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Why Aren’t My Books Selling?

If your self-published books are not selling there could be a number of reasons why. In this post, I will try to help you understand what might be holding your books back from massive sales.

1. Content

First and foremost, we should discuss the content. If your book caters to a small niche of readers (e.g. The Basics of Origami), then that will directly impact your sales. The other issue with content is quality. If your plot is weak or your characters dull, then sales will suffer accordingly.

If you’re looking for big numbers in sales, then shoot for a broader target audience and make sure you’re writing quality books.

2. Reviews

There are two components to reviews – rating and review. Both are equally important in helping you to sell more of your books.

When a book has no reviews (or even just one or two), buyers are less apt to be interested. However, if your book has a 4.5-star rating and dozens of reviews, buyers will flock.

How do you get good ratings and reviews? Write a good book; that’s the best advice I can give. Outside of that, there are a few options where you can take things into your own hands:

a. Ask family and friends to read and review your book, giving their honest opinions, good or bad.

b. Offer a free, signed copy of your book in exchange for reviews on all of your social media platforms and promotional websites.

c. Submit your book to contest and reviewer websites like Readers’ Favorite. Most of them are at no cost to you.

d. Join Facebook groups for authors and offer to exchange reviews (you read their latest novel and post a review and they return the favor).

3. Web Presence

Often times when a reader is considering the purchase of a book by an author they don’t recognize, they will run a Google search for more information. If their search comes up empty, then they will likely pass on the book.

You must have a web presence – social media accounts, Goodreads and Amazon author profiles, a blog and/or website. When potential buyers search for you, they should find something that gives them more details about who you are and what types of books you write.

4. Advertisement Content

Your ads need to compel readers to not only click on your link but to actually purchase your book.

Search engine algorithms are very powerful. If one of your links for purchase is clicked but no purchase takes place, the product is flagged as not selling. The more clicks you get without sales, the further your book drifts into oblivion. Conversely, if a high percentage of clicks leads to sales, then your product is flagged as a hot item and gains more attention.

Instead of a convoluted synopsis, consider including a few brief but compelling reviews like: “What an amazing adventure!” or “Awesome read!”

The bottom line here is to make sure that your advertisement content captures attention and leads to a purchase.

5. Promotions

As the last item of interest, I will address promotions. If you want your book to sell, then you must promote it aggressively. Blast it out on all of your social media platforms as well as any website you can find that offers to promote your book for free or even at a small fee.

Most social media platforms offer options for promoting or “boosting” your posts; take advantage of them even if it costs you a bit upfront.

Offer deals! Run a discount price or free eBook campaign. Yes, you’ll be losing potential money in the short term, but it will pay off in the long run with more visibility, ratings, and reviews. If you have published through KDP, then you have both options at your fingertips.

As a final note, I will say this: Unless you have published through a major publishing house, your book will not sell unless you make it sell!

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