‘I didn't know how much marketing would be involved in actually getting my book sold.’ ‘My publisher did some PR for the first few months but then nothing. I am so disappointed in them.’ These are two comments I often hear from authors. These are the published authorswho have walked the long yards to actually get a book out there into the world. But you are now are wondering how on earth to actually get people to buy the book. It feels like your book will create a ripple when it’s published. Your intention was to want to hit the ‘New York Times bestseller’ list. It's on your vision board. You have friends who have friends who had ‘an Amazon bestseller phenomenon’. But as the months tick by you see 100, and then perhaps 800 books are sold. Frustrating? Oh yes. How can you move beyond a few hundred copies and into the realm of thousands (never mind hundreds of thousands)?
There are only so many times you can post on social media and spam your friends and colleagues. Your book has to move beyond your ‘inner circle’ and start to travel. So what can you do? *Understand the process. A publisher gives your book a push into the world. It is then up to you to keep that push going. Think of them as a midwife, but you still have of raise the child for the next 18 years. The only caveat is if your book suddenly takes off, and then your publisher will be your best friend. * Take action. Once your publisher PR ends, you have to take over. If you don’t have a publisher then get a freelance publicist for the initial three months (essential) to get some media attention. *Book yourself talks and events. Books in the non-fiction genre are sold 10 at a time, at events and talks. Think of book clubs or special interest societies that cover your subject matter. Design your own ‘book tour’ and visit smaller towns and create an event on FB to share. Bookshops are most often open to author talks, but look for libraries, coffee shops or festivals. *Think small. We can’t all pack out a stage and do a keynote! But that is not always what makes a book travel. You need to find the smaller events (or create them) where you can talk about your book, idea or story. Or even invite a few other authors and make a festival of it. * Get Amazon savvy. Check and recheck your Amazon keywords and categories. My experience is that many traditional publishers are still rubbish at digital and haven’t mastered the beast that is Amazon. I checked my latest book Love and Above and found it loaded in the section ‘occult’ and ‘memoirs of spiritual leaders’! Eeeeek. This means the wrong people are getting recommend your book. Sort that out. * Run some Amazon promotions. We seriously recommend the 5-Day Author Ad Profit Challenge on Facebook. * Leave your friends alone now. Truly. They know you have a book out there and they will buy it if they want to. Or not. * Check out review sites. It is a given that you will gather these the traditional way (if you are lucky) but also take a look at the many TikTok / Instagram or web-based ‘book reviewers’. Some charge a fee, you consider if it is worth it for you. Truthfully, I haven’t seen any of my authors get much success with these ‘paid book club reviews’. Please send me recommends if you do know any that are great. I do read and reply to all your emails personally. Hope to join you in writing. Sarah Bullen WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO? * I have a few retreats coming up next year ... Cape Town in February, The Lowveld in March, Greece in June and Tuscany in August. Mail me if this calls to you. * Writing a Novel? Novel in 100 Days online mentorship * Write a Non Fiction? Non Fiction Mentorship * Book a session or a package to chat and go over your work