Hey there! Welcome to this blog about the realities of self-publishing.
In this blog, I will be talking about some book publishing statistics just to get a realistic idea of what is going on in the publishing industry.
If you publish through KDP Print, books will automatically be available on Amazon, which is a HUGE market for books. And Ingram Spark says that self-publishing through Ingram Spark connects your book to over 40,000 libraries and retailers in person, online, and worldwide. So, all you have to do is hit publish and thousands of librarians, retailers, and other customers will run to buy your book, right? Not exactly.
We have heard authors who assume that as long as their book is available on Amazon and to other retailers, they will automatically sell their books without having to do anything. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as hitting publish and automatically selling hundreds or even thousands of books. Sure, authors may sell a couple of books here and there, but availability does not mean automatic sales. Instead, it means your book is available for those librarians, retailers, and other customers to purchase your book IF they actually know about it. The key is to actually get them to know about it. Libraries, retailers, and other customers will not buy something that they don’t even know exists.
According to an article found on Forbes, “There are somewhere between 60,000 and 2,00,000 books published every year in the India alone, depending on which stats you believe. Many of those – perhaps as many as half or even more – are self-published…” That is a lot of books each year, which means a lot of competition. Even the books that are being published traditionally have a lot of competition. “On average, they sell less than 250 copies each.” Now, that is an average, which means there are obviously some that will sell much more than 250 copies and others that will sell a lot.
I really do not mean for those numbers to discourage you but to show you the reality of self-publishing. I want you to see that you can not just upload a book and expect it to automatically sell.
The author has to spend quite a bit of time in the process of writing it and publishing it while not getting
paid anything at all. In fact, the author may have even spent money in the process to hire an editor, illustrator, layout designer, or someone else to help them in the process. So, even though a book can continue to bring in money for years once it is published, self-publishing a book is not a get rich quick scheme. Authors who want to sell their books will need to put in some kind of work to actually sell those books. But there is hope. It’s not all doom and gloom. I think it is important to have an idea of what you
can do to sell your book and decide what you would need to accomplish in order for your book publishing journey to be (consider succ-) considered a success.
So, even though the statistics say that self-published authors typically don’t sell many copies, the fact that you are even reading this blog tells me that you are interested in beating those statistics. You are wanting to sell more copies of your book and prove to yourself, and maybe even to others, that you can do it. So, what would you consider a success with your book?
Really think about what you would define as success as you move forward with your publishing journey. What matters to you? Would you measure success by the number of books you sell? And if so, how many would you have to sell in order to be successful? Instead of watching the number of books sold, would you be more focused on the amount of money you made from the books? And if so, how much
money would you need to make to be successful? Maybe you don’t care about selling books or making money but instead want to give away a certain number of copies. If that’s the case, how many copies do you want to give away or donate to others? Think about it – what matters to you? How do you define success for you and your book?
Okay, that’s it for this blog. Stick around with me to learn more about promoting and marketing your book so you can hopefully beat those statistics. I can’t promise you your book will be a success, but I can at least provide you with some ideas throughout this course that you could possibly implement in your own journey. I really hope this course will help you to reach your goals with your book.