It's difficult to respond when independent authors approach me and ask if they should give up as they do not know how to make a book sale. It's like diagnosing a patient you have never met without knowing anything about the book's history or the author's background.
Before you concede, here are some things you may try. They may even assist in reviving stagnating sales.
1. Are you taking enough action?
To begin, let us address the obvious—are you doing enough? And by sufficient, I mean are you putting forth the effort? I fully understand that everyone's definition of "working it" is unique, so allow me to elaborate on what I mean.
How intricate is your marketing jigsaw puzzle? If you are not already thinking of your book marketing efforts in terms of a pie with one piece for this and another for that, you should. And it's acceptable if half of the pie is made up of speaking engagements if that is what is you do. In other instances, the pie chart may indicate that half of it is devoted to social networking or review pitching, etc.
A solid campaign incorporates several initiatives that contribute to the overall cohesiveness of your book promotion. They don't have to be revolutionary or expensive, but they should be things that work for your market (if you are unsure whether they do, keep on reading, I'll explain in a moment.
What are your other activities?
Occasionally, authors hire professionals and then do nothing else- they sit around and wait for sales to flood in. That is never (ever) effective. A marketing/public relations agency is only one component of the puzzle. They are not the entirety of the pie, like any marketing or public relations agency worth their salt will tell you.
Are you taking the correct actions?
If you are putting a lot of exertion into book marketing, but nothing appears to be working, take a step back and evaluate your strategy. Have you ever spent a few hours creating a marketing profile? This means delving into what inspires people to purchase, whether they discover new books or how they purchase.
Not sure how to proceed? You might begin by researching other successful authors in your niche. And I’m not referring to brands. Therefore, avoid well-known names such as Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson, and others, as these individuals have a sizable following. I want you to consider authors who are doing well, not necessarily as household names. Observe their behavior consistently. So where are they on social media, do they blog, and if so, how frequently and on what? This will assist you in refining your book promotion strategy.
Success leaves suggestions.
By researching other authors in your market, you will solidify where to focus your efforts. And after you have accomplished this, you have my permission to abandon anything that isn’t working for you—this includes terminating social media that you don’t need to keep. You do not have to be everywhere when it comes to social media. You only need to be where it counts.
2. Book Reviews
Book reviews are a good indicator of a book’s struggle. Perhaps there is a handful of them, and the book takes a year or more to complete. Ten or fewer reviews for a book that has been out for a year is never a good indicator. Additionally, if the majority of the evaluations are bad, there is certainly a cause for this.
For instance, perhaps your book’s cover, title, or book description all communicate one message to the reader, while the book itself addresses completely other issues.
One of the most effective methods to keep a book alive is to maintain it receiving book reviews. I have noticed this even with older books (books published a year or years ago) that are constantly receiving new reviews. It revitalizes your book’s page and communicates that it is still viable to potential readers.
On the other hand, because book reviews are a factor in your Amazon algorithm, consistently adding to your reviews helps enhance your book’s exposure on that site.
3. Number of Years Is Significant
Is your book still pertinent today? Are you sure?
If your book is fiction, the answer is almost certainly yes; but if it is nonfiction, you may want to reconsider its viability. As your book stands on the market, the industry it serves changes, and if you choose nonfiction, it is important to tread it carefully as there are many readers under the said genre.
You may republish new editions of the book on your Amazon page. I do this with my book Joe’s Alamo Unsung.
However, if your book has aged and you still have difficulty marketing it. I can nearly promise that this will not become simpler as the book ages, so consider revising and republishing it. Additionally, if you re-release it, you will consider it a new book, which may require a re-pitch to bloggers, the media, or anyone you targeted the first time.
4. Book Title
This is a significant issue for a large number of people. Because you are going to be stuck with that title for the duration of your book’s life, you want to make sure it is the finest possible. The issue is that most authors do not conduct sufficient research prior to creating a book title.
They invent something or borrow a slogan from the industry and call it good, correct? Wrong. Your book title is critical and must be benefit-driven. Consumers make emotional purchases. They are either attempting to learn some historical facts, lose weight, improve their health, enjoy themselves, or find love—whatever their motivation, your book’s title should represent that. If it isn’t, or if you are unsure, consult with objective individuals or professionals.
5. Summary of the Book
What does your book’s description say? Have you had it read by someone with some degree of objectivity? Book descriptions, particularly those in Amazon, may make all the difference in promoting your book and truly help it shine.
Book descriptions should encourage people, not repel them. Further, when was the last moment you updated the description of your book? This is especially beneficial if you have just revised the book’s content, won an award or received some fantastic new book blurbs!
6. Book Pricing
This is something I frequently encounter: publications that are not priced appropriately for the business. It should be priced for sale, not recoup all of your investment.
Bear in mind that failure is not an emotion; it is a reality. Therefore, before you throw in the towel, ensure that you have all of your facts straight.