Kevin said, “There’s so much that I don’t know when it comes to writing and publishing, but after three books the question foremost in my mind is how do I get exposure and/or sales? All three of my books have good reviews, just not many of them, and I don’t get many sales. I’m not sure if I need better covers or better blurbs to entice readers, or if I just need to start to invest in advertising. I’ve always heard that the best advertising is a new book, and I’m finally getting back to writing after almost half a year off, but I’d like to kickstart the sales of my other books before I complete my latest WIP (work in progress). Any suggestions?”
Here are a few.
- When you’re trying to sell a book, the first thing that will grab a reader is the cover. Does it beautifully convey the emotions that the book arouses? Does it look sleek and professional? Is the title intriguing and exciting? Is your name and the title perfectly readable? Do you have good reviews on the back? Is your back cover engaging?These are some of the questions that you must ask yourself.The cover should hook the reader enough so that he/she will want to pick up the book and buy it based on the cover alone.
- Look at your opening. Once the reader has picked up the book, the first lines and scene should hook the reader into reading the first pages, and hooks should be interspersed throughout so that the reader keeps turning the pages.
- Cover blurbs help, but many fine novels have sold well without them. In fact, if you get too many, they can look messy. I have perhaps 60 cover blurbs for my first Runelords novel, and I would never think about trying to get more than two or three on the cover, but they do go nicely on the inside of the book. I remember picking up Robert Jordan’s first Wheel of Time book and feeling that the rave reviews pretty much beat me into submission.
- When you release your novel, try doing a book bomb—where you announce to your friends that your book comes out on a certain day, and then get everyone that you can to announce the book on that day on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. This might get you enough sales so that Amazon’s algorithms kick in and then they start advertising it.
- Many of my friends have told me that their sales didn’t really take off until after they hit about eight books. It might be that it just took them that long to build up the critical readership so that when they released a new book, they got enough sales quickly so that Amazon’s algorithms kicked in and they started advertising the book. But I am beginning to wonder if authors need to actually get out a certain number of books, too.
- Nothing sells your old books like having a new book. Listen, the more that you write, the quicker and faster you tend to write. So writing that new book doesn’t just give you extra sales, it helps you become a better writer. Too many authors don’t understand the value of practice. Only a fool would believe that he could sit down at a piano and become a concert pianist in one sitting, yet millions of writers imagine that they become a professional writer without practicing. Even authors who apparently take off effortlessly tend to have had a lot of preparation and secret struggles.
- Advertising helps. There are a lot of ways to do it. You can buy ads, but you might also consider trying to get book bloggers to look at your books and author reviews. You can also make deals on book sites like Bookbub, or you can also try to get your work put into bundles like Humble Bundle, in order to advertise it widely.
Last of all, most new authors are working so hard to learn to write well, that they tend to overlook the business aspects of writing. There’s a great workshop that deals with the business of writing: The Superstars Writing Seminar–http://superstarswriting.com/. It’s taught by New York Times Bestselling authors, and it offers a great community of new writers who can help give you advice on how to boost your sales. The next seminar is coming up in just three weeks, so this is a perfect time to sign up! I’ll be teaching there, along with such heavy-hitters as Kevin J. Anderson, Brandon Sanderson, Jonathan Maberry, Jim Butcher, Dean Wesley Smith, Eric Flint, and others. I don’t believe that there is a better convention on the business side of writing on the planet.
Writing Enchanting Prose Workshop
Due to popular demand, David has opened another session of Writing Enchanting Prose in Dallas. The previous workshop sold out very quickly. Catch this one now!
Springhill Suites, Addison
15255 Quorum Dr, Addison, TX 75001-4639
March 5-9, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
10 Attendees Total
Provo Courtyard Marriott
March 19-23, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
10 Attendees Total
In this workshop we will work heavily on imbuing your prose with the richness and details that bring a story to life. The goal is to teach you how to fully transport readers as you take them on a journey that captivates their hearts and minds. David Farland will teach you how to totally transport you readers so that they become so immersed in your story, they forget where they are—they forget they are reading at all.
This workshop is similar to the Writing Mastery workshop, but will be more exercise-oriented, with in-class practices. Writing Enchanting Prose is more in-depth than any of David’s past prose workshops.
In this workshop, Dave would like to create an intimate environment where individual students will receive ample time for one-on-one interaction and critiques. Dave will be spending personal time with each student. Because of that, we will be strictly limiting the number of students allowed to attend to 10.
Learn more or register here.