Is your book having a tough time getting off the shelves or online stores lately? Are you noticing gradually declining sales of a once popular title?
Well, if you’re book isn’t selling, or isn’t selling as much as before, then there may be some underlying reasons for it; and the sooner you study the issue, the quicker you’re likely to get back into the game. The good news is that, in most of the cases, you really can do something to fix the situation!
Read on to find out how you can get your sales up again.
Insights into flagging sales
While there may be any number of reasons why your books aren’t selling, here are the top 3 that you should investigate first:
1) Outside Appeal
Front Cover: The notion that you should “Never judge a book by its cover” is a false one! Potential readers are often initially drawn to a book by its cover. Is the cover of your book dull and drab? Does it adequately and forcefully represent the title, subject or content? If not, that’s the first thing you should consider updating.
Back Cover and Intro: And while you are at it, check out the introductory content on the back cover, as well as its graphics and layout.
Marketing Previews: If you are selling on Amazon or other online outlets, make sure the preview material – text and graphics – is appealing and enticing to grab people’s attention.
Online Rankings: Outsiders (buyers, readers, fans) may sometimes not find your book as they conduct online searches. You may not be using the right keywords, or your content may not be properly optimized for searches. Your online reviews may not be as convincing as you hoped for.
ACTION: Create powerful covers and outside graphics. Include riveting intros on all marketing channels. Work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy and keyword rankings. Solicit good reviews from your readers and fan base.
2) Outside Your Control
Seasonal Trends: Sometimes, even great books do not sell, or even mediocre books sell quickly! Christmas-themed books for example will never sell well during other seasons. Sports-themed books would probably fly off the shelves during the Olympics. Stop a while and consider if bad weather or seasonal trends may be why your books too aren’t selling.
Publisher Strategies: You can’t do much about your book sales if the publisher (Amazon, CreateSpace, Blurb Lulu, Random House, Thomson-Reuters) decides to promote other titles.
Economic Factors: In a failing economy where job loss is rampant, books sales may naturally decline, since books are considered discretionary spending items.
ACTION: You will have to learn to cope with such variations. Once the trend passes, sales of your books will bounce back!
3) High Expectations
Not every book you write will be a best seller. The sooner you accept that, the more realistic the expectations about your book sales will be! First-time writers should especially temper their expectations about what they should and could achieve with their very first book.
However, that does not mean you can’t aspire to reach the Top Seller list with every book.
ACTION: Thoroughly research your audience and your subject matter. Use your first publication as a learning experience. Gradually incorporate those lessons learned into subsequent books that you write. Persevere! The more you write, the larger your fan base will grow, and that will gradually increase your volume of sales.