Saturday, October 23, 2021

Why Are Only Some Authors Successful?


Many, many, many writers complain out loud about not being able to get some attention for their book. We are not even talking about selling the movie rights or hitting a major best-seller list. They just want to sell more than a few hundred copies of their book and to have a chance at seeing their books get discovered.  

So what stands in their way? Consider these 27 major factors:  

1. Too many books have swamped the market. There are 4,000 books released into the United States every single day — including weekends, holidays, sick days, or bad weather days. There are too many authors and publishers who market their books. Not everyone markets their book, and few do it well, but more people competing with you makes your job harder.  

2. Too many other people trying to get attention for something else, such as sell a product or promote a social or political agenda. Social and traditional media can only give so much attention to so many things. Books don’t just compete with books for consumer wallets and mindshare, or for news media coverage and social media posts.  

3. The odds and numbers are what they are — winning is scarce. Many lose; few win. It is the Hunger Games out there. Compete or perish.  

4. Fail to do what is needed. It is one thing to try and fail; it is another to simply fail to try.   

5. Don’t know what is needed. Authors who research what is possible in promoting a book or message can then choose their best options. They can act out of knowledge and awareness.  

6. Think they did everything possible to market a book — and did it right — when they actually fell short on either or both.  

7. Lack book marketing skills. Learn more about social media, advertising, speaking, and traditional media — and get schooled in the art of public relations.  

8. Lack resources or fail to use them: time/money. If you can’t do something, hire someone. Use your time wisely and efficiently.  

9. Lack connections/access or fail to exploit those that you have. There is no doubt about it— you must build up and call upon your network. What can others do for you? Who do they know? What do they know?  

10. Lack emotional support. You may need a cheerleader and to hear an inspiring voice. Friends, family, mentors, coaches, or therapists can motivate you to succeed.  

11. Your marketing just isn’t good enough. Duh. Hire someone to do it for you!  

12. Your book is just not all that. Okay, it stinks! You will get negative word-of-mouth and bad reviews, which can injure your ability to sell to others.  

13. Bad timing/luck. It happens. But that doesn’t last forever. Move on from any temporary or minor setback.  

14. Self-sabotage/procrastinate. Do not be your worst enemy.  

15. You are not in physical shape or lack the energy to do much by way of marketing. Go on a diet, hit the gym, and take your vitamins!  

16. Addiction, a chronic condition or disability. If you are not healthy, it can hamper your efforts to market.   

17. Problems: family, finances, pets, etc. Yes, real life can interfere with your ability to focus on and excel at book marketing. Clear your head, confront what is taxing you, and then set aside time for you. Stay focused. Perhaps you have ADD, are involved in a lawsuit, or you are tending to a sick child or parent. There can be a long list here of distractions, but you can’t use them as an excuse.  

18. You are not organized or prioritizing things, you lack a plan of action, show no initiation, and exhibit no follow-up. Either get off your couch and get your act together or just throw in the towel.  

19. You miscalculate something or make wrong assumptions and as a result, you fall short of a goal.  

20. You guess about or hope for something instead of actually leading and doing.   

21.  You misjudge others in what they can do to help you.  

22. You under- or overestimate your efforts or the quality of your ideas.  

23. Egocentric. Your ego can drive you but it can also force you to act like an ass. The world does not revolve around you. Balance your pride with a sense of service, empathy, and teamwork.  

24. Low IQ. Nothing can fix that. Hire a pro.  

25. Crappy personality. Smile, be nice, and show an interest in others.  

26.  Shitty attitude. You are what you think, so start thinking positively,  optimistically, and confidently.  

27. Your whole look is not attractive, from your body and smile to your clothes and grooming. Fix yourself up so that you don’t go all ogre on people and turn them off.


“If you want something badly, keep at it until it’s yours. Don’t strop because you think you tried enough or believe it’s not going to happen. Don’t make those assumptions.”

—Al Roker, Today Show

Contact For Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

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