The easiest part of being an author is writing the book. Writing the manuscript, getting it illustrated, editing the document, having it formatted, and printing the final product are the easy parts. The hard part? Getting them to sell.
Until you build a name for yourself, sales and marketing are wildly difficult. This is the biggest challenge for me between independent publishing and going the traditional route with a publishing house. A traditional publishing house has the funds, resources, and know-how to get your book into the hands of readers (and lots of them at that).
As an indie author, you don’t know what you don’t know until you learn it. And learning the process takes a while! My team and I have been working hard to build an audience, learn how to sell books past the pre-sales phase, and continuously sell books after the launch hype which is tough, a lot tougher than people make it seem. And the journey is different for every author.
Let’s not forget that I’m doing this all from Japan. Phew! Children’s book authors in the States can easily go to book fairs, visit classrooms, set up meet-and-greet events and author signings in bookstores, organize vendor pop-ups, and sell their books while meeting people. However, I’m not there, but my audience is. So, learning how to make connections, tell my story and the stories of the diverse characters, explain why diversity in all books matters, and explain why I can’t do it alone while 100% virtually are the goals.
Oh, not to mention, I write all kinds of books — picture books, chapter books, picture chapter books, workbooks, textbooks, and more! So, of course, that makes selling books more difficult because my ideal audience is, well, everyone.
One thing we’ve learned is that Kickstarter is a great way to sell books and expand your audience, especially when we’re switching book categories and genres. We sold 317 hardcover books in 30 days! Kickstarter is a great tool for communicating how people can support you as an author and help share the mission of your book. You’ll definitely see more Kickstarter campaigns around here as we release more books.
Now, we’re learning the ins and outs of ads, Amazon, and marketing to optimize our sales funnel to consistently and continuously sell books. My team is learning all about my niche and building a foundation for Inspirus books to diversify the pages of all books.
Want to help? Buy a book! 😉