In this episode we are going to talk about what to do when your book is not selling.
Question from Gerhard:
I write Christian nonfiction “self” help, and I’ve just completed a novel.
- I’ve subscribed to a fancy author WordPress theme and worked for more than three months full time to make it pretty.
- I write GoodReads reviews,
- I’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest pages all pretty and set up.
- I’ve even prettied up my Amazon book descriptions.
- I’ve got reader funnels set up to grow my email lists. I really want to serve — my chronic pain book is free forever.
But nothing. Bopkis. The needle is not moving. Not one visitor. I’ve sold one measly book per month for years and years now and I’m sick of it. What can I do except hold up passersby at gunpoint and force them to visit my site?
How pretty things are has more or less no impact on sales.
There are only two reasons books don’t sell
- A broken marketing funnel (We have a Book Marketing 101 episode on marketing funnels. Episode 118)
- Poor book/reader fit.
Potential #1: Poor Book/Reader Fit
- In the business world, this is called product/market fit.
- Wrong Cover: Good covers convince readers to buy and read the book. Designing a book cover is more like designing a cereal box than it is like painting a masterpiece. It doesn’t matter if you like you cover, your readers need to like your cover.
- Wrong Back Cover Copy.
- Don’t Know Target Readers
- Find out where you target readers hang out online and spend time with them there.
- Interact with your target readers in real life.
- Wrong Target Readers:
- Find an audience that is a better fit for your book,
- Adapt your writing to better thrill your target audience.
- Fails to Deliver on the Book’s Promise
- Change the promise to better fit the book
- Rewrite the book to better deliver on its promise.
- Write a better book
Potential #2: Broken Funnel
Readers buy from authors they know, like, and trust.
The sales funnel for books has three steps.
- Attract – This is getting the attention of strangers. It is the art of getting people to know who you are.
- Engage – This is getting people who know who you are to like you.
- Convert – This is getting people who like you to trust you with their money.
All three steps of the funnel need to be working in order to sell books.
So far, for Gerhard, almost all his work has been done in the middle of the funnel with engaging readers. This only works if people already know who you are. It doesn’t matter how good the second two steps of the funnel are if the 1st step is broken.
So what to do?
- Come to the webinar with Chris Fox and Thomas Umstattd on Tuesday night (June 25th) about Ads for Authors Who Hate Math.
- Start doing your own PR and get on podcasts, radio, and TV. Listen to episode 175 for more on how to do this.
- Start Public Speaking
- Spark a Controversy on your blog
This plan was crafted by Thomas & Jim to be step by step guide through the first five years of your writing career. Learn each quarter what to do to succeed and avoid the mistakes that hijack the success of most authors. Learn more at NovelMarketing.com/courses.
Soul Inspirationz by Eloise Whyte
You’ll gain a deeper relationship with Jesus as you trust him to be your confidant, healer, and life-giving friend.
Thomas has a big announcement! Baby #2 is on the way!