Search This Blog

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reasons your Indie book is hanging

Five reasons your self-published book isn't selling, according to Crystal Ponti

The first is a great tip -- part of assessing your market all the time you are writing and designing your book.  It is no good trying to sell a raunchy romance under the banner of contemporary thriller -- the thrill the reader might or might not get is not the kind of thrill he or she is expecting.

1. Obscure or Broad Subject
The most popular books fall within specific niches or categories -- large publishers know this, most self-publishers do not. That's one of the nice things about working with a large publishing house: they are able to fine tune a book to appeal to a certain audience. If your book is so obscure or if it's too broad, it might have a difficult time being properly categorized or resonating with a target readership.
For example, a book about growing up in Maine might be more difficult to sell than a book about living off the wilderness while growing up in Maine. See the difference? Fine tune your angle or focus and you'll sell a lot more books.
And number two is the obvious.  How many Amazon reviews have you read complaining about the number of typos? 
2. Low Quality (Writing, Editing, Layout...)
When a book is published by a major label, it takes months (sometimes years) of planning, editing, and formatting to get things right. This allows for an impeccable, high quality end-product. Independent authors often take shortcuts to quickly get their books to market.
This can result in a book that looks every bit self-published. You need to take your time and really make sure that the writing is tight and that you hire someone (or multiple experts) to do the proofreading, editing, and layout. These are not areas you want to tackle on your own or hand off to a friend or relative (unless they are experts).
Three is also a given. And always remember that thumbnail -- complicated images and designs don't work on postal stamp-sized images.  Keep the text on the front of your jacket to a minimum.
3. Cover 
I cannot tell you how many times I've gone online to check out a book only to be greeted by what looked like a snipped Word doc used as a makeshift cover. No. Don't. Please. This is the other aspect of self-publishing where you'll want to hire a pro. The cover makes the first impression. If someone goes to look at your book and the cover appears to be done by a two-year-old, chances are they are going to keep looking.

Four addresses a real problem -- but is it answered adequately?  Price your book too low, and you will regret it.  Perhaps the rule of thumb should be the same as pricing goods in yard sales -- you can always come down in price, but you can't go up.
4. Priced Inappropriately
Here's a little secret: In order for your book to sell, you need to be realistic and price within the range of similar titles. If you price your book at $20.99 for a print copy and competing titles are selling for $7.99, eyebrows are going to go up. It's true, if someone really wants your book , they will indeed pay a higher price. But if someone is looking to read something in a genre they enjoy, they're going to look for a competitive price. This is especially true if you are a new author.
Number five also poses questions.  An author can do only so much at a time, and while constant marketing would be nice, it could be much more important to get going on that next book.
5. Flagging enthusiasm
At the onset of any project, we have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. We throw ourselves into every aspect, excited to see the end result. The same is true with publishing a book. Many self-published authors give everything they've got to see their book listed on Amazon and spend a few months aggressively promoting the title. Then suddenly they lose steam, stalling or stopping their marketing efforts. This is a BIG no, no.
Marketing a book is an ongoing, long-term commitment. In order for you to sell copies, you need to create and continue to generate awareness and interest. Don't get frustrated if you're not meeting your expectations as quickly as you had hoped. If you expect the masses to come knocking down your door just because you hit the "publish" button, you'll be sorely disappointed. Success doesn't happen overnight. Just stick with it and keep pushing forward.
Any more ideas? 

Let me know

No comments: