A good Publisher is a great Marketer

If you review the many writing blogs and discussion sites, you will notice, from time to time, one questions many new self-published authors ask more than any other. There are several versions of this same question, but it generally goes something like this: ‘I wrote a book and listed it Amazon, but I haven’t sold any copies, why not?’

To begin to understand why a particular book is not selling on Amazon, you first must understand how many published works a book will compete against for recognition on the site. While the estimates vary widely, Amazon publishes anywhere from 1,500 to 7,500 books per day, every day of the year. This number includes both new release hard and paperback books, novel, non-fiction, and eBooks. This total is also across all genres. In the romance genres alone, there are an estimated 70,000 books listed. Another estimate suggests Amazon lists over 6 million books. Add together the existing number of books and those released daily, and you begin to see why a newly released book may not sell.

That is a staggering number of books in existence, let alone to competition previously released books create. Given that no more than 12 – 17 books appear on one Amazon search page (depending on your computer screen settings), it would take more than 100 pages to list all the new releases on any given day. I don’t know anybody who would scroll through 100 pages in one sitting, browsing new releases. That’s another thing. People do not browse Amazon as they would a bookstore or library. They tend to shop with a specific book or subject in mind, quickly finding it within the first few pages.

The pitfall that many self-publishing authors fall into is thinking that it is going to sell by publishing a book. Book sales is still, at its core, sales. Nothing sells – whether it is books, clothing, or cars – without marketing. Sales and marketing go hand in hand, like the chicken and the egg. Without one, there is no other.
Good publishers know this. They know to sell a book the book must be noticed. Publishing today, in the age of Amazon, Kobo, Barnes &Noble and all the other secondary publishing platforms, is no longer just about the writing. Publishing is about the partnership that writer’s and publishers build as they work together to get the work exposed in a very crowded marketplace. Today’s publisher needs to know something about marketing. A good publisher will work closely with an author to ensure all the proper marketing steps are taken along the way to ensure a book gets noticed by an audience. A good publisher also knows that a book’s audience often lies outside Amazon and other sites of this sort. The online platforms are the vehicle through which the book is purchased, and not necessarily marketed.

No longer is the work complete when the author types ‘The End’ after the last period of their latest masterpiece. The writing may be concluded, but the work continues. Now the marketing begins. This is the value of the right publisher in today’s publishing world. Knowing the steps to take to get a book noticed is what it is all about…a good publisher knows this.