By all government accounts, this November will be a milestone for our world population. We will see the planet hit 8,000,000,000 people. How can authors sell their books to this huge and growing number?
First, just to give you some perspective, the world hit one billion residents in 1804. It took only another 123 years to add another billion, in 1927. Then, just 33 years later, in 1960, we hit three billion. From that point on we have added another billion every 11-14 years, surpassing four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999, and seven billion in 2011.
In fact, the march from seven to eight billion is happening faster than any other period in time.
Still, population growth was expected to be even more explosive when scientists and governments looked at population trends. What they did not foresee was how access to legal birth control and abortion — and a values change on family size coupled with changing economic trends — would lead to fewer people having children, fewer children being born to those who have children, and a delay in age as to when women have children.
Ok, sorry for the digression. Back to this golden opportunity of marketing books to the global population. Yes, eight billion people is a big number that can’t be ignored.
Let’s break it down a few ways. There are about 200 countries in the world. Each country speaks its own language. Several dozen speak English primarily but then it is on to Google Translate and Berlitz lessons.
So, step one, translate your book into more languages. Look for countries that observe copyright laws, are civilized, and have some educated residents. Or, sell the foreign language and territorial rights to a publisher in each country.
Will your book be of interest to people overseas? How long would it take to accurately translate it? Are there values or views expressed in your book that other nations would not embrace? Think about it.
Next, whether there are eight, eighty or one billion people around, you won’t sell many books to anyone unless you have a focused, targeted, and reasonable book marketing plan with the funds, time, help, and resources to support it. Think about it.
Now, let’s break down the eight billion. How many care about your genre? How many are literate? How many can afford to buy books? How many are living in war zones, diseased areas, food deserts, and impoverishment?
So many people could never be your customer or reader, not because your book is lousy, but just simply because of insurmountable barriers of language, location, and functionability. Sadly, the world of eight billion gets reduced to:
* USA 331 million
* Canada 38 million
* UK 68 million
Throw in ex-patriates of those places and maybe you get to a half billion people who speak English and would conceivably have some interest in your book.
Now take into account how many are sick, poor, illiterate, disabled, and otherwise too distracted or busy to read books. Age is a factor too — young kids are not able nor desiring to read adult books and the geriatrics have no interest in reading children’s picture books. Now how big is our market?
You know what, none of these numbers means shit. Suffice to say, there are plenty of potential consumers that await you. Go find them and sell your book!
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully 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 ©2022. 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 blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.