Thursday, December 7, 2023

Why 99.99% Of America Will Never Buy Your Book -- And Why That's Great


If someone were to tell you that the rejection rate for your book would be well over 99.99%, would you venture to even try to publish and market it?

Well, when it comes to writing, publishing, and promoting a book, you are quite likely not to sell your book to any more than .01% of the population. In case you are bad in math, that means no more than a 1 in 10,000 odds of success. Now, when you multiply that by the US population of 337,000,000, that could still mean 37,500 book sales. Heck, many authors would be happy with even a .001% success rate -- 1 in 100,000, which means 3,370 would purchase your book.

Authors should realize they can be successful, but perhaps they need to redefine their metric of success. They shouldn't expect to be one of the rarest of rare people who sells over a million copies of their book —or even hundreds of thousands of copies. But they should also realize that even when one sells over a million copies of their book, that they still missed some 336,000,000 people.

So, why won't your book sell a ton of copies? There are numerous reasons, all unrelated to whether or not your book may even be edited badly, poorly written, boring, or packaged terribly. Assuming your book is decent, even great, no more than 99.99% of America will buy or read it because:

1. No one knows it exists.

2. Lacks word of mouth.

3. It did not get any news media attention.

4. Your book didn’t place high in any book awards or writing contests.

5. Poor distribution in stores and/or lack of online availability.

6. Ineffective advertising approach or lack of one.

7. Consumers think they have no time to read it.

8. Potential buyers are on a tight budget and perceive your cover price as high.

9. 10% of America is illiterate.

10. Readers don't find your book to be in their favorite genre.

11. No one sees a strong need to have to read your book.

12. Some lack a powerful desire for your type of book or writing style.

13. 25% only read one book a year. and this just isn't it.

14. Bad book reviews-- or you have few to no book reviews discussing it.

15. Failure to get your network of friends, family, and colleagues to hawk the book.

16. You have a crappy author site and/or a lousy cover and/or a shitty title.

17. Weak or non-existent social media exposure.

18. Lack of a quantity of quality testimonials.

19. No public speaking presence to talk the book up.

20. You made rude or dumb social media posts that turn people off.

21. Millions with ADHD can't focus on your book.

22. Millions more are mentally unstable, stressed, depressed, and too anxiety riddled to read any book.

23. Millions are physically challenged -- poor eyes, injured body, in chronic pain -- and reading a

book is not easy for them.

24. Millions have a prejudice against you just for being who you are and won't touch your book.

25. Millions are simply too dumb or too smart to appreciate the idea of reading your book.

26. People are distracted by other media, from streaming movies, playing video games, and watching sporting events on television to listening to music, reading a newspaper, and listening to a talk-radio program.

27. So many are invested in consuming free online content, from blogs and podcasts to
videos and social media posts.

28. So many people are consumed by their addictions — food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn, shopping — that they lack the time or focus of mind to consume books.

29. Just bad luck.

So, despite the odds of hitting the jackpot with your book being stacked against most people, don’t despair. You only need a tiny fraction of America to embrace your book to experience moderate success, so keep trying your best to get the word out there.

Need Book Marketing 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 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 LinkedIn. 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, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by 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:  

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