Publishing

What Hurts Your Book’s Chances of Sales

You don’t know or you don’t care; it’s published and now you’ve got time to do everything else.

This isn’t about the people who have just started in the publishing world and don’t have a book out yet, but rather the self-publishers who have been around for a while, and spend time complaining that nothing they do seems to make money or increase their earnings from their books.

 

They claim it’s the social networks’ fault, or the fact people don’t come and read their blogs. Or that they are not given enough love from Amazon.  Or people aren’t buying it.  Or the editor didn’t do their job.  Yes, the excuses, and never learning crowd.  It is never their own fault, and at some point they have to admit mistakes were made- by them.  This is the main reason for poor book sales, the fact a writer does not want to “fix” something.

 

Fixing: by far the hardest fix for anyone who has been online for a while is discovering the need for a change to one’s websites or blogs. You have to let go of what you think is right to make your potential readers happy.  It’s not about you, and even I make mistakes. Letting go is one of the hardest things a writer must do, because of the emotional investment in one’s book/blog/website/whatever.

 

This is a long term relationship with your readers, and your book needs to look its best. And not just your book, but everything else in your writing life. Don’t be fooled into thinking your writing is great when it isn’t.  If you are, then it’s bad. If you don’t fix a problem before you publish, you will hurt your book in the long term.

* Go back and re-edit your websites and other information, or delete it from other online sites, and adjust as needed. 

 

This can include: where you place your AdSense ads; and how you promote your blog- if you have a good blog it doesn’t matter where you base your platform.  It can mean expanding older blog posts and making them more relevant to your current readership.  Finally, it can mean going back with a second set of eyes and having them look it over for spelling and grammar mistakes you’ve made.

 

This will avoid hurting your book’s chances of meaningful sales.   This is a game of logic, where the more you fix, the more likely you will increase the potential sales of your book.  The more you care about making it that little bit better the more chances you’ll have.  YOU, yes, Y-O-U have to give a crap.

 

* Ask people to be honest with you about your writing.  Not the kind of nice honest but the soul crushing evil, mean and brutal honest you need.  Fix up your book based on the honest suggestions made to you. Sometimes, it is a matter of asking people to say “a” looks good, but “b” does not, and finding out why.  Fix it again- you have only one chance to impress people, but ask again if what you corrected is better.

 

This is true with a blog, and it’s true when it comes to writing a book.  The more you understand what people want, the better your chances of fixing a problem before it becomes too big for you.  Let go of what you think was right, and focus on what others want and there will be a better chance your sales will increase.

 

My own book, In Search of The Lost Ones had its own growing pains but it helped to have several people read it before I published. And I was Living the Life of Hurting as the case was.  Truth of it was, I didn’t really care, I just wanted to have something done, so based on that:

 

* Care about your writing again. As in really give a crap about your writing.  No, this is not about making money blogging or with your book. Rather it is getting your passion back for your business- your writing business. The problem can be your business model or cyclical slump, and you must figure out which one it is.

 

*Care enough to find out and fix it, even if it means revamping everything you have published on before now. Yes, we all hate it, but just go and do it.

 

*Care enough to figure out what is working, and fix what isn’t, you can have a good reputation if you take the time to sacrifice your own ego to make a better book.  Once this happens, you are on the right track in growing your books’ sales.

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