We all want to sell more.
Even the purest literary snob appreciates selling more than before because that is a sign of growth, that their art is maturing and they are reaching more people and speaking to them.
Selling more is a measure.
- of growth
- of acceptance
- of the size of your audience
- of your ability to tell an effective tale
- of your business acumen.
Selling more makes you sell more.
It is also an accolade. Selling more can get you onto best-seller lists (if you care about those thing).
It will get you higher rankings, which (once the algorithms notice) will help you sell more.
How to sell more.
There are a lot of factors that can influence sales.
On this blog, we will sometimes detour into marketing, networking, packaging and all the other good stuff that goes into running an indie business, but for now, I want to talk about the relationship between writing more and selling more.
It’s a direct relationship, you see.
While marketing and promotion can absolutely influence sales, the relationship is indirect, with at least two steps inbetween, if not more. On any of those steps, the reader could lose interest, get distracted or think twice about buying. Worse, there could be a missing step (wrong links, no links, automation failures, or simply shitty planning)–and the missing step means that even if your reader wants to buy the book, they won’t, because they can’t get to where it is for sale.
Networking is even more distant to the sales page.
Any form of activity aimed to sell more books is indirect…except for writing more books.
If you have one book out there (we all did, once), then you’re not even spit in the ocean, you’re a molecule. The chances of being noticed are so close to zero they may as well adjust to zero and be done with it.
Five books…and things start moving.
Fifty books published under your name creates a synergy that propels sales. Fifty books gives you a type of gravitas that readers absorb. Subconsciously, they take fifty books as a sign of competence (at least) and trust that you know how to tell a story.
A lot of books means a lot of product pages and a lot more chances a reader will trip over your books.
When you have a lot of books to play with, you can do interesting things with promotions and marketing, using one book to help sell another, bundling and splitting, and more. Discounting doesn’t hurt as much when all the other books are still at full retail.
You can hook books into series and capture more readers.
Selling more is also a simple mathematical truth: If you sell one copy a day of one book, you can sell 50 copies a day of 50 books. 90 books gives you 90 sales, at a lousy 1 copy a day.
This is a simplified formula, by the way. Not all books will sell the same, but enough of them will to use this as a simple example.
Selling 1 book at day when you only have the one book, compared to selling one copy of each title, when you have fifty or more of them, makes having many books very attractive. If you have over a hundred, as I do, then 1 sale per title starts looking very good indeed. It’s a living wage.
If you can increase your average sales through indirect means (marketing, promos, advertising, etc), so that you’re selling two copies of that title a day, and you have 100 titles out there, you can consider yourself a roaring success by any measure.
This doesn’t account for the fact that having more books sells more books. The more you put out there, the more organic sales will tick upwards. So, if you were only selling one copy per title when you had five books out there, now you have twenty, you’re selling an average of 4 copies per title.
Simply increasing how many books you have for sale sells more books, even if you do nothing else.
With some extra effort, you can increase the average sales per title, which has an impact on your quality of life…the next (and the last) definition we will be looking at.