Author Topic: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...  (Read 7261 times)  

Offline BestsellerDude

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Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« on: June 05, 2018, 05:17:48 PM »
In my other post, we had a great discussion about whether or not a self publishing course could turn you into a bestselling author.


In this post, I'd like to ask a very simple question. Why aren't you a bestselling author? What do you think is stopping or holding you back?


What are your plans and action steps towards making yourself a bestselling author? Or maybe you are hoping someone can help you out with the right advice to help you to become a bestselling author?

Or maybe you already are a bestselling author and have some new goals? Please share them here.

Or maybe you were a bestselling author once before and suddenly your books just stopped selling so well? Why do you think that is the case? What happened? What went wrong?

Whatever the reason, I'd love to discuss it here.


This thread could turn into one of those EPIC threads with lots of power-packed information that could help LOTS of other authors who are seemingly stuck...

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2018, 05:25:04 PM »
I've been thinking about this a lot, and I think it really boils down to not finding the right audience yet. I write my books backwards in Old English on a roll of toilet paper, then I take photos of the roll and compile it into pages which I publish as an e-book. The reader has to hold it up to a mirror to read it. Then for the covers, I take photos of dead cucarachas posed in scenes from my book. I even sew little outfits for them. But yeah, I just can't figure it out for sure.

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2018, 05:30:37 PM »
I don't really want to be a bestselling author.

I'd rather write more quirky books and be a really great seller than write broader books and hit bestseller potential. IMO the bestselling books in my genre have too many edges sanded off. They're too generic for my taste. Or perhaps I'm just too far from the average romance reader.

I'd love to sell more of *my* books, but, honestly, I'm shocked my how much I've been able to sell them now. They're so weird and me.

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 05:36:10 PM »
I've been thinking about this a lot, and I think it really boils down to not finding the right audience yet. I write my books backwards in Old English on a roll of toilet paper, then I take photos of the roll and compile it into pages which I publish as an e-book. The reader has to hold it up to a mirror to read it. Then for the covers, I take photos of dead cucarachas posed in scenes from my book. I even sew little outfits for them. But yeah, I just can't figure it out for sure.
I'd read that. Where can I sign up for your mailing list? ;)

In answer to the OP: I don't put in the hours.
  I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.

Offline Tilly

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 05:41:01 PM »
I'm not a bestseller because I'm not a good enough writer.

I'm working on improving my craft by taking courses, reading non-fiction books on the subject and studying books I have enjoyed. But I suspect I will always lack that "it" factor or spark that grabs hold of readers and turns good books into great ones.

Online kcmorgan

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 05:47:57 PM »
I don't produce enough, fast enough. I think I've gotten to the point where I could write satisfying books, but I release waaaaay too slow.

Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 05:48:42 PM »
I've been thinking about this a lot, and I think it really boils down to not finding the right audience yet. I write my books backwards in Old English on a roll of toilet paper, then I take photos of the roll and compile it into pages which I publish as an e-book. The reader has to hold it up to a mirror to read it. Then for the covers, I take photos of dead cucarachas posed in scenes from my book. I even sew little outfits for them. But yeah, I just can't figure it out for sure.

See?  I told you working for that 'not to be mentioned' government agency would pay off! :)

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 05:54:22 PM »
Define "bestselling author."

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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 05:57:38 PM »
IMO, the more time and effort you spend thinking about "why am I not having this success that other people are having?" the less likely you are to actually, you know, have it.

Forget about the success of others, but concentrate on selling your own books to your own audience. Then maybe one day, you can turn around and go huh, that book really was a bestseller. Or not. I'd take the money at any rate.

Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 06:00:41 PM »
The biggest reason I'm not a bestseller, is that I'm a mediocre author. I just happen to be passionate, and really good at selling myself.

Online Dpock

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 06:03:16 PM »
Define "bestselling author."

Yeah. That would be useful.


Offline notenoughcoffee

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2018, 06:07:06 PM »
I have zero ideas for a novel length book, and no imagination. What I write now is shorter length works that I can draw on real world experience from. A novel that I drew real world experience from would be really, really depressing, and that's not what I want to be putting out. And I'm not funny enough to be the next Augusten Burroughs.

Offline kw3000

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2018, 06:16:06 PM »
I don't know about being a "bestselling author", but I understand completely why I'm not making a living from my fiction. Do I write well enough? Yep. Do I package well enough? More than likely. Can I write effective blurbs? Effective enough, sure. So, what gives?

For starters, I don't do any advertising. Nada. Haven't spent a dime on ads nor have I spent any time or money on promos of any kind. Couple that with my inability to finish most stories I start, my total lack of patience to write longer works and my general "Dude"-level of laziness, excuses and procrastination and you have the near-perfect recipe for un-success. I'd teach a course in it, but that would require actual effort.  8)

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2018, 06:18:02 PM »
1) I don't write in standard, top-selling genres.
2) I don't push "product" out the door and onto Amazon like an assembly line.
3) I write in a couple different genres, and rotate among them.
4) Don't have a mailing list.
5) I don't spend a lot of money on marketing (dotted line to #1 and #3).
6) Other things I can't think of right now.
Jena

Offline DarkScribe

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2018, 06:37:39 PM »
I've been thinking about this a lot, and I think it really boils down to not finding the right audience yet. I write my books backwards in Old English on a roll of toilet paper, then I take photos of the roll and compile it into pages which I publish as an e-book. The reader has to hold it up to a mirror to read it. Then for the covers, I take photos of dead cucarachas posed in scenes from my book. I even sew little outfits for them. But yeah, I just can't figure it out for sure.

Now that's a really crappy attitude to publishing.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 06:53:12 PM by DarkScribe »

Offline Steve Vernon

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2018, 06:39:01 PM »
I am offering you folks a measly FIVE DOLLARS for "best".

That's right. For every five dollars you send me I will remove the word "best" ONE TIME from my current manuscript.

In fact, I'll even offer you a discount of 12 "best"s for ten bucks!!!

You can't beat that price with a pair of boxing gloves.

That's right - I may not be a bestseller, but I am SELLING BEST!!!

(let me beat that dead horse one more time...) :)

Offline Steve Vernon

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2018, 06:39:39 PM »
Just wait until you see what I do with "cocky"!!   8)

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2018, 06:43:11 PM »
Q. Why am I not a best-selling author?
A. I don't sell enough copies of my books.

I don't have enough time or money to invest in a real push, and I write in a fairly niche market anyway. The 'Zon doesn't even have a DieselPulp category that I can find.


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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2018, 06:43:26 PM »
Steve, what do you think of a 'kelpie books' promo?  LOL  Let me know if you decide to host one.  8)

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 06:47:38 PM »
I'd actually have to finish a book. My goal is to see how many I can start, before I actually finish a single book. I'm up to 18 already. Any guesses where I'll stop.

Offline BestsellerDude

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2018, 07:08:41 PM »
I don't really want to be a bestselling author.

I'd rather write more quirky books and be a really great seller than write broader books and hit bestseller potential. IMO the bestselling books in my genre have too many edges sanded off. They're too generic for my taste. Or perhaps I'm just too far from the average romance reader.

I'd love to sell more of *my* books, but, honestly, I'm shocked my how much I've been able to sell them now. They're so weird and me.


Hmmm. Why do you feel that bestsellers are so broad?

Offline BestsellerDude

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2018, 07:09:40 PM »
I'd read that. Where can I sign up for your mailing list? ;)

In answer to the OP: I don't put in the hours.


So you honestly feel that all you gotta do is put in more volume and release more books on a regular basis and that's all it would take?

Offline BestsellerDude

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2018, 07:10:35 PM »
I don't produce enough, fast enough. I think I've gotten to the point where I could write satisfying books, but I release waaaaay too slow.

How long does it take you to release a book? Please define slow for me.

Offline BestsellerDude

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 07:13:58 PM »
Define "bestselling author."

Well, selling enough books to support your lifestyle, bills, rent, etc...

The type of author that readers just can't wait for them to release a new book and as soon as you do it sells on its own with no marketing.

Offline BestsellerDude

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Re: Why Aren't You A Bestselling Author? This Could Get Fun...
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2018, 07:18:57 PM »
I don't know about being a "bestselling author", but I understand completely why I'm not making a living from my fiction. Do I write well enough? Yep. Do I package well enough? More than likely. Can I write effective blurbs? Effective enough, sure. So, what gives?

For starters, I don't do any advertising. Nada. Haven't spent a dime on ads nor have I spent any time or money on promos of any kind. Couple that with my inability to finish most stories I start, my total lack of patience to write longer works and my general "Dude"-level of laziness, excuses and procrastination and you have the near-perfect recipe for un-success. I'd teach a course in it, but that would require actual effort.  8)

Hmmm. Very interesting answers haha.

I am looking at your book covers and blurbs and they all look good! So I am kinda scratching my head as to why your books aren't selling more?

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