Each year, over 1 million books are published. That’s about 2,700 books every day.
About two weeks ago, my book, The Death and Life of Mal Evans, was one of the 2,700 books published that day. Trying to get attention in a market like that is like screaming in a football stadium.
I’ve been screaming so much over the last two weeks I’m hoarse. I’ve watched my book rise and fall from the new releases charts as a day trader watches stocks – at a chart so sensitive that one purchase can move it 5-6 positions. (Right now it’s at #16 because I lowered the price and submitted it to an email list that advertises price breaks in Kindle books. It jumped 24 places. But don’t blink – it’ll go down 5 notches.)
It’s maddening – trying to find the secret sauce to selling books on Amazon. You can advertise, give away books, advertise that you’re giving away books, lower your price, advertise that you’re lowering your price – and there are some programs that won’t even guarantee that you’ll get in on their exclusive offers.
I’ve spent lots of money giving away free copies of books to book reviewers – that’s another tactic – and those are just the reviewers who answer your emails. Some don’t even respond, and you’re not guaranteed a good review.
There’s Facebook. There’s Google and Google Plus. Twitter. Linked In. Goodreads. LibraryThing. Shelfari. And dozens of other sites that are dedicated to books and book lovers. But which ones work? Where do you spend your money? One blog post swears by one method, while another post warns to stay away. So I try one thing, and when it doesn’t work, I move on to another.
To those of you who have bought a book, given me encouragement, told another person about it – I sincerely thank you for your support. It’s a lot easier for me to talk to the person next to me in a football stadium, but I have to rely on others to continue the message to the person beside them, until it eventually gets around the football stadium. Or at least in my section. It’s just too loud out there.