As I sit here today, trying to think of clever ways to push my book, I come to realize that I have no goddamned clue what I’m doing. Seriously. Real talk. Now, I’ve sold books. Hell, for a first time author with no following and no notion on how to capture sales, I think I’ve done pretty well for myself. I sold enough on release day of Darker Shadows to bounce into the middle of the top one hundred horror books on Amazon, and I stayed there for a few days. When I did a free promotion, my book became one of the most downloaded free books on Amazon, and that translated to noticeable uptick in sales afterwards that is still plucking away. Outside of that? Lost, like a naked baby in the woods.
Don’t get me wrong; I get the writing part. That part has always come naturally to me. That isn’t to say that I haven’t worked hard over the years to improve at it, just that it was always something I not only could do, but wanted to. Selling the final product? *pffft* *throws hands in air* I have no idea. You might as well ask me how to get to the moon, because much like getting to the moon, I have a very vague idea of how it works. You write. You get it edited. You make a kick ass cover. You get a whole bunch of fuel… wait, I’m mixing those two things up again. *checks notes* Oh, that’s why! Because after the actual construction of a novel, I’m struck stupid.
Look, the truth is, you can follow all the steps and not sell a thing. You can get a website, do social media, make friends, engage people, promote, advertise, and scream from the rooftops. Not one of those things translates to sales. I’m not actually convinced anything does. What I’m getting at is this: If you haven’t figured out the perfect formula for selling books, don’t sweat it. Nobody has it figured out to the tee. Plenty of people will tell you they do, but those people are liars. Yes, I said it. Those people are dirty, filthy, rotten liars. The only thing that guarantees sales is being a super famous well regarded author already. JK Rowling could release anything and sell it. Joe Blow who had good luck on Amazon a few times won’t always sell five thousand copies of his newest book no matter what he tells you. I have several author type friends who have done very well for themselves, but only on some of their books. One friend pushes a thousand a month, but the vast majority of those sales come from three of his books… he has twelve. (Probably more by now. I’m a bad friend who doesn’t keep up)
Sales are important if we want to do this as a job, but I still think the best way to do that is to write good books. You might not bottle lightning, but I am damn near certain that if you keep up quality over a long enough period, people will notice.
But you won’t do that by reading my slow descent into madness. Go forth fellow authors. Go forth and write.