their price range. It would be better if you can offer a much lower price. But if you can’t afford to do so, then at least offer your book in the same price range. True, people are willing to buy whatever the cost if they really want to read the book. But if you’re a new author, then your best bet is to offer it at a competitive price.

The motto, “If you build it, they will come”, is not always applicable in the real world, especially in self-publishing. There is just no guarantee that you can sell your books the moment you put them up for sale. But there is always a way to increase the probability of success in selling them.

Now, are you ready to sell some books?

Written by: Jill Bennett

Jill Bennett is a Book Marketing Specialist at LitFire Publishing, a self-publishing company in Atlanta, GA. Read More

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