Amazon now boasts over forty-eight million books available. Amazon represents about 50% of all print books published. Add in the other publishers like Barnes and Noble and that makes close to one hundred million books waiting to be purchased. That’s a lot of authors. So the question is, how do people find my books? If I were a movie star or well-known politician, some publisher may want to promote my work with advertising, tv appearances, book signing and such. As it is, the majority of books end up buried deep down in the bowels of the vast book warehouse to be lost forever after a few friends and family members make their purchase.
The sad part is, there are multitudes of fantastic books available that hardly anyone knows exist. Once a book is written and published, the challenge becomes one of making people aware that it is available and to entice them into reading it. That takes time, money, experience, talent, and commitment. Most authors don’t have the marketing skill or resources necessary to promote their books. Publishers are generally unwilling to do the job unless the author is well known or has a very unique feature that will attract readers. Writers are often shy about promoting their own work and when they do, it can be viewed as self-serving and annoying if overdone.
So here is the challenge, how do I, as an author, get my books on to the shelves of bookstores, listed high in the search engines, talked about in blogs, and shared on social media? I’ve already discovered that internet ads cost far more than they return. Online book clubs prey on authors, making claims of sale potential, and charging big fees. Very few books actually return the investment. The work of book promotion far outweighs the effort of writing.
Is there a solution? If so, I haven’t found it. I do know that people buy my books when I post something about them on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and such. Not in significant quantities, but enough to make me feel like the writing might be worthwhile. And, I get good reviews from those who read them. That is encouraging as well.
Take a risk, try digging deeper the next time you look for your next book to order. Who knows, you might discover a real gem overlooked by the multitudes. And you’ll make an author very happy.