There was a story last month about how an 11-year-old book that had virtually no sales shot up to being the No.1 Amazon best-selling thrillers book. It is a story that will inspire all authors to keep trying, for it is never too late to get discovered.
So how did this all happen?
The daughter of author Lloyd Devereaux Richards took to Tik Tok, unknown to her dad, to post a video of her dad working in his office and telling viewers how he always puts family before his writing career, and that even though he spent 14 years writing the book, Stone Maidens, he was still content despite the poor book sales.
The video touched a nerve and was viewed 42.2 million times.
Quite often, the things that we think should make a difference, don’t -- but the things we don’t hold much weight for turn out to be what leads to a breakthrough. Case in point -- you can have a powerful resume but the job you apply for may simply go to someone who did another a favor or has a relationship with the person doing the hiring. This doesn’t mean things don’t happen on merit, but we see many instances when quirky things lead to fame and glory.
Now interestingly, this story, as amazing as it sounds, exposes other things about book marketing. Though it’s cool to hit the top spot of the genre bestseller list, it didn’t crack the top overall Amazon spots. Amazon updates its bestseller list every hour. It’s quite possible to hit No.1 spot for a genre with just a few hundred sales in a one-hour period.
So, though this is a wonderful success story, this book may still not have sold more than a few thousand copies despite 42,000,000 video views. Think about that.
10% of viewers could yield 4.2 million sales. 1% of viewers could yield 420,000 sales. 1 in a thousand views could yield 42,000 sales.
Likely, no more than 1 in every 10,000 views led to a book sale. That seems like some pathetic returns. But in the world of books, that is the picture of success.
Lessons learned here?
· it is never too late to market and be successful
· Despite tens of millions of video views, only a tiny percentage actually buy based on what they see
· To be an Amazon best-seller requires relatively few sales.
Keep hacking away – your breakthrough moment is perhaps one viral video away.
Need Book Marketing Help?
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 over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. 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 award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it 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 www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years 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, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, 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: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.