I often buy books from authors I’ve never heard of. Sometimes I buy books that have less than 5 reviews on Amazon. Even books that don’t have any reviews. This is how I roll.
The fact of the matter is that there are many, many authors out there. But there is an abundance of readers as well. Every book finds its readers eventually. The main obstacle – for unknown writers – is visibility. And to be visible, you often have to develop your marketing skills. Writing a good book is one thing, letting the world know that it exists, well, it’s hard work and there’s nothing romantic about it.
Publishing a book on a platform like Amazon is easy. When your book is properly formatted, all you need is 10 or 15 minutes and your book is ready to be published. Less than 24 hours later your book will be sold on the biggest book retailer in the world. Sounds good, right? Sure it does. Just sit down, relax, open a bottle of wine and observe those sales coming in. Usually it doesn’t happen. The bottle is empty, but the sales just don’t come. Why? Because nobody, except a few people you told about the book, knows who you are, what you wrote and why in the name of love would he or she read your book. That’s the reality. It hurts but at least it’s real, compared to your dreams of having an international bestseller.
But all is not lost. There are solutions to your problems. Amazon ads. Facebook posts. Tweets. Book bloggers. Author’s website. Bottom line is – you have to take control of the ship. No more hanging around with your imaginary friends. Snap out of it! You need to be the master of your faith. There are people out there who will like your book. Maybe three, maybe three hundred, maybe three million. They don’t know you exist so you have to tell them. And it’s not an easy task.
When I published my first book back in 2010 in Slovenia, I was moderately manic. I said in one of my first interviews that I will sell a hundred thousand copies. We’re talking about Slovenia. Two million people. Little did I know that bestsellers start at five hundred sold copies and that it’s quite an achievement to sell a thousand. I quickly realized the books are not going to sell on their own so I started giving away free copies. It worked. With every book I gained new readers. With every book there were new interviews, articles, reviews. I became visible.
Eight years later I’m at the beginning again. This time my bipolar is under control. I still want to sell one hundred thousand copies. Will I make it? I know I will. My best books are yet to be written. And I believe yours are too. Just don’t give up.