If you are an author, one really important question is:
What do successful authors do differently?
This burning question prompted a survey of independent authors by BookBaby, a self-publishing platform for both print and ebooks. BookBaby received 7,789 responses to their recent survey, however, only 4,472 of the respondents were published authors.
Of these 4,472 published respondents, BookBaby found that 38 percent reported that they had made less than $100 on their most recent published book. Another 26 percent reported that they had made between $100 and $500 on their most recent published book. Only 862 (19%) of the respondents reported that they made over $1,000 on their most recent published book.
Based on the answers to the survey, BookBaby dug deep to find out what these 800+ authors are doing differently. The survey found that successful authors generally:
- Had published five or more titles.
- Published their titles in both print and ebook format (many also did audiobook format).
- Paid for professional editing and cover designs for their books.
The survey also looked at what promotional activities these successful authors engaged in. The data showed that, by-and-large, these authors did the following activities to promote their books:
- Offered the book for pre-sale.
- Solicited reviews.
- Held a book launch party.
- Sent out a press release.
- Held a Goodreads giveaway.
- Offered a Kindle giveaway.
- Took a blog tour.
- Conducted book signing tours.
- Created a book trailer for their book.
Interestingly, only 24 percent of these successful authors used a publicist. This means that you don’t have to spend big bucks on hiring a publicist to sell books and make money. This is good news for every independent author and small publisher operating on a shoe-string budget.
Do you want to sell more books? I think that we can learn from other successful authors. If you are not selling as many books as you want, ask yourself: Am I doing all these promotional activities that successful authors are engaging in? If not, then start. These are all actions that any author can take.
It is never too late to start promoting your book. Make a game plan and start working it. The more exposure you get for your book, the more people know about your book, the more sales you will make.
It’s not easy, but the effort is worth it. Promoting a book takes dedication, time, and effort. Decide what you are willing to do and start. You won’t regret it.
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