Why Most Books Fail

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Why Most Books Fail

Dan Janal

Dan Janal
Book Publicity Expert and Speaker

Why isn’t your book successful?

My good friend Joan Stewart spoke on a publishing seminar on a cruise ship recently hosted by my other good friend Judith Briles. Joan reported several reasons why books don’t sell:
1.     No platform..
2.     Giving up too soon.

Let’s look at these.

If you call one more reporter, respond to one more PR LEAD or send out one more press release that could make all the difference between failure and success. Publicity helps you build your platform.

I’d also like to suggest a new tactic.

Let’s assume the main reason speakers, authors, coaches and consultants write books is to – drum roll, please – get more jobs at higher fees. The thinking is that if you have a book, you must be better than the competitor who doesn’t have a book. And if you are an expert, then you can charge more.

To me, that means you need to get your book into the hands of your key prospects. What’s the easiest way to do that?

Send them the book!

Consider this marketing approach:

1.     Write your book.
2.     Make sure it looks great.
3.     Publicize the book to increase your visibility and credibility.
4.     Send the book to the people who you want to hire you and to people that can hire you.
5.     Ask them to hire you.
6.     Cash the checks.

In other words, getting to know your FedEx courier might be a wise investment.

As my friend Rick Frishman who runs the Author 101 University Conference says, “You don’t make money with a book. You make money from the book.”

Write your book and send it to your key prospects. It could be the biggest and best business card you ever handed to a prospect.

And, as Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up!”

By |2016-11-28T23:38:13+00:00January 28th, 2014|Book marketing, Book publicity|1 Comment

About the Author:

Dan Janal, author of "Write Your Book In A Flash!" helps leaders write books so they can get more clients and sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, developmental editing and ghostwriting. For info, go to http://www.WriteYourBookInAFlash.com.

One Comment

  1. Edward Smith January 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Yes, getting your book in the right person’s hands can work miracles.

    Getting more book sales is something I think about on a daily basis.

    Have you ever wondered why some authors make way more money than others, even though there are many better writers?

    I coach authors how to pitch the media in order to get on TV, radio, etc to talk about their book. Almost every client I have comes to me with the question about book quality vs. book sales.

    Right up front I can tell you two things about getting rich selling your book.

    1. Success does not depend on the quality of your book. Some of the best selling books are honestly just bad. And some of the best books I have seen hardly sold a copy. I am sure you have seen this yourself.

    2. The amount of money you spend on publicity has very little effect on the sales of the book. Most of the successful authors I coach do their own publicity and don’t even pay for press releases to be distributed. On the other hand some
    public relations campaigns generate almost nothing in sales. How many times have you walked past a book signing in a bookstore and have seen no one there? Bookstores do not buy your books, bookstore customers buy your books

    The key to being a rich author is to get on TV, radio and be featured in print, so the public knows about your book and wants to buy it. So let’s look at some of the things rich authors know about publicity and see if you can copy them. Here they are:

    · Rich authors take action. They don’t wait for someone else to pump up their book sales, they are pro active. They make a plan to get publicity and actually do it. More precisely, they copy a plan that someone else used to be successful. They do not try to reinvent the wheel. They do not put it off waiting till they are in the mood, etc.

    Many do their own publicity. Instead of using a PR agency or worse yet, doing nothing, they get out there and do their own publicity. No one understands your book and your target readers better than you do. Trying to translate that to a PR person who then has to translate it to someone else is a recipe for disaster.

    They think outside the box in terms of book sales. Focusing only on bookstores and Amazon as the place to sell books causes you to leave tons of money on the table. But if you get a company like say Amway or Mary Kay to give a copy to each of their sales people, you are going to sell thousands of books at one time. I even had a client sell thousands of coffee table books to a large furniture retailer to use as a give away. What if you could get the Shopping Network, or “As Seen On TV” to pick up the book? Can you find a way to have a company to buy your book to use with their employees or to give to their customers?

    · Rich authors don’t focus on getting positive book reviews; they go right to their readers by getting on TV, radio, etc. Chasing reviews take a lot of time and effort and has a minimal effect on generating sales. Plus the big reviewers tend to concentrate on well know authors from the big publishing houses. Self-published authors do not have a chance with them. Contrast this with a TV producer who does not care about reviews or your previous success, they just want a good guest. Fiction authors find a way to make a story about something around the book, not necessarily the story itself.

    · They set their ego aside and think in terms of what their readers are interested in. Rich authors rarely start their pitches by talking about the book itself, they have a story much bigger than the book. Rich authors set their own opinions aside and listen to what the readers say they want to hear about. This is what rich authors do best of all. They give the audience what they want instead of forcing their own agenda on them. This is where the media forces you to think properly. Producers and editors know what their audience wants and they only focus on things that deliver stories that draw an audience. You have to think like a media person and only focus on what the media audience is looking for.

    · And then there is the number one thing rich authors do that poor authors do not do. Rich authors know how to pitch the media in order to get on TV, radio and print publications talking about their books. But lets face it, most authors are great writers, but haven’t a clue about doing their own PR. Poor authors do some reading on the subject and get the idea that blasting out a press release will get them coverage. Of course few media people read press releases anymore, but they don’t know that. Rich authors send out targeted, focused email pitches that cost them nothing. Talk about bang for your buck!

    OK, Thanks for letting me add to the conversation and thanks again for the advice to get that book in the right hands.

    Edward Smith.

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