I saw some good advice on book sales this week from bestselling author Allison Brennan:
“There is only one thing that truly sells books, and that is word of mouth.”
EVERYONE in publishing says the exact same thing: The only thing that sells books is word of mouth–and there is no one way to make that work. There is not only no one way, but there’s no guaranteed way. What works for one author doesn’t work for another. You could have two writers with strong reviews, and one hits lists and one tanks. One gets talked about, one doesn’t.
Ms. Brennen says there are things you can do while creating your book: Cover design, cover endorsements, early reviews, knowing your competition, sales enthusiasm, and broad distribution to improve your chances of getting some great word of mouth advertising going.
But, unfortunately, you cannot buy word of mouth. You can’t pay people to love your books. But you can create more great books that get into the hands of readers who want to read them.
I have found that new books do sell your older books. Sales of my first book: Midlife Magic definitely increased when I came out with How to Believe In Love Again. And in the long run, it is your older books that will make the bulk of your profit.
I modeled my new book on the title: Codependent No More. That is one successful self-help book! It is #273 on Amazon today, 25 years after the original publication date. The reason this book is so successful is that it provides a simple explanation of a complex and yet common psychological problem, so therapists can easily recommend it to their clients who need help with codependency issues.