Help! My Self-Published Book Isn’t Selling!

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After the many late nights writing and revising, the hours spent proofreading and formatting, and the pressure of choosing the best cover design—your self-published book is now available for sale! You anxiously wait for the sales to start pouring in…or trickling in…maybe a few drops…but nothing. If you’re not selling as many copies of your book as you’d like, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy. To improve your sales numbers, ask yourself the following questions when determining the best ways to promote your book:

Boosting Your Self-Published Book Sales: 7 Questions To Consider

1. How strong is your online presence? To reach the widest audience possible, you’re going to need to diversify your social media accounts. Facebook and Twitter are great starting points, but don’t forget Tumblr, Pinterest, and even Goodreads. Once you have several social media pages and an author website set up, it’s time to turn those visitors into fans! Try posting writing prompts, quotes, and articles that might interest your readers. And make sure to direct readers to your author website, where they can learn more about you and your book—and you can encourage visitors to sign up for your mailing list!

2. Does your book have reviews? There are paid services that will review your book for a fee, but if you’re looking for a more affordable strategy, try reaching out to book bloggers. Many bloggers are willing to review a book in exchange for a complimentary copy; just be sure to check out their website first to make sure it looks credible! Getting reviews for your self-published book will give readers honest insight into the book’s content, and help to generate buzz.

3. Can you schedule local readings, signings, or other events? If any local coffee shops or bookstores host open mic nights, find out if you can set up a table to sell your book and sign copies. You can also look into local events like farmers markets, craft fairs, or other festivals, and sign up for a booth to sell and promote your work. If people start talking about your book around town, newspapers and local magazines may even reach out to you for an interview!

4. Have you offered any giveaways or promotions? While it may seem counterproductive to give away free copies of your work to try to generate sales, it’s a great way to get readers interested and excited about your book! Remember that mailing list? You can use it as a tool to announce promotions and giveaways, and even offer free digital goodies like exclusive character backstories to people who sign up.

5. Is your book priced right? Readers won’t buy a book if it’s incorrectly priced. Take a look at other books in your genre with similar word counts to help determine the right price for your book. You want to be close to the average price. And remember that e-books are priced differently than print books!

6. Have you written any guest blog articles? By writing an article and having it featured on someone else’s blog, you can promote yourself and your book to a new, untapped audience. Try getting in touch with some of your favorite blogs and ask if they would be willing to let you write a guest post. Make sure you are familiar with the blog’s content so that your article appeals to their readership. If you’ve networked with the blog on social media, that’s even better—they’re more likely to work with you if they recognize your name!

7. Does your book fit into a niche genre? Do some research and see if your book falls into a genre subcategory. Self-publishing in a niche genre cuts down on the number of books you’re up against—so there will be fewer titles competing for your readers’ hard-earned cash.

Your book isn’t going to sell itself—it’s up to you to make sales happen. But having the right answers to the questions listed above is a great way to help boost your book sales.

QUESTION: What have you found to be the best way to improve the sales of your self-published book?

2 Responses to Help! My Self-Published Book Isn’t Selling!

  1. These are all great suggestions. It all comes down to marketing your book and yourself in as many ways as possible. Some ways are cost effective and some are not. It also takes an investment of time. Another simple way is to list your book on selfpublishauthors.com. The greatest online bookstore for self published books.

  2. Thank you for the above – unfortunately, the publisher who I chose for my first two books was cheating its authors and there are still no sales. I hope to buy back that contract. I also bought back the contract for my best novel (With Just Cause) and am about to find somewhere suitable for it. Your article was interesting and I will look out for them in future. Joanne Edmonds

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