For new authors, your relationships with book buyers will help you with the launch of your new book.
Getting sales for a new book is tough. Really tough.
Because self-publishing a book or ebook is so easy, thousands of new authors are releasing new titles every year.
The best way to compete is to focus on how you can get your initial book sales moving.
Why use relationships with book buyers?
When you publish your new book, you might think it’s for everyone.
But the truth is that it probably has limited appeal to a very small group of readers and book buyers.
Yes, your book is available on Amazon so anyone can buy it. But the problem is that it will be lost in an Amazon ocean of millions of books.
Unless you can get enough sales to boost your sales rank, it will be rare for any book buyers to see it.
That’s why you need to push as hard as possible for sales in the first few days and weeks after you release your book.
The more sales you can get, either on pre-order or in the first few days after its release, the higher your book will appear on Amazon search.
It’s hard work, time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating.
However, if you can squeeze out 50, 100, or perhaps even 300 sales from people who know you or know of you, your book will start ranking.
Then, if you can push some of these buyers to add a positive review, you’ll rank even better.
Here are five ways to start using your relationships to encourage people who know you to buy your book.
1. Family and friends
Tell everyone in your circle of friends, family, and extended family about your new book.
Also, make sure they all know how they can buy it.
They all know and love you, so they will understand why you need their help.
You could throw a book launch party or barbeque and have fun watching them using their phones to buy your Kindle ebook.
Depending on the size of your family and circle of friends, they can certainly help in giving your new book a sales boost.
2. Social media friends and contacts
One of the easiest ways to build relationships with book buyers is on social media.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other network you use regularly.
But don’t fall into the trap of trying to make hundreds of new contacts. Stick with the people who know you.
You don’t want to do a “buy my book” blast. But you can let people know that your new book is available on pre-order or sale.
3. Work or professional associates
Whether you are employed or self-employed, make sure everyone you work with knows about your new book.
If you work in an office building, ask if you can leave some book promotion leaflets or flyers at reception.
Another option is to add a line to your email signature if possible. If you can’t add it to your professional email, you can always add it to your personal account.
4. Local associations and newspapers
If you are a member of a local club, you might be able to make an announcement about your book.
Another avenue is if you have friends or family who are members of clubs or associations. Ask them if they can distribute some of your book flyers.
You can also try contacting your local newspaper.
Many of them publish regular articles about authors and new local books.
You probably know other authors via social media, and it doesn’t hurt at all to let them know about your book.
But they are not your best avenue to gain sales.
However, they might be open to an interview article with you if they have a blog.
Many author bloggers are looking for content ideas, so an author interview can be a win-win situation.
There’s no harm in asking. Any online publicity you can get is valuable.
You already have relationships with book buyers
You always stand a much better chance of selling your book to people who know you.
One of the biggest traps with self-publishing is releasing a new book, crossing your fingers, and hoping people will buy it.
It is rarely, if ever, a successful approach, and the usual result is a book lost in a sea of thousands of other books.
The proven way is to push as hard as you can for sales from people you know. And also encouraging them to add a review.
The more sales you can get in the first few days and weeks, the higher your book will appear in both search and perhaps best-selling lists.
Then, if you have selected your categories and keywords wisely, you stand a far better chance of selling copies of your ebook or book to Amazon customers.
Selling books is extremely challenging.
It’s quite old data now, but the sales numbers below from Publishers Weekly in 2004 for traditionally published books are likely to be still true on average.
In 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies. Those blockbusters are a minute anomaly: only 10 books sold more than a million copies last year, and fewer than 500 sold more than 100,000.
The data above was collected before the advent of self-publishing.
But a more recent article gives this conclusion.
Research suggests that the “average” self-published, digital-only book sells about 250 copies in its lifetime.
While I’m not sure about the accuracy of the statement, it is possibly indicative.
But it highlights why your relationships with book buyers are essential to your success.
If you push hard to gain sales from people you know, you can quickly rise above the average.
After a year, even popular books struggle to sell. That’s why it is vital to get sales in the first days and weeks of your book’s release.
So make the most of what you’ve got to push for early sales.
Related reading: Amazon Search Results For Books Guide For New KDP Authors