Why So Many Fail at Self Publishing In Making Money?

Reason Why Self Publishing is Not Giving Profit as it Sounds

In the past, I’ve written a couple of articles on self publishing and they have all been about how to make your self publishing work. In this article, we are going to look at the dark side of self publishing.

There are many reasons why a self published book will fail to be a bestseller. Some of these are just bad luck, some are due to a poor book while some of them are due to bad marketing. The list can go on and on. So let us try to make it simple and look at the two top reasons why authors fail at self publishing.

1-Failure to Know Your Market

One of the biggest reasons for self publishing is failure to know your market. If as an author, you do not know your market then you are bound to struggle. Traditional authors do not have to worry about this aspect because their publishing house takes care of it.

Self publishers need to know their market in order to know what kind of books to write. They need to know their target audience and how to reach them. But the point to understand is that knowing your market is not as important for the content of the book as it is for marketing.

–        Knowing Your Reader

We have discussed this in previous articles that there are two approaches to writing a book. You can either write a book and then determine your target audience for your marketing campaign. OR you can carry out market analysis first, choose a target audience and then write content to cater for that audience.

There are arguments both for and against these approaches, that we have covered in earlier articles. So make sure you check them out. Right now we want to emphasise on the importance of knowing your target audience for the purpose of marketing. Because no matter what your content is, there is always going to be a market for it. What is important is knowing who is in your audience so that you can target them.

If you do not identify your target audience, your marketing strategy will fail before even being implemented. The reason why knowing this is very important is because new self published authors do not consider marketing as an important part of the process. Which is understandable but this is why not knowing your target audience is one of the biggest reasons for failure of self published authors.

Why Are We Talking About Marketing?

I am not going to spend too much time on this but I will cover some of the reasons why you need to know who you are marketing to.

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If you are self publishing, you are on your own

You are not publishing through a company and you are not marketing through a company. Therefore you have to market yourself. You can have the best content in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what is the point?

You will not be able to sell as many books if you do not know your target audience

Knowing your target audience helps with Amazon and social media marketing!

If you are publishing on Amazon, you will need to get into a KDP account. This means you need to know your audience, to select your genre, categories, keywords and tags. You need to be able to say to Amazon “I have an audience in this specific group”. You can use a Facebook ad to target your audience but you will only be able to target your audience if you know who they are.

You will not be able to market your books in all the ways that companies can. If you do not know your target audience, you will not know what to promote and how.

2-Failure to Have a Good Cover Design

Another important aspect that needs to be taken care of is the cover design. It is the first thing the potential reader will see on Amazon. So the cover design needs to be done with great care. It should be attractive enough to make the potential reader interested.

The cover needs to be designed in a way that makes the reader want to open the book. It should also have a nice layout.

Self publishers need to spend a lot of time and effort in designing the cover. You know what you need to know to design a good cover? Target Audience!

This is why knowing your market is the bedrock of marketing for your book. For instance if you are targeting teenagers, then your cover needs to have appropriate images and colors as compared to a book that targets children under the age of twelve.

Most self published authors like to design their own cover, as it saves up the cost of hiring a graphic designer. There is no harm in doing this if you are good at graphic designing. But if you are not sure about it, then instead of taking a risk, it is always better to hire a graphic designer. A good cover can make a difference, this is a point that self published authors need to understand. Especially if your book is also going to be available in paperback or hardback formats.

People do not just buy books for reading but sometimes they also buy them for their aesthetic value. So investing some time and money into a properly designed cover is very important.

So if you are a self published author, the first thing that you need to do is focus on your content. Once you have finished writing and editing the book, you need to take off your writing cap and put on your marketing cap.

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If you want to sell your book, you need to think like an advertiser. The book needs to appeal to the readers.To do this, you can follow a simple marketing model known as AIDA.

  • A is for attention. The first step to selling your book is to grab your readers attention. This is done by selecting the right category and genre. Having the right title and an attractive cover will increase the attention points.
  • I is for interest. An attractive cover will also create interest in the book. If the cover is good enough, it will compel the buyer to click on the link to see the description and reviews.
  • D is for desire. Desire will be created after the buyer reads the book description and reviews.
  • A is for action. If you have done your marketing correctly, till this point then it will translate into action from the buyer.

So make sure that you follow these marketing tips and avoid the commonly made mistakes, to avoid failing as a self published author.

Main Image Source: Pixabay

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Dave Peterson

Dave Peterson Passion for adventure and sharing his life long journey with as many others as possible. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." HENRY S. HASKINS

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