You Don't Need A Lower Price To Sell More Books
Here's a question for you: How many books do you have on your bookshelf or on your e-reader that have been sitting there unopened for months - or, if you're like me, have been sitting there for years? I'm willing to bet that every single one of us has at least a handful of books that we haven't cracked open or have had "good intentions" of reading.
Why haven't you gotten to them? What is holding you back from reading those books?
My next question is why did you buy those books in the first place? Were they on sale? What was the initial spark that made you purchase that book?
Stay with me here - I have another question for you. And I promise I have a very important point to follow :)
Now think about the books that you couldn't wait to dig into - what was it about them that made you sit down and devour every page? Was it the topic? Did it solve a particular problem you were having? Was it the follow-up to a previous book? Was the storyline one you couldn't resist?
Really sit back and consider your answers. What is the difference between the books that are still sitting on your shelf, waiting to be read to those that you dug into right away?
As someone who has poured months into research, countless hours hunched over a keyboard, time away from family and friends, and the bare boned exposure involved in writing a book, I don't know about you, but I don't want that collection of blood, sweat and tears (meaning my book) sitting on a bookshelf unopened! I want my book to be READ and USED!
Even more so, I want that book to set the foundation for future books - if they devour this book, it's a guarantee they will do the same for the next book. And the next, and the next...
The past few years I've read countless articles about publishers and self-published authors debating the best price for books, both physical and digital books. Yes, pricing is important, but that's not the question or problem we should be focusing on.
The question we should be focusing on is this: Is this book worth my TIME?
I bet one of the reasons you gave for books still sitting on your shelf unread is that you just don't have the time. Time is very precious - and like money, you have to spend it wisely. Books that we are excited about or that answer a specific question or problem we have, we will make time for.
So as an author, how can you set up your book to be eagerly read and not easily forgotten? Here's how:
Start building your audience early
One of the biggest mistakes I see authors (and publishers for that matter) make is not focusing on building their audience early enough. Marketing, establishing an audience, and building awareness often comes as an afterthought - something that's done when the book is finished and right before it's released. For your book to make the impact you want it to make, it takes a lot longer than 3 months before the release date. Start before you're ready - get your blog/website set up, your social media pages, and engagement rolling as early as possible.
write a damn good book
In an overpopulated and oversaturated world of books, you have to make sure that your book stands out from the rest with excellence. The cream really does rise to the top. Don't skimp on the content - make it fantastic. Invest money in a great editor - someone who can help you craft your story or make sure your information is top notch and well rounded. You could have the best marketing in the world and an endless ad budget, but if your book isn't good or doesn't deliver, it will get you nowhere.
set the stage with your blog
Your blog is the best way for you to set yourself apart - even before your book releases - creating trust and introducing you to a world of potential readers. Here's the thing: your blog is how you introduce your ideas, your solutions, your characters, your writing style, your unique point of view, and more. For example, I was introduced to a business coach two years ago through a friend sharing a link to a blog post regarding a situation I was facing with our business. Her insight and direction were spot on and helped me with our problem. So I subscribed to her blog. Every blog post she shared was incredible. So when she started selling books and other products, you better believe I purchased every single one!
The same goes with fiction writers - your books are bought to entertain, to hold someone captive with a storyline or characters. Your blog can be an incredible introduction to your books, to the backstory, to short stories for in-between releases. There are so many ways for fiction writers to tap into the power of blogs - and it's a great way to get creative to build an audience and keep them captive.
put yourself out there
Being an author means countless hours holed up in a room, hunched over our keyboard, and being removed from the rest of the world. Or, if you're like me, you're an introvert and it's easier to just keep to yourself. But that's not how we get our book out there - we need other people. Get involved with reading and writing groups, befriend your local bookstores, speak anywhere that will have you, attend gatherings with other authors - put yourself out there. And even more so, put your writing out there. The best way to gather more readers is to write - and do it as often as you can!
The most dangerous thing you can do as an author is to assume that when your book is done it will take on a life of its own - it couldn't be further from the truth. In order for a plant to grow you have to prepare the soil. The same is true with the success of your book.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Write down the last five books you read from cover to cover right after (or soon after) purchasing them. List at least three reasons why they interested you or you were drawn to them. Now go through your bookshelves or e-reader and write down five books that have been sitting there unopened or unfinished for more than six months. List three reasons why haven't you read them or why they aren't a priority for you to read. Take a look at your answers and share the results in the comments below. Your answers will be beneficial to both you and others!
Photo by Groume