|Lying is hazardous to your health. Just as Pinocchio.|
1. I couldn't afford to market the book enough.
I would've had a nice blog tour, but I couldn't afford to pay a tour company. I'd love a splashy website, but who has the money for that. A full page add in Writer's Digest is a sure fire way to sell books, but I couldn't afford a 1/16 page. Excuse me while I stand in the corner and yell "Bull Shit!". Sure, there are some things that will take money, but there are a gagillion marketing action items that are completely 100% free. Start there. You can always invest more in your marketing plan after your sales get underway.
2. No one is going to pay attention until I have at least three or four books out.
Ah, this one is hard. Having more books available does make it easier to find new readers and get the publicity that makes your book shine in the spotlight. But that doesn't mean you can't make a splash with your debut novel. Plenty of writers do. So stop selling your first book short.
3. The media is only ever going to pay attention to books from the big six.
Here's the truth. The media doesn't care who publishes your book. They don't have an agenda to push the big house's books. The media is interested in one thing: stories that draw readers. It's up to you as the author to create the buzz needed for media to sit up and pay attention to you. Give them a story and they'll give you the coverage.
4. Bloggers/Reviewers/Media/Booksellers are biased against authors who are self-published/indie-published/small press published/traditionally published/redheaded/etc.
I think you get the picture here without me spelling it out. It's easy to say we aren't getting shelf space or a profile piece in the paper because of how we published, our genre, where we live or any other number of random criteria we decide to focus on. While there will always be people who judge you based on any of those things, there will always be people who won't. I can't keep track of the number of people who claim no reviewers will read a self-published book. The thing is, they are only repeating the lame excuse that some other author used for why they didn't get any good reviews. There are plenty of reviewers who'll look at self-published books. Just like there are plenty of people who will help no matter who you are, what your book is, or how it came to be. You might have to look harder, but they are there.
5. I tried my hardest and it wasn't enough.
This is the hardest one, because no one can really call you out on it. I have no idea if you really did try your hardest. Only you can know if you honestly gave it everything you had and still didn't sell books. But here's the honest truth, as humans we rarely give anything all we have. Why? Because when we hold back, we have something to point to as the reason for our failure that isn't us. If your book doesn't sell well, you can always point to an excuse above or any of the others we so easily tell ourselves as the reason we didn't live up to our planned success. It's scary to put it all on the line. If we do everything this side of the law to sell our book and fail, we have nothing to point to except ourselves as the cause of that failure. Don't let that fear of failure hold you back from giving your book the best chance at success. You deserve it.
Before you send your baby out into the world, recognize that half-truths and excuses will only hold you back. Reject the lies that are easy to tell yourself and do what you can to make your book a success. In the end, that's the only truth that matters.