So we’ve had authors reach out to us and say things like, my book isn’t selling. What should I do? I have a book I want to publish, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t sell, what should I do? I thought OkadaBooks will help improve my sales. But I have sold only 3 copies. Is something wrong with my book? Or is it that OkadaBooks can’t really help me sell?
Ok. Pause. How can you say that? You’re hurting my feelings. Of course, we’ll help you sell. But before we can help you, you need to help yourself.
We have found that there are several reasons why your book sales are low or non-existent. The good news is we also have solutions to those issues, especially the ones you didn’t know you had. See them below:
1. Poor Editing
Great job! You’ve finally written your book. Now the second phase starts, and that’s editing. Here is our advice, “don’t bother trying to do it yourself. Seek out professionals, to help you properly craft the story you’re trying to tell. If you don’t have the cash to hire an editor, then no problem there. Simply edit yourself and give to three people you’re sure will willingly work on your draft to make it better. It is wise to give it to them, one at a time. When the first person has finished and returned it to you, give it to the next person. Just like that.
Truth is, when your book isn’t well edited, it’ll take only one bad review to stop readers from purchasing it. Frankly, you’ve worked too hard to let that happen. So make a firm decision not to publish, if you don’t have a well-edited manuscript.
Proper editing requires hours and hours of work, research and fact verifications; it’s a lot more than just crossing t’s and dotting i’s.
You can view our editing services here
2. Poor/No Marketing
You have a book, but the book is without a social media platform or a website, then, you’re doing it all wrong.
- Once you’re determined to write this book, you should immediately start some level of publicity. Not enough to distract you from your work, but just the right amount that lets people know that something really good is on the horizon. –
- Share quotes from your manuscript that are engaging and worth reading.
- Create that website for yourself! Hey, you’re an author now and people anticipating your book launch, will make you accountable and goal oriented. Have a custom landing page to direct readers for more information. See what Akwaeke did for Freshwater
- If the book is ready? Talk about it, have friends, your support group, and your social media following- Get everyone in on the conversation.
3. Dull Cover Design
Your cover design is impression number 1. Make it creative and engaging. Your cover design should intrigue and allow people to feel like they’re buying a work of art, so get it done by a professional, who can depict in graphics, what you are saying with words. An online design tool like Canva has awesome templates that will help you design catchy covers.
Why do we hammer on cover design? Let’s give an example with Self-published novelist, R.L. Mathewson, who went from selling five or six copies per day of her novel, Playing for Keeps, to over 1,000 per day by updating her cover design.
See a detailed guide on how to use Canva for a perfect cover design here.
4. Boring Book Description
I’ve seen a lot of authors write a one-sentence description of their books. Unfortunately, it doesn’t motivate me to buy or read it, unless I’ve heard from someone else, somewhere, that the book is awesome. See an example of that here.
Karo Oforofuo did a description of her book, Strange Man at Iri for a friend to help share with her Instagram followers. That description got her almost 100 people from her friend’s page, asking to read the book.
Once your book is ready for sale, the second impression your readers have to deal with is the blurb. Make it juicy enough to make potential buyers, interested. Write your blurb without putting out spoilers, create the anticipation you need to sell books. See one example of an awesome description here.
5. Fear of Criticism
So you are afraid to let people see your book because they might not like it. Using this as an excuse not to get your work, out, is as good as not writing any book. The right kind of criticism will steer you in the right direction, by ensuring that you’re producing credible and authentic work.
You’ve been working on your book solely for a while, therefore, you’re too close to see the damages that a trained pair of eyes will catch. Be bold about your achievement. You’ve written a book, now let someone else tell you how good it is. You can get a publisher to look into publishing it, or you can go into self-publishing. Start here.
Don’t say you want to write a book and simply think it will unravel itself.
Instead, come up with a goal-oriented strategy that challenges you to meet a set writing target, daily. Without this, you’re procrastinating and there’ll never be a book. Watch this space. In our next week’s post,. we’re going to be treating in details, strategies that will help you start that book and finish it. I assure you, these strategies will help you write and complete your book.
7. Zero Skill Acquisition
Whatever you decide to do, is what doing well. You need to educate yourself. Take writing courses, attend book marketing seminars, or carry out in-depth research on the above. There are lots of materials online, both videos, audios, blog articles, and PDFs, that will help you. You can also sign up to mailing lists that teaches these. If you’re not writing, at least you’re learning. Get enough knowledge so you can apply yourself in putting together the kind of bestsellers your readers will thank you for.
Hope this article was insightful enough. If you have questions comments, please drop them below. I look forward to reading from you.