Why is book marketing so hard? There are many reasons why – too many books being published, authors giving away books for free, social media noise, you name it. I won’t go into all of them, but I do want to dissect one:
Again, this could be interpreted in a variety ways – and I would not claim to know what is good and what is bad. Things that have worked for someone with a romance novel may not work for an author of horror. Things change all the time, so for example it’s known fact now that if you give your book away for free and climb to the top of Top 100 Free Bestseller list on Amazon, once you switch to Paid, your rankings will fall dismally, because you have sold exactly zero paid copies during your free promotion days. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, this post has been a winner already!
There’s lots of other advice I find questionable, such as:
- “Just write a good book and it will find an audience.” When? When I’m dead?
- “Set your price high and don’t budge.” I did that. Readers did not budge, either.
- “Grow your social media presence.” I did that, too – 30K + followers resulted in just a handful of sales.
So far I’ve been able to prove that one sure way to increase exposure is with paid marketing. I hope to test the theory that writing a series is a way to success very soon. Meanwhile, I would advise everyone to do their own research. Test me on my assumptions – please! And certainly, check that if you are taking advice from someone else, that they know what they are doing.
This brings me to the controversial part of this particular post. I have been following a number of author blogs, and was especially impressed by an author who has published a number of fiction books as well as a number of self-help books on the writing business. I was about to buy one, on how to market your book, when I’d decided to have a look at how the fiction books by the same author were performing, specifically the overall Amazon rankings. The answer?
150K-plus to 7-million-plus.
I was in shock. This author wrote not one, but several series of fiction books, with awesome flashy covers, lots of reviews, you name it. I would imagine a book ranking at 7 million on Amazon has not sold a copy in what, months? Years? How could someone with such dismal fiction sales record sell a book on book marketing? Oh, and what was the ranking of the marketing book?
Top 100 in it’s category.
I’m not going to reveal who it was, as I’m afraid to get eaten alive, so let me just leave you with this message: once again, do your own research, find your own way, and if some bad advice is not working for you, be brave and throw it away.