It’s so easy to spend so much time focused on the practicalities of self-publishing – what it involves and how to do it, for instance – that we can end up overlooking that rather obvious fact: most books aren’t bestsellers.
This, obviously, is something I’m sure most of us would prefer not to think about when we’re spending long nights poring over e-book formatting and trying to decide on the best pricing options for our books. We like to think that it will all end well.
Maybe it will. But, on the other hand, maybe it won’t. While it might in some ways be easier not to think about it, it is something that plenty of self-published authors will have to think about at some point.
If your book didn’t sell as well as you had hoped – now what?
- Read your reviews, as they can sometimes offer an insight into at least some of the reasons your book hasn’t done too well. If many of them mention typos or gaping plot holes, for instance, you’ll know that part of the problem is down to the book itself. If your reviews are generally good but sales are poor, the issues are likely to lie elsewhere.
- Review your marketing. Successful marketing isn’t just down to how much time you put into it – it’s about how well you targeted it and how much impact it had. Endlessly telling your Twitter followers to buy your book, for instance, is unlikely to work as well as engaging them with interesting content and working to make them interested in both you and your book. Not doing any marketing at all isn’t likely to help matters, either.
- Remember that a lot of it is down to luck. You could do absolutely everything right – write a great book, self-publish it properly, market it well, spend lots of time and effort on it – and still not sell very many copies. Sometimes, there isn’t a logical explanation as to why one book does well while another one isn’t even noticed by readers. It’s just the way it is, and the best thing to do about it is to write another great book – because this one could be the one.
What do you think?