Selling books. Making money. Being a full-time author. Pretty much the dream writing life for most writers.
And yet, so many authors aren’t having this experience. So many are feeling frustrated and like they’re wasting their time because it’s never going to happen.
Maybe you’ve felt (or feel) this way?
I know I have. Back before I decided to take control of my writing destiny, I used to feel that way all the time. Like, what’s the point? I have these great books out there and barely anyone is reading them.
This year, I had a breakthrough. I finally stepped up my productivity, my writing habits and, most importantly, got my mind in the game. And now that I’ve done those things, I’m selling an average of 1,000+ books a month, pretty much without even trying. (That’s not to say I didn’t ever have to try. Of course I did, it’s just now I have momentum. More on that below.)
But I had one month this year that was bigger than all the other months (at least, so far). In July, I sold 2,312 books (and made a little over $800)!! Not bad for 31 days.
I recently did a breakdown to see what exactly went into selling that many books, and now averaging 1,000+ sales a month. And here’s what I came out with:
1. Get Into Alignment
For the first time ever, I’m finally in full alignment with the writing goals I have and the writing career that I want. I’m no longer fighting it. I’m not playing small or acting like it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m setting an intention for exactly what I want to create and I’m taking actions every day to move in that general direction.
That’s what alignment is. It means that your thoughts, beliefs, words and actions are all working in harmony and moving in the same direction.
Being in alignment has helped me to start writing, publishing and selling more books.
2. Have An “I Sell Books” Mindset
Believe it or not, your mind is the source of everything you currently see in your reality (whether you like it or not). Hard to accept, I know, because then you have to take responsibility for the fact that you believe shitty things that are holding you back and you have negative thoughts that are limiting your success.
But when you can just accept where you are–and accept all that you’ve created up to this point–you can start to create something new.
In February of this year, I amped up the mindset work I started doing back in August 2015 and began a daily practice of writing intentions in my journal. One of those daily intentions was, “I am a bestselling author.” Another was, “I sell thousands of books every month.”
I still write intentions like that every single day. Because out of everything I’ve done in my writing career, the best thing I ever did for myself was start a daily mindset practice. It has hands-down changed everything for me.
When you have an “I sell books” mindset, as opposed to an “it’s hard to sell books” mindset or an “I wish I knew how to sell more books” mindset, it really can be the difference between making sales and not making sales. Because you create in your reality what you believe in your mind. And if you believe that it’s hard to sell books or that you don’t know how to sell books, that’s exactly what you will experience.
Decide right now that you’re going to create an “I sell books” mindset and don’t ever look back.
3. Publish Multiple Books
I see so many authors spending time on marketing when all they have is one book. And while, yes, you do have to do some marketing for that book, you also want to make it a priority to write and publish the next book. Because what happens if someone buys your book, loves it and then there’s nothing else for them to buy?
You got it–they go elsewhere.
So if you don’t have at least 2 books published, it’s time to get to work. I started selling 1,000+ books a month when I had 6 books published. Now that I’ve got 8 (with more in the works), I know my book sales numbers will keep growing.
The best way to sell a book is with another book.
4. Build Relationships–With Readers and People In Your Industry/Genre
After a year of blogging, I decided to branch out and start guest posting (where you publish your articles on someone else’s blog). Doing that helped me to connect with editors in the writing industry (on blogs where my target readers are), and from those connections came other opportunities.
For example, in July, I was invited to participate in a one-day, 99 cent eBook promo along with 8 other authors. The other authors were all well-known writers who have big communities of writers and authors. So by having a connection with the person running the promotion, I was not only invited to participate, but I got my book in front of 8 new audiences. I also made connections with the other authors who were part of the promo.
And, of course, I had my biggest book sales month ever.
Relationships are everything when it comes to online marketing. So if you’re not already making connections and building relationships with potential promo partners and potential readers, now’s the time to start.
5. Launch A New Book
In the month of July, I launched my eBook, The 15-Minute Writer: How To Write Your Book In Only 15 Minutes A Day. This was a brand new book, which means every single person who saw it or checked it out was new to it. It was something that even my repeat readers could buy.
Having a new book can make it easier to get sales, especially if you’ve already got a few books out there that people have bought.
This goes back to what I said about having multiple books. And what’s cool about Amazon (and other sites) is once you’ve got a few books out and enough reviews, it will start suggesting your book to people who look at related books.
6. Charge 99 cents
I’ve been testing out pricing this year, to see if it makes a difference. When all of my books are 99 cents, I sell a lot more of them than when I charge more.
I know that sounds crazy–all that hard work and then you only get a 35% royalty from Amazon! (I do have a couple books that cost $2.99 as well.)
But when your book is 99 cents, people are more willing to give it a try. Everyone has wasted a dollar at some point in their life, so 99 cents is less of a risk than a book that costs more.
If you’re just starting out or are a new author, I highly recommend trying a 99 cent pricing strategy. It may just be the difference between making sales or not.
As you grow, get more known and have more books available, then you can have a mix of prices and increase your overall profit.
7. Build Momentum
I’ve been online since 2008 and building my following ever since. Which means I’ve had 8+ years of connecting, building relationships, and growing a readership. I have momentum.
You can create momentum too, and it doesn’t have to take 8 years. If you focus on what’s really important about book marketing (hint: it’s not about selling books), you can make it happen a lot faster.
Once you’ve got momentum, your books can almost sell themselves. That’s not to say I’m not still doing marketing, but I don’t put a ton of energy into marketing my books at the moment, and I’m still selling 1,000+ a month.
Book marketing is like a roller coaster–at first it’s a slow climb, but when you hit the tipping point, it’s all momentum from there.
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What’s one thing you can do today to start selling more books? Share in the comments.
One Reply to “How I Sold 2,300+ Books in 31 Days”
One useful particular about having multiple books, that Toby Neal said in http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2016/09/26/setting-series-toby-neal/ “The International Thriller Writers did a survey that said, I think a reader has to read 3.7 books by an author approximately, so that’s four before they remember the author’s name.”
Each new book multiplies the value of all of them. We aren’t really selling one book at a time, we’re selling ourselves, and a reader who likes us has a good shot at buying our whole past and future output, so more books is more sales with everyone we connect to. Plus it helps make and keep that connection, by making a first impression of “all those books? this is a pro, I *really* should take a look,” and then that lingering impression to help the reader look for (and share) your name later.
(I just launched my own second book last weekend. Let’s see how much that helps over time.)