3 Reasons Authors Don’t Sell Books

Beat the Trend!

trendWriters pour themselves into their books, learn their craft, publish and then wait, hoping that the value of what they have done will be evident to everyone who needs to read their book. So most authors will just put their book “out there” with nothing but a wish and a prayer that people will buy it.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Our lives are so filled with information that it is harder for your reader to just randomly “find” your book than it is to find that proverbial needle in that blasted haystack.

Here are three reasons why authors don’t sell books and some tips on how to change that.

1. They Don’t Talk About Their Book
Authors (and creative people in general) have a hard time switching hats from “creator” to “promoter” when it comes to their work. They are afraid that if they tell people about their book, people will think they are being pushy…or that maybe they will come off sounding like a used car salesman. The truth is, this could happen–but it doesn’t have to. You can learn how to share about your book in a way that will make people feel respected and valued. There are ways to promote yourself without having to say, “Hey! Buy My Book!” every time you have a conversation.

Change this by doing research, taking webinars, and visiting my website for tips and tools to learn how to share about your work. Each week learn a new way to share with others what you do, and I’ll bet you will easily develop language that is comfortable for you. Keep this in mind: If you don’t start talking about your book, nobody else will either (simply because they won’t know about it).

2. They Don’t Network
Most writers are comfortable behind a computer screen and would be very happy if they could lead their lives without networking. It takes a little bit of courage to network, but networking is important to your success as an author. Its also easy.

Start by joining a writing group (but don’t end there because unless you write “how to write” books, writers are not your ideal reader). Joining a writing group will get you used to networking (which is really just meeting new people and finding ways to connect with and/or help them). Once you are comfortable in a writing group, join another kind of group; it doesn’t have to be an official networking group–just pick one that is filled with your ideal readers so you can connect with them. You can find many groups to join at Meetup.com.

3. They Don’t Have a Social Media Presence
Social media frightens some authors because they don’t want to get caught up in a time suck and they also don’t know how or why to use social media. As a result they ignore it and miss a huge opportunity to network online with hundreds or thousands of people who otherwise would not cross their path.

If you have (or will have) a published book, at the very minimum you need to have a blog and a Facebook page where you can connect with potential readers. You need to make sure that you provide valuable information that is entertaining, informative and perhaps educational. Don’t “sell” your book outright on these outlets unless you are announcing a launch. This content strategy does two things: 1) It keeps you from feeling like a used car salesman screaming, “Buy my book!”, and 2) It keeps your followers from feeling like they’ve connected with a used car salesman screaming, “Buy my book!”. Its a win for everyone.

Don’t be stuck with the 98% of authors who never sell more than 100 books! Take action today (and every day for that matter) and your dreams of being a published and popular author will begin to come true!

Your turn: What do you do to promote your book? Does it work?