Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reasons you book isn't selling: Saying No

Welcome back to Reasons your book isn't selling, where every Wednesday I discuss common mistakes I see authors make that are hurting their book sales. Last time I talked about blanket promotion.

Today's reason your book isn't selling: Saying No

As authors, we tend to come pre-loaded with a certain amount of self-doubt and unrealistic expectations. For example, ask an author how they think their newest book will do and you're likely to  hear that said author doesn't think anyone will buy it. We're not usually the most positive folks.

Unfortunately, this is the attitude that costs us a lot of missed opportunities.

I'm constantly surprised at the number of authors who say no when it comes to marketing opportunities. Mostly because they're convinced they won't work. Here are some of the objections I have heard:

This is too small of an event
Local media can't sell books
That blog doesn't have a large enough readership

But those objections just don't hold water. Here's why.

A live event can be a bust, but it can also blow up in sales
 
First, you never, ever know how something will go. I recently attended a signing where tons of the little old ladies in attendance bought oodles of my friend's children's books. The same author friend who had to be brow beaten into attending said event. Personally, I didn't sell a single book, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. But you for sure can't sell books at events you don't attend.

And even if you don't sell books at an event, you can never measure the exposure you get from people who had never heard of you. This can sometimes lead to being invited to bigger and better events in the future.

Even the smallest blogs have some readers

Same deal with smaller blogs. No, they don't have the same pull as the big guns. But you never know who is reading on any given day. Not to mention that often times, exposure on smaller sites can lead to invites with bigger fish.

Plus, smaller blogs are still building up their own audience which means your post is likely to get extra time and extra promotion. Something no author should be turning down.

You never know who is watching
 
I advocate making use of your local radio, tv and newspapers. But I'm shocked at the number of authors who ignore these opportunities.  I did a quick spot on our local news channel when my first book came out. A professor at the local university just happened to be watching and decided to add my book to her sylabus and paid me to come speak to her class. No news spot and she has no idea I even exist.

Our local book store manager says that every time a book review runs in the paper, people come in asking if they carry the book, even if the review wasn't great.

Small town media might not seem like it's worth it, but I think you'd be surprised.

Be the author known for saying yes

I'm not saying you have to do every little thing, but when you are new or still trying to build up your loyal readership, think long and hard before saying no to any opportunities. Truly there is no exposure that is too small, especially if said exposure won't cost you anything.


Build your reputation as someone who doesn't see themselves as too big for their britches. When you regularly say yes, people take note. And that means when special opportunities arise you're name will be at the top of the list because people know they can count on you to say yes.

No matter what your reasons are for saying no, next time, take a second to see if you can capture a potential missed opportunity instead.

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