Every author dreams of writing a bestselling book. But, what if a bestseller-driven industry is causing harm to authors?
Publishers Weekly recently released a fascinating article entitled, “Is Publishing Too Top-Heavy?” The article by Rachel Deahl reveals a blunt truth about the literary trade:
“Book publishing has long been a hits-driven business. The bestsellers, the logic went, paid for the flops. And it was the authors of those in the middle—the so-called midlist—that publishers hoped to build into the next crop of bestsellers. But, midlist sales have faltered enough in recent years that there is a growing concern among publishers and agents about how the business can create new hits when the field they once turned to is disappearing.”
According to NPD BookScan, which tracks around 80% of print book unit sales, an alarming trend has begun to occur. From 2017 to 2019, “Sales of the 100 bestselling print books rose nearly 30% over a period of about two years, while books that ranked between 101 and 10,000 saw their total print unit sales fall 16%. Books that ranked below 10,000 remained flat in the period.”
Based on the widening gap between the have’s and the have-not’s, many publishers and literary agents are wondering how to turn lower-tier authors into future bestsellers. As Kristen McLean of NPD BookScan explains, “The top books, which are most often earning the highest advances, require serious capital and resources to push them into the top slots. And, publishers are under serious pressure to recoup their investment.”
A publisher at a major house agreed that they, “usually put more resources behind books that are succeeding in order to maintain momentum. As these books get the lion’s share of the houses’ focus, other titles are left to find audiences on their own.”
A fiction editor at a Big Five publisher said, “There used to be a lot more books that could sell 40,000–50,000 copies. Now more sell fewer than 10,000 copies.”
A literary agent summed up the situation by saying, “The more big authors a house publishes, the more they take away from all of the other authors…There is no doubt that it has gotten harder to sustain a career as a midlist author.”
How do these sobering statistics and comments from industry experts make you feel? You can look at the issue from two different perspectives:
First, you can succumb to a fear that the sky is falling and believe that your book sales are doomed. What hope do you have if the average midlist author is struggling?
Or, you can realize that great marketing is able to overcome these alarming trends. This is the major point that most publishers and literary agents forget. Authors who learn effective marketing can transform from a struggling writer into a self-sufficient powerhouse. How do I know?
Every month, I teach fiction and nonfiction authors how to pay their bills and turn a profit from their books. Some of my clients are national bestsellers, but many are average “midlist authors” who learned the secrets to success. They don’t listen to the nay-sayers. They don’t expect their publisher to bail them out. They know that any author who writes a good book can find their audience, grow their exposure, and control their sales.
You can ignore the industry doom-and-gloom when you know how to attract thousands of readers and convince them to purchase.
Are you struggling to market your books and expand your sales? Are you a midlist author who is worried about your survival? Here is the unavoidable truth:
If you want to learn the skills to master book marketing,
it requires investing time and money in your personal development.
You won’t find answers searching for free articles on the Internet or watching amateur videos on YouTube. That approach is a cop-out and the fast track to joining the ranks of disappearing midlist authors.
Running a successful business requires acting like a successful business person. The bestselling authors whom I know constantly invest in their growth by finding mentors, spending money on education, and hiring experienced coaches.
The good news is that any author can invest in themselves. The key is to learn from experts who have already achieved the goal you’re pursuing.
You may not become a bestseller. But, you will sell more books than you did before, and that is the “best” part about being an author.
Do You Know How to Control Your Book Sales?
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Do you feel confidently in control of your book sales? Or, does attracting new readers seem like a difficult task that leaves you feeling helpless?
Here’s a way to find out for sure. Take my free Author Power Test. Complete 15 quick questions. In a matter of minutes, you will know if you’re in control of your book sales or not. More importantly, you’ll see the areas where you need to improve.
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If my Author Power Test reveals that you’re struggling to control your book sales, rest assured there is a solution.
My Book Marketing Master Class is a premium one-to-one experience where I will teach you how to take charge of your book sales. You can learn from me in-person or via live video instruction.
Every author who has taken my Book Marketing Master Class said it opened their eyes to new possibilities. If you’re tired of walking alone and want an expert guide, the Master Class is fun, affordable, and – best of all – it works.
Interested? Contact me to request a free phone consultation to get a no-pressure, honest assessment if the Book Marketing Master Class is right for you.