Having low expectations results in low book sales, while raising the bar for your book can mean the sky is the limit.
Maybe you have heard the statistics that most books sell less than 500 copies. Does this means that your book has to be one of them? Who cares what the statistics are? What do they really have to do with your book? Is your book really competing with the plus million books published? Let’s say you write a self-help book—maybe only 30,000 were published this year—that’s still big competition, but it’s smaller than a million, and if yours is a self-help book about succeeding in business, maybe only 3,000 were published on that topic. Plus, many readers will typically read more than one book on any given subject.
Why do most books sell less than 500 copies? The quality of the book could be the cause, but I must say that I’ve seen some really badly written books become bestsellers. So although important, many readers will forgive the quality of the production if hooked to the story or topic. In my opinion, sales are all about promotion. The bottom line is that most books don’t sell many copies because most authors give up after giving little or no effort to promoting their books. If people don’t know your book exists, how can you expect to sell it? And if you publish it without caring if you sell it or not, why publish it?
Being a promoter is not an easy thing, especially after spending day after day writing in isolation! However, it is something that must be done to make all of the effort and time spent on writing and publishing our words worthwhile. After all, it is by sharing our writing that our words come alive. Below are some ways to prepare us for our new promotion persona.
Many authors are shy and afraid to let people read their work. But the more people read your book the more feedback you receive. How can we be confident of our work if we have not tested it before publication? Having it professionally edited and proofread will still be necessary, but getting a reaction from readers and editing before publication will certainly enhance your book’s possibilities once published. If the book’s feedback is really bad, you at least will have saved a great deal of embarrassment and money by not publishing it, based on the feedback you receive. Feedback also gives you the opportunity to improve your book as you see it through the eyes of other people. Furthermore, when people tell you they like the book, you will feel good about it. You will build your confidence and that will make you enjoy promoting your book.
Day Dream about your Book
Okay, I admit that the chances of getting to promote your book on the Oprah Winfrey Show are small, but if you do not dream about doing so, the opportunity becomes not just unlikely, but impossible. Push aside all the “it will never happen” thoughts and for just a few minutes, close your eyes and imagine it happening.
Day dreaming allows us to envision what we wish for again and again, whether it’s being on a radio show, at a book festival, or at a local book signing. Hold those visions. Day dreaming allows us to ask ourselves “What If?” about every possibility and to imagine, and then envision those possibilities happening. It is by envisioning things that we get the desire and the drive to make things happen.
Sketch Your Dream
Make a plan by setting your goals first. Start with small goals and increase them as you get further along in your plan. Let’s say your goal is to become a nationally known author. Begin by becoming a well-known author in your own community. From there move on to the neighboring communities, region, state…you get the picture! You can take this strategy and adapt it to your personal goals. For example let’s say your book is about WWII, you can begin by becoming a WWII expert in the local Veteran organizations, or WWII museums, and move up to the History Channel! By taking baby steps to inform people what you are about, people will better relate to you, and check out your book. Your plan may include visiting organizations and clubs relating to the topic of your book. The people involved with those organizations and clubs will be more likely to have an interest in reading your book, as they are already interested in the topic!
The point is to connect the dots. Figure out how you can get your book noticed by using your goals and then follow the dots forwards and backwards until you get them all to connect to achieve your dream!