The big advantage of self-publishing is that a book is never finished.
Self-publishing offers many advantages to an independent author. However, one of the most important benefits is often overlooked. In years gone by, once a book was published, that was it. It either sold well, then new editions were printed, and if it didn’t sell on its first release, that was the end of the book’s life, except for perhaps a few copies that made their way into libraries or second-hand book shops.
Now, though, a book or an ebook can not only be kept on sale indefinitely, it can also be changed, modified, merged or improved at any time. The cover can be updated, genre and category listings can be fine tuned or new keyword listings added. It is possible to do this many times over, so it is now feasible to experiment and try new ideas to help promote a book. Changing a book description, or trialling different versions on a monthly rotation is worth consideration. This is the big advantage self-publishers have over traditionally published authors.
While book marketing and promotion are very important factors in helping a book succeed, there are no magical means of making an unpopular book sell well. This doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book. It could simply be that the book didn’t connect with the fickle nature of book buyers. Perhaps it was the cover image or colours, the title or font, the description or the first couple of pages that weren’t written with the intent of hooking readers’ interest fast enough. It is always possible to improve.
An associated advantage of the ability to change, modify and experiment with a self-published book is to take the last drastic step of un-publishing a book that is not selling. It’s no secret that book buyers are generally attracted to new releases, and while long tail selling of a book that has a good sales history will produce sales over a long period, this will not happen to a book that didn’t sell well to begin with. So why continue to flog a dead horse? Get it off the market.
But, of course, the book is not dead. It is just taking a holiday, until it has undergone a total transformation. There are many ways to improve a book, so why waste all the time that it took to write? Get an editor, get a new cover, re-write the story in a different setting or perhaps, change the characters or the time setting. If it was written in the first person, would the third person work better? There are so many possibilities.
If you have a book that isn’t selling, what action could you take to remedy the situation? Do you need to get to work soon on the new and improved version of your book?