HELP! Tips For When Your Books Aren't Selling!

It's release day!! You are excited!! You have taken all the necessary steps to make sure you have a successful release day by doing all the guest blogs, advertising, marketing to your target audience, and throwing the best on-line release party you could!

Sales are soaring! Numbers are up! You are on cloud nine.

Fast forward two weeks later....

Your sales have hit the wall. All of your die-hard fans have bought your book and so have your relatives. Now what?

1) Write!
Don't stop writing. No matter what! With each word you write, you get better and better.
Don't let a day go by that you don't write. Write daily! Even if it's only 500 words. You are 500 words closer to getting another novel out there for your waiting public.

If you don't believe me, go and pull out that plastic tub under your bed with manuscripts you wrote when you first started out. Go on. . . I'm waiting. . .now read the first paragraph.
Cringe worthy? You bet! I told you that with every word you've written, you've gotten better!

2) Start marketing and promoting all over again!
Don't roll your eyes. If you aren't selling, you need to go back to your marketing plan and reevaluate it. What worked a couple weeks ago? What didn't work a couple weeks ago?
Your marketing plan is fluid. You will add and delete tools as you release each book. What worked for one book, might not work for another.

Redo what worked for you a couple weeks ago. Was it a guest blog with your target audience? If yes, then you should still be sending your Facebook and Twitter friends to that site.

Do you have any reviews yet? And are they good? Be sure to toot your horn! You are your book's only advocate in the early stages of a release. It's up to you to get the word out.

3) Reviews
Do you have any reviews on Amazon yet? If you do and they are good, make sure you tell your friends to go in and YES the review. These yes's help your book move up in the algorithms to make your book more visible.

Don't forget to pay it forward to your writing buddies! Go in and YES all their reviews that are GREAT!

Be sure to send your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to your good reviews. Let new readers know that your book is GREAT and worth the purchase.

If you know the reviewer, I know mine because most of them are on my STREET TEAM, be sure to put a public thank you note on their Facebook wall! This gives you more exposure to potential new readers.

4) Luck...plain, dumb luck!
I hate to type that, but sometimes that is just what happens....LUCK!
Unfortunately making big sales are often a matter of time and luck. No one knows the real magic to selling books, but every little bit helps.

It takes most writers years to make a great track record in the selling department. So that's why it's important to write, write, and write more.

What do you do when your sales seem to slump?


  1. Great advice all round ... the ol' 'building a platform' is one thing, but that mother trucker's gotta be sustained.. getting the balance between promoting and spamming is sometimes blurred, but if i'm gonna err, it's always gonna be on the error of pushing it even's tough enough to write the stuff, I wanna give it the best shot of it seeing the light of readership day ! great blog ..") Thanks, Tonya.. :):)

  2. Write, write, write is by far the most effective advice. Sounds tedious to work on another book when the sales for the previous are going downhill, but we have to sit and focus on the next project. We can't toot our own horn on the same book/review over and over again, but when there's a new book out, we can capture new readers and bring them to the first book, too. (Thanks for guiding me back to my desk to write the next book, Tonya. It's a constant reminder every writer needs.)

    1. I agree Claudine! Writing is what we do and what we do best.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wonderful advice, Tonya. Thank you a bunch.

  4. Thanks, Tonya. I'm tucking this away for future reference.

  5. Thanks Tonya, this comes at a perfect time for me as I've been marketing my books and know I have to up my game. So frustrating. I'm losing my job due to the business closing, so my husband and I have decided to go for it with our little succulent planter business and my writing. So scary and so exciting. I will keep all this wisdome in mind. Also, I love the covers of your books. Who did them? I'm going to check them out! Love your blog too. Thanks a bunch for a great blog post. And Thanks Christina McKnight for referring me to you.

    Mary Merrell

    1. WOW! This is going to be a really exciting time in your life! This might just turn out to be a blessing. I'd love to be able to write all day and not go to the day job....sigh....

      I'm lucky to have great covers. Laura Morrigan is my cover artist.!home/mainPage

  6. Thanks Tonya! You're a mind-reader - the perfect pep talk! xo

  7. : ) Thanks! We all need this little pep talk once in awhile!

  8. It is easy to saturate your current contacts - the trick is to find new ones! Thank you for your words of advice...I'll be slogging away on a new project start with NaNoWriMo while still revising two novels. Keeps me busy.

  9. And it is very important to hit the streets - literally and figuratively. You need to build relationships, be seen by local people, connect with people online and become the best ambassador for your book. Create workshops around topics in your book. Get really creative and work it! Just be safe and stay legal.

  10. Great post! As my first novel doesn't come out for another month or so, I'm glad to be reading this now. It gives me plenty to think about pre-release. Thanks.

  11. You're successfully building a strong platform, so it's extra powerful to get a reminder from you that writers still need to focus on writing! After finishing the first book, I was slipping into using my sales activities as another way to procrastinate instead of starting my next story. Thanks for the timely kick in the patootie and sharing your experience!


I’m Bernadette Butler, United States postal carrier. Mom to Grady Butler. Widow.

Have you ever been around one of those people who say there’s something coming or something about to happen? Or you’ve been thinking ‘bout ...