How DO You Sell Books If You're A Published Author?

tbanarchyI am a snarky freelance writer.
Autoplay OFF  •  a year ago

How DO You Sell Books If You're A Published Author?

by tbanarchy

My own experience & history as a published author.

I've been a published author on & off since 2001 with I would say moderate "success". Here are a few things I've "learned" from being a published author on how to "sell" books during that time.

Social media doesn't work as well as one might think.

One writer said that social media like Facebook & Twitter may account for less than 5% of their overall book sales. I myself have sold MORE books BEFORE the advent of so-called social media.

You can sell a ton of books if a "celebrity" endorses them.

Ian Fleming's James Bond books didn't start selling until JFK endorsed them. Likewise with Tom Clancy's debut novel until Ronald Reagan publicly endorsed it. And who can forget Oprah's Book Club!

Even bestselling authors aren't sure how to sell books.

50 Shades Of Grey author E.L. James said in an interview how "shocked" she was that her books sold. Bridges Of Madison County author Robert James Waller said he couldn't "believe" his success.

You can try the Wattpad/ route to get noticed.

50 Shades Of Grey initially started off as Twilight fanfiction on Likewise, other bestselling authors got "noticed" on Wattpad. I myself have started writing fanfic on Wattpad.

Why do some books become more successful than others?

Some authors "promote" their books extensively and they still don't sell many books while other authors post their books on, say, Amazon and they become instant bestsellers on the very first day.

So why does an author NOT sell a ton of books anyway?

One "theory" I've read time & again about why certain books DON'T sell is that people are turned off to social media posts that scream "Buy my book!" that they feel are little more than spam.

What other writers have said about the profession . . .

One writer said they didn't really start selling books until they started publishing more books. Another writer said it was "persistence" more than talent that helps make a writer successful.

In short, there's NO magic bullet to selling tons of books.

That's basically it in a nutshell. I think that's ONE thing that ALL the writing "experts" CAN agree on. And, if there is a "magic bullet" to selling tons of books, I sure haven't found it yet!

The good news AND the bad news . . .

The good news for authors is that there are MORE opportunities to get your work out there than what there were when I first started. The bad news is you STILL have to find a way to sell them!

The bottom line is, keep writing and be persistent.

This is perhaps the BEST writing advice I can give. And, if anyone can give me ANY suggestions on how to sell MORE books, please feel free to mention them in the "comments" section below. Thanks!

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AteefahWriter and poet.
a year agoReply
@sydney I actually published one of my stories on Amazon Kindle... but maybe it wasn't up to the level for people to buy it.

sydneyVerifiedco-creator of Commaful
a year agoReply
i know a lot of people will benefit from this! for what its worth, if any community member here publishes a book, we can help share it. i know it's not much, but we'll support wherever we can. :D I'm looking at you guys @bernardtwindwil, @KatieFlemmings, @therinamartins, @burniingaschs I'm waiting for the day it'll happen, cuz I know it will!

bernardtwindwilGold CommaGranddad & story teller,
a year agoReply
Would selling them door to door work? I lived in Brentwood, TN, a very uppercrust neighbor hood. I had C&W stars on my street. The richest guy in the neighborhood was a door to door Bible salesman. True story.

AteefahWriter and poet.
a year agoReply
This is really helpful and Wattpad is a perfect place for writers.

lentisSilver CommaIf there's food, there's me
a year agoReply
fantastic advice!

bobBronze CommaAll hail BOB
a year agoReply
very very informative!!!

burniingaschsBronze CommaI love stories, games, and sleep. :)
a year agoReply
Very informative. Selling books seems hard.

therinamartinsSilver CommaWriter and Friend
a year agoReply
This was really instructive. Thank you. I've been thinking about self publishing and this really helped me rethink how iI'mm going to do it plus the advertisement.