No Sales or Lackluster Sales: It Isn’t the Reader, It’s the Book…Really – Written By Kristen Lamb

I discovered a new, brutally honest, but still in her unique style humorously written blog post by Kristen Lamb where she tells us about lacking sales of our books. Thank you very much for your advice, Kristen!


No sales or lackluster sales. It isn’t the reader’s fault. It’s the book. Really. This is tough to hear. I know.

It’s a writer’s worst nightmare. You researched, you wrote, you finished, and then published your book. You wait for the sales and….

*crickets*

This is something that can happen to any kind of author, traditionally or nontraditionally published.

We think we have a hit on our hands only to later be checking our work for a pulse. What happened? Why did everything go sideways? Where are the SALES?

 

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Five Holiday Challenges Only Writers Will Understand – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb, one of my very favorite bloggers whose wisdom and helpful educational blog I appreciate very much, published an amazing post about writers and the Holidays. Thanks so much, Kristen!


It’s the holiday season, and this is a tough time for most people. For, writers, it’s peace hell on Earth, largely—though not entirely—due to the whole ‘having to wear pants’ thing.

We authors, historically, have been a misunderstood group of people.

Burned as witches. No holiday there. Survival rate after a political coup? Close to zero. Odds of being shot? Pretty much hundred percent, which correlates closely with odds of keeping mouth shut #FunFact.

Friends and loved ones still invite us to holiday gatherings. Sadly, no ‘burned at stake’ or ‘firing squad’ option. Those require pants, but less talking and no prerequisite to bring some dumb@$$ ‘White Elephant’ gift and a nut-free appetizer.

*makes note to hunt down and murder person who invented ‘White Elephant’ game’*

*Why is the elephant white and not pink?*

*makes note to google that later*

*makes note to put that in novel and kill it*

*along with the person who invented it*

Where was I? Oh yes, holiday stuff. Writers. Why writers should be able to qualify for service animals every year. Holiday honey badgers that bite.

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Unplugged Book Sales: Is It Possible to Sell Books Off-Line? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about selling books offline. Thank you very much for this very helpful post, Kristen!


Unplugged and Internet-free. Sounds like heaven to me. Why am I posting on this? Well, someone in the last post commented and asked me to blog on how to sell books without the Internet or social media. If it was even possible.

#ChallengeAccepted

Is it even possible to sell books unplugged? Good food for thought. Of course, my first thought was, ‘Is it even possible to get unplugged in the first place?’

Funny to think that it wasn’t too long ago that a half-baked plot with a terrible love story captured our hearts. A horrible movie (by all accounts) made us all misty-eyed, because of these three words…

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The Evil Has Landed: Villains Could Be Much Like You…or Even Me – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about villains and how evil they can be. Thanks so much, Kristen. You know we all enjoy your posts!


Evil has been one of the most fascinating topics among humans since we created the ability to have heated conversations. Humans would gather to argue over roasted mammoth after the hunt was over.

Was Urg’s son, Perry, simply hard to handle or evil? If he was evil, then why? Had the gods cursed him somehow? Too many blows to the head?

Maybe the parents were to blame.

Granted, Perry’s mother, Yell, was better with a battle club than her husband. Urg preferred chewing mammoth skins and decorating hides.

Yell was awesome at killing stuff and the whole tribe was on a list for Urg to renovate their caves, but all this aside?

Young Perry was simply terrifying.

To be fair, Perry’s insatiable urge to kill small animals kept them all with plenty of snacks. He also loved to set these things called ‘fires’ and those had seriously come in handy, but still.

No one trusted him near the small children and babies, mostly because they tended to go missing.

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Do Some People Lack the Talent to be a Successful Author? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb published a very interesting, fascinating and relentlessly honest blog post about a lack of talent and authors. Thanks so much for sharing your point of view with us, Kristen!


Talent is so utterly subjective. How can we know if we actually have it? Recently, I was chatting with my cousin who’s an incredible artist.

She mentioned how, no matter how many compliments or how many sales, she can’t help but feel like an imposter.

I, of course, responded that authors suffer the same malaise. Imposter syndrome is alive and well, and it doesn’t matter how many books we write, the titles we earn or how many books we sell. For a lot of us? We still can’t help but feel like a fraud.

That we don’t actually have any talent. Oh, and that any moment someone might find out we’ve fooled the world and have no talent at all.

All of this posits the eternal question…

Are there just some people who simply lack the talent to be a successful author?

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Authors: Taking Charge of Our Future in a Time of Uncertainty – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with an amazing blog post about authors taking charge of our future in a time of uncertainty. Thank you for a great post, Kristen! You’re amazing.


Authors have certainly endured our fair share of upheaval. We witnessed a business model that had barely changed in over a century collapse in less than a decade.

Many of us felt the initial seismic activity back in the 90s when the big-box stores obliterated the bookstores we’d known all our lives. Witnessed the places we learned to love reading shutter one by one.

Those aisles where we daydreamed that maybe…just maybe one day WE would be on those shelves? Vanished.

We retooled the dream. Imagined our books in large hardback displays in the front of a Barnes & Noble. Or, perhaps on a kiosk next to the coffee bar at a Borders.

Then that went away as well.

Now, thrust into a digital age where anyone can be published and it seems there are too many hats for one head? It’s hard not to get discouraged.

But, writers are a tough breed.

 

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Thirteen Reasons Writers are Mistaken for Serial Killers – Written By Kristen Lamb

 

Kristen Lamb, in her own inimitable way, published a blog post comparing authors with serial killers. I love Kristen’s posts, her fantasy, her creativity, and her humor. Wonderfully done, Kristen!


Writers really are a strange breed and just so y’all know? The normal ship sailed without you a long time ago so relax. Your family or friends might not ‘get’ you but your fellow writers do.

I love being a writer. It’s a world like no other and it’s interesting how non-writers are simultaneously fascinated and terrified of us. While on the surface, people seem to think that what we do is easy, deep down?

There is a part that knows they’re wrong. That being a writer, a good writer, is a very dark place most fear to tread.

Happy Friday the 13th! *evil laugh*

In fact, I believe somewhere at the FBI’s BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit for the non-writers), there’s a caveat for the profilers. If they think they’ve profiled a serial killer, they need to stop and double-check to make sure they didn’t just find a writer.

Hint: Check for empty Starbuck’s cups and candy wrappers.

Writers, if you are NOT on a government watch list? You’re doing it wrong.

Seriously. I once spent an entire afternoon googling Fort Worth hotels to find the right one with a balcony to toss someone off of. I was like the Goldilocks of Murder.

Nope doesn’t face a street.

Not high enough to be fatal.

Don’t want them landing in a pool.

Apparently, ‘normal’ people do not do this, which is why being normal is totally boring and for luzrs 😛 .

So, before friends and family turn you into the FBI, here’s a handy list of ways we writers are often mistaken for serial killers.

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Pitch Perfect: Can You Sell Your Story in ONE Sentence? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a blog post about pitches, writing with her wonderful talent as well as great humor, as usually. Thanks so much, Kristen!


The pitch is one of the most vital components of any kind of sales, book sales included. Now, I know a lot of writers either start having apoplexy at this moment or they mentally check out.

Sales has nothing to do with my story. I can just pay someone else to worry about sales.

Um, no. Sales has everything to do with our stories, and ultimately we’re responsible for success or failure. It’s okay, though. I’m going to walk y’all through this.

We actually sell all the time and don’t even realize it. Sales is built into our nature.

You like my dress? Thanks! It has POCKETS! I got it on sale over at Dress World.

I love my electric mower. Trick is to hit Home Depot on Labor Day. End of summer. Best deals.

We sell ALL THE TIME. The trick with book sales is simply learning how to sell with intention and skill.

Plain truth is that, if we cannot convince someone our book is worth forgoing binge-watching Netflix, meeting the girls for mani-pedis, killing zombies on X-Box or watching funny cat videos? Then we won’t make it very far as authors.

The pitch is a key component of survival in, well…everything. Have a crush? Want that date? The pitch better be good. Why should he/she go out with you and not someone else?

Car companies pitch us with luxury, comfort, safety. Insurance companies pitch us on lowest rates or that they’ll take care of us when we’re in a jam.

Cosmetic companies pitch long lashes, smooth skin, full lips, and grocery stores pitch value, freshness, and time-saving additions like ordering on-line.

As writers, our pitch should have a lot in common with all other successful pitches. Notice I used the word should. The pitch that goes the distance has a very clear structure. Those who believe they’re the exception or cut corners do so at their own risk.

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Fiction Addiction: How Great Storytellers Put the “Meth” into “Method” – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen informs us with her new post about how great storytellers put the ‘meth’ into ‘method’. Thank you, once again, for your educational blog post, Kristen.


Fiction, when crafted to hit that psychic sweet spot, is highly addictive. Which is why soap operas, daytime shows (e.g. Judge Judy & Dr. Phil), and ‘reality’ programs are all going strong with no sign of slowing down.

‘Days of our Lives’ is more like ‘Decades of Our Lives.

Drama is always in demand. In fact, we’ve even added a brand new term to our cultural lexicon to reflect this modern reality—‘binge-watching.’

Between Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, and the bazillion specialty channels delivered via Roku? Then add in all the devices where audiences regularly inhale ebooks, podcasts, audiobooks, blogs, videos, etc.

Let’s just say cultural appetites for stories in all their forms—from hard-boiled documentaries (Making a Murderer) all across the spectrum to the epic high fantasy fiction (Game of Thrones)—has never been so insatiable.

***I know we’ve spent the past couple posts deep-diving the publishing industry, and I PROMISE to blog about other changes ahead. Alas, I figured it was time for something a bit lighter, and yet still salient to being successful in this industry.

Good news is that audiences crave stories, and they are always hunting for their next fiction addiction no matter WHAT is going on in the publishing world.

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The Death of Ye Olden Bookstores & the Author Identity Crisis – Written By Kristen Lamb

As a follow up of the famous ‘Barnes & Noble’ fall, Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about the consequences it might have on us authors.

Thank you so much, Kristen!


My last post, Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath Has Fallen & What This Means for Writers, was a long and detailed journey explicating precisely how we’ve all ended up at this spot in history—writers, readers, bookstores, booksellers, publishers, investors, etc.

The big-box bookstores are dead for good until some @$$hat forgets what a bad idea they were and resurrects them again.

In the meantime…

Now that Borders is a distant memory and Barnes & Noble a recent casualty, many of us find ourselves balancing, terrified, on the precipice of the unknown.

This time of transition possesses a particularly acute terror reserved for pre-published and published authors.

Yet, in light of all this upheaval, I challenge authors to learn from New York Publishing’s—‘The Big Six’s’ mistakes.

One mistake in particular.

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