Since starting Masculine Books I’ve worked with a lot of authors. Too often I see that their book sales aren’t where they should be (Anybody can track these sales via the sales rank on an Amazon page).
Of course, not all books will be best sellers. Most will sell a few hundred copies at best. Yet, any author who has put hard work, sweat and tears into a book wants to sell more books. Not just for money, but for validation, as well as to give people joy and to help them improve their lives (when relevant).
Publishers Can Only Do So Much
The problem is that too many authors rely on publishers to sell more books. They simply write the book and let the publishers do the rest.
This is a huge mistake.
Years ago going through a big publisher was the only way to sell more books. And if you want to get on the New York Times Bestseller List, you still have to go through one of the big East Coast publishers.
With the advent of Amazon, however, the role of the big publishers is being diminished. So, for an author who wants to maximize their income and get as many sales as possible through self-publishing there is one huge way to boost sales:
Start a Website!
And not just a plain website with your face and a bio. You need a website that actively posts content. This will not only increase readership, but can funnel your readers to your Amazon book page.
Two great examples of this are Mike Cernovich and Scott Adams. Both of these men have hugely popular blogs, brands and now books.
Mike from Danger&Play has built up a huge following, currently pushing
90,000 95,000 Twitter followers. His website is popular and contains a ton of information on self-development, and more recently lots of unique articles on politics and journalism that digs deep.
This brand he built from scratch is the reason his books sell so well.
Sure, Adams has a world-famous brand through his Dilbert comics, but that’s not why his sales are so good. He can’t advertise a book on a comic strip.
The reason Adams’s book sells so well is because at the end of nearly every post he directs his readers towards his book. Take this example:
If you like puppies and sunlight, you might like my book. Because it’s just like that.” (Source)
Most of the time his ‘Call-to-Actions’ make no sense. And they don’t have to. They’re funny and Adams is a cartoonist, who has become wealthy and well known because of his humor. So even when Scott writes about Trump, he can still find a way to pitch his book.
If you have no blog, let alone a website, you don’t have this luxury.
Even if you write a superb book, how is anyone supposed to find it on Amazon?
There are millions of books in the Kindle store, and it is unlikely that someone will find it through searching alone. You have to lead them there. Use your website to do so.
More Content = More Sales
I get solicitations every once in a while to review a book from a publishing house. This is great for me! I get to read free books and build credibility by working with established publishers. But because of the size of my site, I don’t move a ton of books. Publishers either don’t know this, or just don’t care.
This is the typical path that publicizing a book goes through. Bigger authors will have access to other media like TV and radio too. But in the era of Amazon, people are much, much more likely to buy a book after clicking a link to Amazon from someone’s blog, then they are after listening to a radio interview on NPR.
If these publishers insisted that the author start their own site and write 25 articles, they’d do quite well.
Think about it this: What’s better, a single book review or dozens of posts with a link to the author’s book?
Now, if it was a website with millions of visitors each month like Tim Ferriss’s website, the former choice may work. But 99%+ of the time it pays to have your own site.
Take Action. Start Your Website Today!
I’ve really taken this idea to heart. Okay, sure, I don’t have a book out right now, but when I do I will have the perfect market to sell it to: Men who want to read great books.
Here’s how you can use the same strategy. Let’s say you want to write a book about how to lose fat. It’s going to be an uphill battle to sell against the hundreds of other fat loss books on Amazon. You’d be lucky to make a few sales each month.
If you start your own website writing regularly about fat loss, you’re going to build an audience to market this book to. Sure, not everyone will buy your book. Most will just want to use your free content. However, if you can get thousands of visitors a month, and convert just 5% of those readers, you can do quite well.
The concept is simple, but it’s A LOT of work. Posting several times a week for months, even years, takes a lot of dedication and effort, but it will pay off in the long run.
- How to Sell 10,000 Copies of Your First Book Without Being a Scammer or Selling Out from Danger & Play
- How I Make 10k Per Month Online from Bold & Determined