Selling books is hard work, but it becomes even harder when you’re hesitant. If you hold back on writing the most compelling book descriptions, emails to readers, and author bios possible, you’ll sell fewer copies. You shouldn’t scream “buy my books” from the mountaintop every five seconds, but you should put in the hard work necessary to become a more successful author.
Here are five reasons you should sell your books harder:
1. You’re Providing an Awesome Service
If you’re an author, then you’re probably also an avid reader. As a result, you know the joy that comes with reading a book that gives you exactly what you want. Whether you’re on the hunt for hunky guys or you need to find a solution to your financial problems, books provide one heck of a service.
It would be a fun twist to live in a world where we could write all day and give our books away without worrying about money. That’s not how things work, but giving away everything for free would devalue your work anyway. You’re providing an amazing service to your readers who are looking for entertainment, escape, or solved problems. When you put yourself and your books out there more, you get to provide that service to more people. You’re spreading joy or hubris or knowledge, and that’s something you should be proud of.
2. Your Books Are Legitimate and Valuable
Plenty of unscrupulous authors made out like bandits in the early days of the ebook revolution. One of the reasons they did so was because they were willing to sell their subpar, scammy products. As the marketplace has become more crowded, the scam artists have dwindled, but they still sell a decent amount of books because they work hard on selling their terrible products.
You have an opportunity here to crowd out the scammers. By training yourself to get better at selling, you’ll not only move more copies, but you’ll ensure that readers get something of great value.
Plenty of authors will look at the massive marketplace like a “glut of books,” but you should think of the publishing world as an opportunity. As you continue to learn the best sales practices, you’ll rise higher in the store, while the scammers sink to the bottom. It’s your duty to sell your better books more effectively than they are.
3. Tricks Only Work For So Long
The KDP Select Free Days Loophole. The Google Play Keyword Stuffing System. The KU Borrows Short Book Bonanza. Tricks to sell more books don’t work in the long-term. Of course, you should apply your knowledge of what currently works, but you also need to make sure you’re working as hard and as smart as you can.
As more and more loopholes get closed, the tricksters will start to give up. By learning how to sell your books and yourself better, you’ll get the word out about your backlist better than any algorithm could. When you find out about a legitimate selling hack, you’re allowed to use it. You simply can’t count on that trick to sustain your career. Only learning how to sell can accomplish that.
4. Authors Who Sell Hard Have Proven Results
Joe Konrath rose to prominence in traditional publishing by visiting hundreds of bookstores and libraries. Nick Stephenson built his first 10,000 readers through vigilant marketing and frequent trial and error. Mark Dawson took a risk with paid promotion and pushed into the high six-figures in earnings. What do these authors have in common? They worked hard and they got results.
This isn’t to say you can’t work hard and have poor results. The hours you spent building up thousands of Twitter and Facebook followers is looking like less and less of a good idea in retrospect. But if you spend your available hours on things that always work like asking reviewers to check out your book, building up an email list of followers, and writing buy-worthy descriptions, you’ll see some results. That’s how the best in the business did it, and you can do the same with the powerful combination of hard work and smart work.
5. You Deserve to Live Out Your Dream
If you’re reading this post, you’re worth it. Your books are good enough. This is no time for a pity party or a self-esteem shortage. You should sell yourself and your books because you’re an author who deserves to be read. Let go whatever has been holding you back from learning what works and applying it to your author career.
Doesn’t that sound nice? Your author career. Imagine that you could do this author gig full-time and live out a lifelong dream? There are no guarantees in this industry, but the authors who work the hardest at selling their books are often the most successful. Scammers will hit the bestseller list every so often, but it’s not your job to worry about them. Your job is to sell your books and sell them well.
The time to start selling harder is now. It’s your best chance at becoming the bestselling author you always knew you could be.