Are your self-publishing sales in a slump? If you’ve tried to boost sales with promotions and advertising, but nothing’s working, you may be wondering whether it’s time to quit.
Has self-publishing peaked?
A few months ago one of my students told me she was ready to give up. “It’s depressing when I compare my book sales with the same period last year—I’m spending more on sales than I’m making. What am I doing wrong?”
The best way to manage business cycles and reversals is often to go back to basics. When I asked my student about her current writing, she said, “I tossed my publishing schedule out when my sales tanked—if I can’t sell, what’s the point of publishing more?”
In other words, she wasn’t writing. At all. Oops.
To coin a cliché, writers write. Always.
It’s essential you keep writing, so you can take advantage of “new.”
Writing, self-publishing and the magic of “new”
App company Buffer published an article with “The 5 most persuasive words in the English language”.
“New” was one of those words. It’s powerful, and it will work for you.
When I’m working with my copywriting clients, I always encourage them to use the super-easy power of “new” to boost their sales. Like magic, it just works.
When you stop producing, you lose the magic of “new.” Whatever you’re writing, you’ll make more sales when you write more and make “new” your mantra.
I encouraged my student to discover the power of “new” by:
- Editing her current books. She could add a little more content—a snippet from an upcoming book; a letter to her readers… Or just revise. Then she could update the title (with “New!”), and republish;
- Publishing a couple of short stories over the next 30 days to get Amazon’s algorithm working for her;
- Scheduling regular writing sessions so she could get her publishing schedule back on track;
- Creating a challenge or two to boost her inspiration.
She shared an amazing challenge. She said: “I’ve decided to write eight short stories in the next 30 days. Wish me luck.”
So, can you make “new” work for you?
Try these two easy tactics.
1. Make “new” your mantra: use it every day
Why not try it? What have you got to lose?
Set goals to make “new” work for you:
- Create new services with a goal of tripling your freelance clients;
- Revamp your blogging schedule to blog fresh content;
- Revise your self-publishing schedule in any way which makes sense to you. Write new books, but also update your publishing catalogue, so you can redo a book’s cover and title with “new”.
2. Write no matter what: develop your own processes (remember: “new”)
Develop your own writing processes. Remember to separate writing — writing draft material — from editing. Here’s why.
When you write first draft material, you’re kicking your creative self to life. The next day, or the next week, when you come back to the material, you’ll find that you have fresher ideas, and you can complete the project quickly.
Self-publishing? Try editing while you’re writing. In my most-productive periods, I always edit while I’m writing longer projects. Then when the novel is written, it’s done. (Proviso: please don’t use this tactic if you’re a new author. You’re liable to get confused.)
Think about creating a challenge.
Create your own writing or self-publishing challenge
If you’re wondering about my student… Did the magic of “new” work for her?
Yep. She cut her advertising spend, and got back to writing. Not only were her sales back on track, she recently had a brilliant launch. Her new novel made more sales in one day than she made in the previous six months.
Why not create your own self-publishing (or writing) challenge? You can make “new” work for you, too.
Happy writing. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.