A lot of budding authors have the idea that if you publish it, readers will buy your book in droves. I mean, you wrote it, so it must be gold, right? Wrong. I hate to break it to you, but you have a lot of competition in the world of publishing ebooks.
According to a Writer’s Digest article, there are roughly 235,000 ebook and print books published each year (this was the only number I could find during my research). So the publishing field is fierce and very cutthroat. Just publishing your book is not enough, you need to get it in front of the right audience who is willing to buy.
My Personal Self-Publishing Journey
I’m currently going through this with both my short story “I Took Grandma To The Strip Club” and my ebook “The Brad’s Reader Guide To Writing,” both being sold on Amazon. My sales numbers are anything but staggering. Luckily, I gave them away as freebies in the beginning, which helped get reviews (all positive!).
But as soon as I put a price tag on them, the number of downloads almost came to a screeching halt. Even charging a paltry $0.99 doesn’t do much for sales, despite what I previously thought.
Authors Need A Platform For Self-Promotion
I’m building a platform as we speak. It involves my personal website, this blog, Twitter and Facebook. Offline, I also use business cards. But it’s really a numbers game. Even if you have 100 followers on Twitter (for example), how many will buy your ebook when you Tweet a link to the Amazon product page? Not all of your followers will. In fact, probably a small percentage.
The same goes for Facebook followers. This means it’s a numbers game. The more followers you have, the better the chances you’ll make a few sales. At the same time, you can’t just promote yourself with every Tweet and Facebook post. That’s a guaranteed way to lose followers (and sales!).
You must offer value to your followers. Give them things they’re interested in. Promote other author’s books that you think they’ll find interesting. Link to interesting articles and other blog posts.
Stay Focused And Be Patient
I’ll admit that trying to sell ebooks can be very frustrating, especially with little to no name recognition. But I keep plugging away anyway, seeing every sale as a small victory. Don’t be embarrassed to tell people who you are and what you do. You never know how they can help you sell more ebooks.
This game takes persistence, focus and a lot of patient. I honestly think that sticking with it in the long run will pay off.