Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Few Book Sales Separate Best-Selling Writers From Obscurity

The New York City Marathon this month featured over 50,000 runners. They ran as hard as they could for 26.2 miles.  Amazingly, only three seconds -- out of 7800 seconds worth of running --separated the winner and the second-place finisher.  In fact, less than a minute separated the top four finishers.  Can you imagine running for several hours and around 137,000 feet – and you lose by just seconds or a few feet?

This type of separation in running is no different than the level of competition in book publishing.

Every day, 3500 books are published in America – or one every 25 seconds or so. Many books compete for a sales ranking on places like Amazon and other best-seller lists. A few may really stick out, but the vast majority are bunched together and just a few sales can make the difference between being considered a winner or a best-seller vs. being viewed as mediocre, or worse, a failure.

When you look at the finish times for the marathoners, many finish within four hours, which is no slouching feat considering how many like me hardly move and couldn’t walk 26.2 miles in a day, let alone run it so quickly.  But for those in the game and competing, there can be a sea of difference in how you place in the standings just by a matter of minutes.

Authors can sprint to success by getting a certain number of registered sales in a short period of time.  According to the best-seller lists on Publishers Weekly, one usually makes it if they sell 3,000 copies in a given week through recorded channels like Amazon, B&N and places that use BookScan.  So it could come down to 100 sales in a week that turns one book into a best-seller and one into obscurity.

Writers like to write and let the book marketing work itself out but today’s writer knows he or she has to write the ending to their book sales.  They have to make that final push at the end of a grueling, competitive race to nudge ahead of the competition.

Authors can’t take anything for granted or leave things to chance.  They have to implement a best-seller strategy and pad it with extra sales to ensure they don’t just fall short of their goal to hit a best-seller list.

What will land you on a best-seller list?  Get pre-orders for your book prior to launching.  Discount the book if necessary.  Call upon friends and family to buy copies from traditional outlets in a specific week – and ask them to ask their friends and family to buy as well.  Offer bonus incentives or trade favors with people who have big social media followings to play your book up.  Advertise on Facebook and generate buzz with a strategic book publicity campaign. 

Whatever you do, you need to know that the field of competition is enormous, hungry, and fierce.  But not everyone has a great book, nor do they apply resources and a good strategy to support it.  You can get a leg up on the competition and surpass perhaps hundreds of thousands of others simply by securing a hundred book sales more than them.

You don’t want to run a marathon and place far behind the winner when only a minute separates you.  It’s time to turn the page and go all Rocky on your fellow writers.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby

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