Everyone wants to write a book. Some folks have actually written books. Some have gotten their books published, either by themselves, through a small press, or, if they’re exceedingly lucky, through one of the big New York houses.
At this point, many authors are convinced their work is done. The reality is their work is just beginning.
Nobody Cares that You Wrote a Book. Really.
Nobody gives a damn you wrote a book, except maybe your mom. Your writing buddies and friends may say they care, but how many of them have actually bought one of your books? The people on the street don’t care. In fact, they are inundated with other things that occupy their attention such as the Internet, movies, video games, and other entertainment, there’s very little time or inclination for them to actually read a book.
When they do buy a book, it’s because they know about the book, or are looking for a book on a particular subject. If your name isn’t J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, chances are they haven’t a clue that you wrote a book they might actually enjoy reading.
Some Facts to Back This Up
The Bureau of Labor Statistics backs me up on this. In 2013, the average person spent a whopping $29.20 on physical books that year, not including sales by book clubs. If you do count the book club sales, the number soars to $32.23. If you look on Amazon, that’s maybe two or three books out of nearly two million. E-books that year fared better than physical books, with the average amount sold being $30.18. That includes everything from the 99 cent books somebody put out, to the big houses selling their e-books at nearly 15 bucks a pop.
If This Didn’t Depress You Enough
If this didn’t depress you enough, you’ll be glad to know that book publishers cut their employees by 18 percent. This means that even the big houses don’t have enough staff to promote your book. Small publishers rely on authors to promote their books.
What You as an Author can do to Buck the Trend
First, consider yourself one of the enlightened. Your book won’t sell without you promoting it, unless it wins the book lottery and becomes a best seller. Be realistic: you’ve got a far better chance at getting hit by lightning while riding a unicycle on a sunny day.
As an author, promoting your book is paramount. Yes, writing is very important, and you need to write every day, but promoting is just as important. Take one day’s writing time out of your already busy week and do something to promote your book. The following are no cost ideas that can promote your book better than you think.
How you get people to care about you and your books is to get them aware that you exist. To do this, you have to get your book in front of readers.
Ten No Cost Ideas to Get Your Book in Front of Readers
- Create a Facebook page for you and your work. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you better have one. Post about the latest works and status reports about things you’re doing as a writer.
- Join promotion groups and announce your book. One promotion group, in particular, you should join is Goodreads. Find authors you love and follow them.
- Start a blog and post to it regularly. You can talk about anything as a writer. Livejournal and Blogger offer free blog pages.
- Offer to do guest posts for other writers on their blogs who have books similar to yours. Offer the writers the ability to guest post on your blog in exchange.
- Contact your local library and request that they carry your book. If they won’t order it or can’t purchase it directly, consider donating a copy.
- Start an e-newsletter for your fans. Both Constant Contact and MailChimp have free e-newsletters for low numbers of subscribers.
- Run a contest which requires sharing your blog or Facebook page in social media to enter. Try Rafflecopter for this.
- Create a small e-book with short stories set in your book’s world and offer it free on Amazon and other e-book venues. Include the first chapter of your book and links where to purchase your book. Post it on Weebly and other places where fans are always looking for new voices
- Volunteer to help out with local book conventions or science fiction conventions. Not only will you get your name known, but you may be able to put books in the hands of those who are bellwethers in the reading community.
- Offer to exchange book reviews with other authors. More book reviews means more exposure and more opportunities.