The eBook Myth

Simply load your new book onto Kindle or iTunes and you’ll sell millions of them. You won’t have the cost and inconvenience of managing physical book production and inventory. You’re guaranteed to make a quick fortune, right? WRONG. It’s not that simple. Less than a third of current book sales are eBooks, although that portion is growing slowly each year. Simple arithmetic suggests you may be ignoring the majority of the market by exclusively selling only an electronic version of your work.

You make a foolish assumption if you believe that only by choosing an eBook format over a printed format of your published work will have much of an impact on book sales. The most important factor affecting book sales is marketing. Regardless of the production and distribution methods, your book will not sell unless you successfully make people aware of and interested in it. Naturally, you want to place the highest quality work where the broadest possible audience can find it.

However, simply occupying space, whether it is shelf space in a warehouse, or digital space on a web site, is not enough. What will make people find it, buy it, read it, and recommend it to their friends? Define the audience for your work. You may find there are multiple potential audiences. Make a plan of specific actions you will take to communicate with these audiences to make them aware of your book. Start with everyone on your email list and your social media contacts.

Keep your messages simple and to the point. What is the one compelling reason someone should read your book? Make sure each time you communicate with your audience that reason is front and center. Find out who is influential in the subject matter of your book and with the reader audience. Approach him or her to write a review of your book. Find businesses that work with customers where your book may be a useful promotional item and offer them a quantity of books at a special price.

Brainstorm these and other ideas, and never give up searching for new ways to promote your book. Your job does not end when you publish your book, in fact; it is only just the beginning.