I have recently self-published my first book “KNOWING GOD”; and I have my own blog: the question I have been asking myself is: “How come I haven’t sold a lot of books?” Which made me think from a shopper point of view. What do I look for when I buy a book? , what ticks me off to make this invaluable purchase?
That got me thinking about the impulse I get when I purchase CD’s, DVD’s, books and go to the movies.
Well, let’s forget about the book market for a moment and focus about the other stuff like the music and movie business. A while back, I used to buy my music tapes from the music stores as I paid the full price, being a music lover. Nowadays, I don’t want and do not have the money to be spending 20 euros on an album. I do buy my music on amazon and I get the cheapest CD’s I can find because I can buy so many for a cheap price without forgetting that billing price will go up once the postage is adding to my transaction. Today, I own an MP3 and I don’t really like having a lot of CD’s boxes around, they take too much storage space. So I only buy the MP3 download version of the album I fancy on amazon, I recently saw them on the deezer.com for half the price they are sold on amazon which helps me to reduce the money I spend on CD’s and DVD’s.
Besides, when I go to the amazon page to buy music, I just type the name of the artist I like and see what’s come up; I listen to the album quickly to make sure I would enjoy the music. As a matter of fact, I would rarely visit the next pages of the search for that artist because I’m usually satisfied with the prices displayed on the two first pages of my search. I always go for the cheapest seller.
Talking about movies, I do go to the movies but I tend to go in the morning because it is cheaper, I only go to the cinema to see big budget movies like “AVATAR”, “LORD OF THE RINGS”, “PONYO”, “NARNIA”; however, the small budget movies like Jennifer Anniston movies, I’d rather see them on DVD’s or on streaming even though the quality is not that good. I want to make an intelligent remark which is, that people would rather go to the cinema if it was cheaper. I’m prepared to go to the cinema a lot more if the price of the movie came up to 3 euros for a movie, but, that does only happen when they have the film festivals, and again, they are only showing films that are a bit crap not like the big blockbusters.
About the books ???????
I used to buy my books in a small Christian shop including Borders and WH Smith when I didn’t own a computer. I found those shops quite expensive compare to the internet. Now that I do have internet, I shop on amazon for my books and I do search by subject and author. Those that have big names like Joyce Meyer have credibility but I came across other authors that I never heard before. I use the “search inside the book” and the table contents as I can find out if the book would be something I would enjoy reading. Most of the time, I will also look only at the two first pages of my search because the more knowledgeable books would be displayed in the first pages of the search. I would also usually purchase the cheapest book within the selection I’m interested in. I rarely read the comments to find out if the book has had a great impact but I usually do that when I buy household or beauty products on amazon because sometimes you can end up buying a crap product.
When I used to work in London, I’ll be looking at what people are reading in the underground and if I like the cover, I would go and do a search on the internet to purchase that book. I usually enjoyed that book once I read it. I usually dump them on the tube or charity shop for somebody else to enjoy reading it. I usually recommend the book to my friends.
As a self-publisher, I can understand why my book doesn’t sell. I’m a new author. My book is at the end of the search list where people usually never bother to look at, competing with so many books that have been bought so many times and are sold back at a ridiculous price. The price of my book is quite overpriced compare to those already on the market. I’ve put my book on a kindle format at a ridiculous price and if my book is at the end of the list, it will probably never been looked at.
I got myself thinking, I’m sure my book would be selling in book shops on a nice display if people see my lovely book cover, people usually pick up a book when they see a nice cover and are also interested about what the back cover reveals about the book.
In conclusion, Would I be staying in the book business long enough to see a miracle. Probably yes, probably not, it depends if God gives me the patience to wait for positive results. Amazingly enough, my blog has already been read by more than 850 people. That is a big mass of people. Imagine if that 800 people would have bought my book, I would have written more books by then. Explanation follows:
When you are an inexperienced writer like me, you have to finance your book cover, editing and marketing. All those things cost money. Searching for the right publisher costs money too, I remembered printing so many papers as I sent a synopsis to so many publishing companies. I got a lot of rejection letters; the only positive offer I got was from a publishing company that went bankrupt shortly after. When I got self-published, I spent quite a lot of money, buying my own book to send it to churches, people on the internet and a Christian radio but I got only one feedback in return. That’s life. So many efforts for nothing. Even my friends can be excited about you writing a book, but not one of them purchased my book. I’m not disgusted; I’m just saying “Welcome to the real Word”.
I do live in France and I love writing in English but, for those, who are abroad, if you write books, try to sell a few copies through your church bookstore, I’m sure you’ll have a chance to impact the congregation in a nice way.
As I always say, the hard part is not writing the book because it comes as a second nature. The hardest part is to get people interested in buying your books. Things are different for those that have a lot of money that can be invested in top PR and marketing campaigns. Everything is done for them by top professionals; they even have book signing events.
Sorry if I disappointed quite a few writers in this article but the truth had to be said.
Wishing you the best of luck with your writing. Thank you for reading me.