Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Low Sales Numbers Are Not Always The Fault Of The Publisher

I have said it before and I will say it again. The publishing market right now is tough. Sales for many authors are not where they want them to be right now. Unfortunately, I see and hear far too many authors simply throwing the blame at the publishers making comments such as, "They just aren't doing anything to sell my books." Now let's stop and think about this for a minute. Publishers want to make money too so why would they be out to sabotage the sales of the book? Publishers are trying to get those sales going.

We have to understand that sales of books rely on the readers out there buying those books. Unfortunately, they aren't buying the darn things. This is actually for a couple of reasons. The first is that people are just not reading a lot right now. If you take the time next time you are out to see what people are doing on those Kindle Fires and other tablets, you will notice they are not reading. They're plugged into watching movies, playing video games or checking email. Sure they have the e-reader APPS and sure they have probably picked up a couple of titles, but they aren't reading a lot.

We also know that getting your hands on books is also difficult now. Stores are not providing the shelf-space for books. They are filling it with all other things but certainly not books. Publishers are trying but the stores are simply telling them, "Sorry, no room!" (Personally, IMHO, that is a bunch of Bull, but I don't want to go there right now). We can try to go to a bookstore, but those too are limited. For myself, I am a good 30-45 minutes away from the nearest Barnes and Noble. Within my own town (and Tacoma) the best I can find are used book stores (which don't make money for publisher, agents or writers) or maybe a Half-Price Books.

So what else do we have? Well, we can get online and order a book, but that becomes a pain in the you know what. I want a book to read now and I certainly don't want to wait 5-7 days for the book to arrive. That's what the darn bookstores were for. And to add to this, if you are an unknown author, for someone to find your book is like looking for a needle in the haystack. If we don't know your name, the odds are we will not find you.

Even if your book does make it to a coveted place, now we have to find a way to get the news out about your book. I mentioned this last week but one approach is not going to work for everyone. Facebook, Twitter and so forth may or may not work.

The point of this is simple. EVERYONE is trying hard to get those books sold. We are all in this together. But, the key to all of this success is to get those readers out there reading again. We have to get books into the hands of the buyers. We have to push schools to promote reading. We have to encourage people to get off those video games and read. We have to quit promoting the latest GAMING APP and promote reading.

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