My wife and I have several children’s books and poetry books out to the public and for sale as paperbacks at Amazon.com. We also have ebooks on Booktango.com, BookRix.com, and Smashwords.com as well as audiobooks on Meeqi.com and AXC.com.
We market constantly and have contacted several newspapers asking them to carry the releases of our books. So far none have printed any releases of our books. Now the problem is we need press coverage to boost us.
Is there any way you can help us? We’re are struggling authors and cannot afford much. We have sold less than $100.00 total in six years of writing books.
What are we doing wrong? Why can’t we get any press coverage for our books to take off?
We know we’re good writers, and we’re both good at what we do. We believe in ourselves.
Is there any way you can look at any of our works or sites to see what can be done to draw sales?
John’s Short Answer:
First, newspapers aren’t going to review or list your book unless it’s from a major publisher. Newspaper rarely feature self-published authors, except for a local author who is a great promoter.
You might have better luck with magazines if you can target specific audiences.
But in today’s world, you need to focus 90% of your book marketing attention to online markets — going after blogs and websites devoted to your genre. Ask for reviews, listings, interviews, or guest articles. There are tons of sites and blogs that write about children’s books and poetry books. You can find them via the Bing or Google search engines.
Note: Bookstore, library, and school appearances are great for promoting children’s books.
As for poetry, you need to get out there and speak anywhere you can. Most poetry books are sold to people who have met the poet in person. When readers meet you in person, they want to take a piece of the author (that’s your book!) back with them.
You should sell at least a $100 in books every week if you just do one speaking event every week (whether at a bookstore, in a school, at a library, or online).