Shhh – no one ever talks about sales figures!
At least, best I can figure out – unless they’re phenomenal, of course! But I’m doing okay, really. Sure, I ordered some myself, but didn’t go overboard. I know some authors who ordered 1000 of their own books. Yes, THOUSAND. Or even some who paid $10,000 for copies, and that’s a LOT of copies. What the heck do they do with them all?
Most self-published books sell fewer than 100 copies. Yep, it’s true. Family, friends, an occasional stranger. I’ve been lucky. And I own a bookstore. But I still didn’t go overboard.
So how do you sell your books? Promote, promote, promote. Just like in the last few posts here, paste that puppy everywhere you can do so. (No doubt some of you who are reading this are thinking, “Sheesh, enough already, we’re sick of seeing that damn book!”) That’s okay. So far, no one has accused me of spamming – I’m trying not to overload any one site or blog or email list.
Besides the online stuff, you have to put yourself out there. Call, visit, email bookstores, cafes, bars, clubs, any venue you can think of that might have a table for you. Heck, park yourself at Starbucks with your laptop and a stack of your books! I always recommend that authors carry around a box of their books in the trunk of their cars – you never know when a conversation might turn your book and BINGO! You have a sale!
I know one author who not only carts around a box of books, but a table, table covering, and stand-up posters. She sets up at malls, street fairs, wherever there are a lot of people. Be creative!
It’s not enough to sell books – you have to get people to read and review them. Talk up your book, get people excited! Yes, I know it’s the opposite of a solitary writer persona, but try to stretch yourself a little. Give away a few copies in exchange for a review or leave one at your local bookstore. You might have to go with a consignment deal, but that’s not so bad: you make a couple bucks and get more exposure. And exposure is good, at least in the case of selling books!