Reasons your book isn't selling: Assuming good books sell themselves

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 Negative Nancys.

Today's reason your book isn't selling: Assuming good books sell themselves

I've seen it more times than I care to count. An author works for months, sometimes years, perfecting their book. They work with beta readers, critique partners and editors to whip it into shape and do all the right pre-publication work to get their book looking good.

And then they launch it.

And only put in 1% of the work they put into the actual book into their marketing efforts.

So it bombs.

Not because it's a bad book, or because they cut corners, or even because it's not what readers are looking for. It bombs because no one knows it exists.

Because books don't sell themselves.

In addition to working hard at creating the best possible book for your readers, you absolutely must put the effort into marketing that book. This never stops. You will never be able to just release a book without marketing it. Think about it. Even the new Harper Lee book had tons of marketing and PR efforts behind it.

Some authors hold firm to the belief that good books will eventually float their way to the top. They opperate on the assumption that readers will figure out what isn't worth their time and then they'll discover all these wonderful books out there.

This is not how your book will be discovered

Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is how it would work if the world were perfect and someone put me in charge of everything. But this is not how it works and I'm barely in charge of my living room, let alone the world.

Here's the reality. There are a lot of subpar books out there. Really, I know. And yes, those book usually find their way to the abyss. But by the time they do, another dozen (or one hundred) really poor books will release and you'll find yourself vying for reader attention against those. There is no end game here. You can't trust that readers will find your genius and do all your marketing for you. Does that sometimes happen? Sure, once in a blue moon when the stars align and some poor author makes a deal with the devil. For the rest of us, we're the ones who have to put in the work.

Readers are not going to find your book on their own. If you want to see success with your books, you need to put just as much effort into your marketing efforts as you did when you crafted your words.