Selling Your Book

You’ve written and published a book. Everyone (all six of them) said it is a great book. It has been six months and you have sold ten books. Your book should have been a best seller, from your perspective. What happened?

I have seen estimates that there are 500 to 800 books published each day in the US and 90% of them never sell 100 copies. Amazon has over three millions books for sell and one book is added every five minutes. Your book is buried by a mountain of other worthless books. Granted, most of those books are what I call “junk books.” The majority of them are bizarre, erotica, sleazy romance, how to, and others that although they are “junk books” they bury good books that might otherwise capture the attention of book buyers.

I try to explain to inquiring authors how complicated it is for a non-celebrity to sell books when they ask me about publishing a book. It may sound like I’m discouraging them from writing. No, I’m just honest. On top of the typical statistics, Christians have a narrow market and depending on the subject, the market narrows even more. I’ve heard the sad stories of authors paying publishers $1,000 or more to publish a book only to find out that marketing the book is in the hands of the author, unless the book goes to brick and mortar bookstores by means of traditional publishing. However that would require an investment of $25,000 or more per book. If the book does not sell, returns eat up any profit and could drive the publisher into bankruptcy. Selling and marketing books all boils down to name recognition or what I call celebrity status or doing the hard work of promoting your book. I’ve often been asked, “why do you write books?” I write because I believe God will use these books to nurture Christians in their walk with the Lord, even if my ministry on earth is over.

If you write a book that is God-centered, your work is not in vain. The quality and value of your book, will become known because the author wants to honor God. The challenge is to get potential buyers to go to a site like Amazon to learn more about your book.

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