If you play along here on this blog much at all, you already know that I recently published a book. If you have any book writing experience, you know that it’s one thing to write a book and quite another to actually sell copies of it. (Which is why writers have agents and publicity teams, etc.) I’ve read that the average non-fiction book sells about 250 copies a year and about 2000 copies over the “lifetime” of the book. Even though there are a ton of books published each year, there aren’t that many that actually sell very well.
Now, I’m not looking to get rich or get a major publisher’s attention/book contract with this little effort, but I’ve also never been one to be satisfied with average. I’m glad to already be very close to surpassing that 250 mark in the first several weeks, but did I mention that it’s a very different thing to sell a book than to write a book? The writing is done, and I’m happy with it. I wouldn’t have gone to print if I thought it wasn’t worth reading. I’ve very comfortable sitting down and grinding out word after word for hours on end… But I AM TERRIBLE AT PROMOTING myself (and my work by extension). It feels stupid asking people to buy my book all the time. I look back at my social media feeds and feel embarrassed… but the thing is, I ACTUALLY THINK THIS JOURNAL CAN HELP PEOPLE.
The world needs a church that is in intimate conversation with our Maker, our Head. People need to know that they can actually talk to God and He will listen, and He will actually respond and we need to listen, too. We are absolutely dependent on Him to fuel the Movement that He has started and sustained to seek and to save His lost children. We have to learn again what it means to be a people of prayer, and I think a few weeks going through this book can help us do that.
So, I’m learning how to tactfully (and hopefully humbly) promote the book/myself. Here are a few things I’m learning:
- Stats and analytics pages don’t do anything good for the ego. They either puff it up or tear it to pieces. I’m learning to remember who God says I am regardless of how many books have sold.
- There are a LOT of books available that aren’t selling a whole lot. I found out today, that PRAY was in the top 6% of books selling on Amazon. That sounds much more impressive than the equally true rank of #455,000 (out of 8 million).
- I now know how to set up ad campaigns on Twitter and Facebook. (Twitter seems to be more exposure for me so far, but I’m not sure how much that’s converting to actual sales yet.)
- No amount of promoting that I do can rival what you who have already bought the book could do collectively. I wrote it, of course I’m going to want people to buy it. But you… your “word of mouth” is what will get your friends (who don’t know me at all) interested in the book. If you could take a few minutes and share in a post on your own blog, or on Facebook or Twitter, or if you could share an entry of your journal to your Snapchat story or leave a review on Amazon… Get your small group to go through the journal together… It could be the beginning of an eternal difference, not just a book rank difference!
I wonder what it would take to get into the Top 100,000? Want to help me find out?