“My book isn’t selling.” It’s something I hear from indie authors all the time.
If you’ve felt this way, know you’re not alone. But also remember that sitting around assuming you’ve failed isn’t going to help anything.
I’ve constructed a short list of 5 things indie authors really need to take a hard look at before they decide the market just isn’t interested in their book.
Are you doing enough?
Sure, maybe you feel like you’re always marketing your book and getting nowhere, but it’s not about doing everything.
It’s about doing everything that matters.
Some marketing strategies work better for certain genres, and knowing your audience, and doing the things successful indie authors have figured out, will make a big difference.
If you’re not sure where to start, I can do a detailed assessment for you.
How are your reviews?
Do you have at least 20 reviews? If not, you need to push for more. Remind your fans and network all the time because they forget.
If you have a decent number of reviews have you read them all, with the goal of looking for things your readers liked, and maybe things they didn’t? Or maybe they didn’t fully understand something.
If their critiques can’t be resolved for this book, it’s still valuable information for your next one.
How does your cover stack up?
Probably one of the most consistent issues I see is lackluster book covers.
Indie authors often fall into this trap of thinking “unique” is good. But usually it’s not.
You want your cover to fit your genre and your market. You want your cover to look like the bestselling covers! This is one time where fitting in is much better.
If your book cover doesn’t mind a potential buyer of the other great books they’ve read, they won’t even read your description or reviews. It’s cutthroat. Fix your cover.
Is your pricing competitive?
Another trap indie authors fall into is overpricing their books.
I get it, you want to make some money back. But trying to do that quicker, by jacking up your pricing, will have the reverse effect – you just won’t sell books.
Again, follow the cool crowd, see how top authors at your level (that aren’t household names) are pricing your book and follow suit.
How old is your book?
I hate saying this as a woman, but age does matter, when it comes to books.
If your book is more than 3 years old and has never seen any sort of success, even on a small-scale to confirm you’ve got something the market wants, your best bet is to move on.
By move on I mean get that next book out!
Learn from your mistakes, consider hiring a marketing person this time around, or at minimum getting some marketing coaching.
I coach authors all the time who just need some insight on what they need to be doing better to self-promote.
Your next book will better, I can almost guarantee you, and it will naturally draw more interest to your previous title.
Indie authors need to be self-reflective. You don’t get a free pass simply because you wrote the book.
If your cover looks like it could be in the top 20, if your pricing is right in that sweet spot, and your book is relatively new but you’re still not seeing sales – then you likely need to dig deep and figure out what efforts work for your market.
If your cover could use some work, your book is perhaps a bit too pricey, and you only do one or two things a week to promote your book – you have some work to do – but now you have a plan!