My Book Isn’t Selling

My Book Isn't SellingDamn! Why isn’t anyone buying my book?

I had a good laugh today when I read a thread on an online forum about the lack of sales for a certain ebook. To make sure I don’t offend anyone, I haven’t copy and pasted the actual conversation, but have paraphrased it. I’m sure you will get the idea though and may have even come across similar attitudes. Ok, it went like this:

Author: My ebook has been available on Amazon for a week now, and I have no sales.

Forum: It’s a cookbook, and they don’ sell very well.

Author: It’s a recipe book!

Forum: I’ve had a look at your ebook, and the cover isn’t all that good and the title is repetitive.

Author: What’s repetitive?

Forum: It’s a book of fifty recipes. You don’t need to mention that fact twice in the title because that’s not a lot of recipes.

Author: My cover is great.

Forum: There are no photos with your recipes. You really should have a photo for each one.

Author: What????? I don’t know how to do that, and anyway, I can’t cook every recipe and photograph them all. That would take months.

Forum: Writing a book does take months.

Author: But no one has bought my book. It’s available. I checked!

Forum: Cookbooks generally only sell well if the author is well-known. There’s more to be made from recipe blogging if you are unknown.

Author: What’s the point in writing a damn book if no one buys it? I want sales for my ebook because it took me ages to write it! What’s the problem here? I don’t have time to start a blog!

Forum: Silence………………

Yep, if you write a book, of course, everyone will be rushing to hit that ‘buy button’ and you’ll become filthy rich in no time at all. Of course! But usually, you will end up asking yourself, ‘why isn’t my book selling?’

11 thoughts on “My Book Isn’t Selling”

  1. I’ve lost count of the number of times those of us like you and I Derek, who do have a modicum of success with our books, hear bleating like this from newbies who aren’t prepared to put in the time. Writing a book, any book, is merely the first step in a never ending process, especially if you are an Indie. :)

  2. Geraldine Evans

    Newbies will just have to learn the hard way, as us oldies who’ve been at this writing game for years, have had to dol

    If they’re not serious about their writing, they’d do better to just clear off and leave more room for those amongst us who have the ‘write thing’ by the scruff — even when it turns round and bites us. Sounds good to me!

  3. Well I have quit explaining that writing is hard work and promoting etcetera. So have more writers I know…somtimes a top, sometimes a flop….a friend explained it as dreaming of a baby however once you have a baby……

  4. Lorinda J. Taylor

    My books are not instantaneous best sellers, but I am acquiring a small following and I’m in it for the long haul.

  5. Am a newbie Which is the best ebook with a chance of being noticed. Aside from the extra bits you have to do.

    1. There is no such thing as a good ebook, without the extra bits. Believe me, it takes an awful LOT of extra bits to make an ebook successful. Usually, a brilliant story, a fantastic cover, perfect editing, smart pre-launch marketing, at-launch and after launch marketing and then a huge dose of old fashioned good luck.

  6. Mishael Witty

    That’s the #1 reason I have not yet written a cookbook – the photos (because I know I do need them…and I need to do them well!).

  7. Petra K Taylor

    You can’t expect to be a successful writer in any genre without a lot of research, writing, editing, etc. In other words, if you aren’t prepared to actually WORK on a writing project, you’re setting up to fail.

    Recipe books need much more effort, as they require clear photographs of each dish, which means either you or someone you know must prepare each recipe, following your directions to the letter. This has two benefits; 1. You learn if the instructions are as clear and concise as they should be. 2. You know if the dish is edible or not as prepared. It simply won’t do to poison your fans with your recipes.

    If you aren’t confident in your photography skills, reach out to a family member or friend who is and ask the favor of his/her help with your project. If you seek their help for free, you can’t expect them to do their best work for you. Offer a trade, say including one of his/her favorite recipes in a link on your web site and a free, signed copy of the book after it’s published. You can also offer to promote his/her latest works in exchange for word of mouth advertising.

    That’s the third reason to make sure the recipes you’re publishing are edible at the very least. If this sounds like too much work for you, then writing isn’t your gift.

    A great cover shot is essential for any book, but especially for one that involves any kind of craft (with cooking at the top of the list). Self-publishing isn’t a slap-dash process. You must be on point in every aspect of your writing efforts. Simply typing in a series of recipes, slapping on a cover with a so-so photography, and expecting it to be a success is a fool’s errand.

    1. Petra K Taylor

      The last tip I have for anyone writing a recipe or other crafts book, is KEEP IT SHORT. 50 recipes is too long, especially if they aren’t organized by category. Would you search through the book to find a particular recipe? Or would you give up looking after your first ten or so pages?

      Anything with categories MUST have an index, preferably in alphabetical order. The listing should include the name of the recipe and the page number where you can find it. Recipe books have categories, so they must likewise have an index.

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