A challenge is something that requires special effort. It takes special effort on your part to sell your books. Therefore, selling books is challenging. With more than two million books published every year, the book selling climate is fiercely competitive. Every author must meet and overcome three challenges to sell books: attention, time, and declining readership. Let's talk about how.
We all have tasks that we enjoy doing, some we don’t mind doing, and some we dread. Many of us put off doing those tasks that we dread. In fact, almost everyone procrastinates sometimes. Up to 95% of people report that they occasionally procrastinate. However, studies reveal that 20% of people are chronic procrastinators.
Over 850 million books are purchased in the United States each year. According to Nielson, a global information, data, and measurement company, 47% of the American population purchases books. If you do the math, 151 million people bought these books. This means, on average, these book buyers purchase five to six books a year. Why do people buy books? There are four main reasons people buy any product, books included, and understanding why will help you build your author platform.
As a whole, Americans shop a lot. We constantly buy and discard items. Scientists regularly study people’s buying behaviors in an attempt to better learn how people make purchasing decisions. Studies reveal that people’s purchases are determined by three factors: awareness, decision, and availability. You can capitalize on each of these components to sell more books.
Social networking is powerful. One-third of the world uses social networks regularly. Studies show that 81% of shoppers use the Internet to help them make purchasing decisions. While physical book clubs and reading groups still exist, online communities for book lovers make it easy for readers to share the books they are reading and their thoughts about them with a much wider audience. Social networking sites for books allow readers to connect with other readers around books.
An incredible percentage of books sold in the United States are sold by Amazon. This online retailer accounts for 74 percent of all ebook purchases in the country. In 2016, Amazon sold 42 percent of all print books in the US. Since Amazon holds the lion’s share of the book market in the United States, not only should your book be available for sale on Amazon, you should also be taking advantage of Amazon’s book marketing tools to leverage your book sales. One of the book marketing tools Amazon offers for authors is Amazon Author Central.
A book’s title is extremely important. According to Thomas Nelson publishers, research shows that consumers look at a book’s title first and foremost when the author’s name is taken out of the mix (well-known authors are sometimes the deciding factor in purchasing a book). However, coming up with a compelling book title can be arduous, time-consuming work. Here are four guidelines to help you craft a compelling, memorable title for your book.
Endorsements are a powerful no-cost book marketing strategy. Have you ever seen a book cover where the name of the celebrity providing an endorsement for the book was larger than the author’s name? This little trick is used to catch a book buyer’s eye because publishers know that big names sell books. I have found that this effective book marketing strategy is underutilized by independently published authors. A recent informal survey I conducted of independently published books showed that only 20 percent (1 in 5) touted an endorsement. As an author, you should seek endorsements for your book.