I’m constantly appalled at the number of people who think that just because they self-publish a book, millions of people are going to buy it right away at the highest price possible. Here’s a dose of reality to anyone who thinks self-publishing is a quick way to get rich.
- Rule #1: Nobody cares about your book
- Rule #2: Nobody cares about you
Once you can get those two rules firmly embedded in your head, you can start dealing from a position of reality. First of all, if nobody cares about your book, your first task is to make them care. Once you make enough people care about your book, there’s a good chance a percentage of those people will actually buy it. So how do you make people care about your book?
Start by providing useful information on a regular basis through blogs, e-mail newsletters, social networks, in-person lectures, and anything else you can think of that promotes you and your book while intriguing your possible audience. Banish the thought that your market is everyone. Your real market are people will will buy your book.
So start by identifying who will likely buy your book. Then find where those people are and give them useful information until they trust you. Only after they trust you will they likely buy your book.
Absolutely nobody is going to buy your book just because it exists. 99% of all people will also never buy your book just because you mention it to people, print it in a newspaper or magazine article, or display the book cover on a web site. The only sure way to get people to buy your book is to first get people to trust that your book will provide them with something that they want. To do that, you must first bombard potential customers with lots of useful and valid information to get them to trust you. Once they trust you, they’ll be more likely to buy your book.
Until you get people to trust you, your chances of selling even one copy of your book every five years is close to nil.
Flood the Internet with useful information. Eventually people will appreciate all this free information and conclude that if you’re willing to give away so much information for free, then your book will likely offer something of value as well. Even if your book is nothing more than a slickly packaged version of the information you’ve been giving away for free, it still offers people that convenience factor of having everything in one place.
Even if people start buying your books, they still don’t care about you. They care about themselves and what your book can do for them. If they perceive your book can enrich their lives in some way, they’ll buy your book and be happy with their purchase. If you can’t first convince people that the value of your book is greater than the cost of your book, you’ll make zero sales every decade.
So make sure you consistently convince people that your book can help them and is a great value for its price. Only when you can do this can you hope to sell more than one book every ten years.