Does anyone remember Ron Popeil of RONCO? He was an inventor and marketing personality, and hugely successful at selling his stuff. He was famous for his motto, ” Set it and Forget it,” for one of his products. I don’t think it was the approach he took to becoming a household name.
The same thing goes for the writing industry. The question many have is: Can I sell my books?
The truth is I, personally, will be lucky to GIVE AWAY more than twenty books without chasing people down on the streets and forcing them to take it at gun point. 😉
According to one of many articles on the web, here are the stats:
From: Steven Piersanti, President, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Updated September 26, 2016
The number of books being published every year has exploded.
According to the latest Bowker Report (September 7, 2016), more than 700,000 books were self-published in the U.S. in 2015, which is an incredible increase of 375% since 2010. And the number of traditionally published books had climbed to over 300,000 by 2013 according to the latest Bowker figures (August 5, 2014). The net effect is that the number of new books published each year in the U.S. has exploded by more than 600,000 since 2007, to well over 1 million annually. At the same time, more than 13 million previously published books are still available.
Is this disheartening? Yes, a bit. The chances of having a book discovered organically is ver slim. Getting people to pay real money for it is a splinter under the fingernail of an over saturated market.
So what is the key to becoming a popular author? Well, since I am not one yet, I can only offer you my observations as follow:
1. Get popular! The days of love for the romantic vision of the reclusive writer are long over. You have to put yourself, or your pen name, out there on every platform imaginable. Become interesting, even if you’re not. You cannot afford the luxury of being reclusive if you want to be a best seller. To sell books you must sell yourself! Some less than stellar writers are making the big bucks because of their sparkling personalities. Wall flowers with INFJ personalities are rare and beautiful treasures, but must learn to break free of all that quiet individuality and start running with the bulls.
2. Work hard and become an expert in multiple fields or pay someone to do it all for you. That means investing in great editors, graphic artists for book covers, website builders and managers, public relations manager, and photographer. Get a great credit card or take out a loan, because you’ll have to spend lots of money to make any money. And yes, writers don’t only write specifically for the money, but it does help pay the people who can get your book from A to Z in the first place.
3. Keep on pumping out as much volume of written works as you possibly can. Do you know there are gurus recommending getting 20 books written and published as fast as possible in order to possibly earn $50k? There are people writing a novel a month! How, for the life of me, they can do that I have no clue except to presume the obvious. They are writing formula based series’ and probably romance, erotica, or another niche of huge popularity that is easily fed.
What are your thoughts on survival of the ‘author’ in today’s world of self publishing? What tips do you have?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
P.S. That’s Tyke, my mascot and number one fan!
Keep on, keeping on!