Congratulations! You’ve written your book. It’s been edited, and now published on Amazon, iBook, Nook, and various other online platforms. Now you’re ready to reap the rewards of your hard fought labor.
The first week you check your stats. Sales are great. After a few weeks, they plummet. Soon no one is purchasing your book. You don’t understand why.
There are various reasons. And as an Indie author, I have been the rollercoaster ride you’re on. It’s not fun. But, a valuable learning experience.
Here are my top three reasons I experienced a loss of sales.
- Marketing: I should say the lack thereof. My novels have received some good reviews so, they should be selling. Right? Wrong. Like many authors, I struggle to market myself regularly. With my freelance editing business, working for a small press, and writing. Marketing falls by the wayside.
- Lack of substantial reviews. To be ranked and seen regularly on Amazon, reviews must come in on a regular basis. You say you have 10-11 reviews. All favorable. Great. I’m so happy for you. But look at who wrote those reviews. Family, friends, work associates, etc. Ask yourself how many reviews came from reputable bloggers in your genre? How many reviews came from a viable source in your community, like the local bookstore, librarian, a business leader? How many editorial reviews does your book have? Finally, and this is the most important question to ask yourself when was the last time someone purchased your book and posted a review? If it’s more than a week, it’s time to reevaluate.
- This last point may surprise you. I have found this to be true not only of my own sales but other authors make this same statement. My novel only comes in ebook format. According to authors and industry experts publishing your book in multiple formats helps you reach more readers no matter how many reviews you receive.
So what are your options?
- Offer your book in electronic format and paperback. Createspace offers the best and most affordable way to get your book in paperback. Nook also allows you to create a print version of your ebook. Check all online publishing platforms and see their options. And remember, once you have created the first print version, you may use it for all other websites. (As long as you have saved your files to your computer).
- Solicit more reviews. I suggest, if you have not done so, make a list of bloggers in your genre. The longer the list the better. It allows for more reviews. To incentivize, possibly give away a gift. Something small like a $5.00 Amazon or Nook gift card. Don’t just give away your book. That gift lets the blogger know you are interested in your readers and, at times, it brings in more reviews. Once you have the list contact 5-10 bloggers a week until you have gone through the entire list. But don’t stop there. Once you have gone through the entire list, go back and send requests to those that did not reply to your first query. Nest, pay for two-four professional reviews. While you may not add them directly to the number of reviews on Amazon, you are allowed to use them as praise. Place them in the front of your book. Post them at the beginning or end of your blurb. Some claim readers do not look at those. It’s a 50/50 toss. But think about this. Those paid reviews work in your favor on Amazon. Amazon looks at them. It could increase your exposure.
- I saved the most important point for last because I want to leave you with this idea in your head. Yes, Marketing is your most valuable tool in creating more sales. Like me, you’re probably busy with your job, family, writing the next book. And that’s great. Here is the all-important question. If you sell less than 100 copies of your first novel, who is going to purchase the next? So, Market your debut novel or book. How to market smarter not harder? First, enlist your entire family and friends to market your book. They’re on social media just like you. Get them to mention your book regularly. Have them post an excerpt of a stranger’s review. Second, ensure you are following the two previous solutions discussed here. Take advantage of social media marketing platforms like Hootsuite, Salesforce, and many others. Choose the one right for you.
- Last, but certainly not least. Seek the advice of a professional like myself to review your book. It may be in the form of a book review. An evaluation to ensure all elements of a great story are included in the book, especially if you have more 3-star reviews. Possibly you need one last set of eyes to proof the book. To clean it up. You may be surprised to find the three most common problems authors miss in the last read are word repetition, minor inconsistencies, and correct word errors.
Congratulations on completing your novel and publishing it. I wish you the best of luck. On that, I have one last comment. Support other authors. Giving your time and attention to those in our industry reap invaluable benefits.
Whether this is your first novel, or you have published many, a good editor, reviewer, blogger, marketing platform ensures this and future books gain satisfied customers for years to come.
Check out my services. I’d love to assist you with any of your needs at this time.