This is What It Takes to Sell a Lot of Books by Guest @WritePubSell

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 08
This is What It Takes to Sell a Lot of Books by Guest @WritePubSell #sell #books #marketing #NaNoProMo

What We Wish Would Happen…We Sell a Ton of Books! 

Finish writing our incredible book. Get it prepped for publishing. Load to Amazon. Miracle pixie dust… boom, bestseller status, and LOADS of sales!

What is most likely to happen – everything up to the load to Amazon part and then a trickle of sales. Maybe a good number around the initial launch if we use a launch team and did some promotion. But it probably wasn’t enough, unless you’re already an established author with an established platform and readers.

Selling books is hard work until you’re an established author with a following or in a genre of voracious readers.


Enter this massive Rafflecopter giveaway!

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Marketing Is a Numbers Game

Once you finish your book, you need to ask, do you have an engaged audience that is ready to buy it? What are your expectations for your launch day? 5 books sold? 5000 books sold?

Do you know that statistically speaking, if you want to sell 5000 books during the first week of launch, you either have to invest HEAVILY in marketing and promo opportunities, OR you’re going to need an email list or engaged group of over 25,000?

Most first-time authors who do not have a significant author platform will sell less than 500 books in the lifetime of their book.

In fact, most self-published authors will sell less than 100 print books in the lifetime of their book. To put things in perspective, to make it onto any of the LISTS (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today) – you have to have MORE than 5,000 sales across multiple platforms – ie, Kindle, Nook, and iBooks – in ONE WEEK.

Low sales for most authors is far more of a reality than earning thousands a month from Amazon sales. But… this doesn’t have to be your story. While a good marketing strategy is definitely going to help you increase those numbers, the reality is the key to that strategy is growing a readership and fans of your work.

Growing an author platform, as they call it.

This is What It Takes to Sell a Lot of Books by Guest @WritePubSell #sell #books #marketing #NaNoProMo

What’s an Author Platform? Does It Help Us Sell?

It is the places you show up and where people can find you. Your website, your social media, your email list. It’s your followers. It’s your people.

They might be on your email list, follow you on Twitter, or be a member of your Facebook group. They like to read your blog posts, your books, your Facebook updates. And here’s the kicker – not even all of them will buy your book.

However, statistically speaking, the ones who actually join your email list and open your emails are the best shot you have (beyond your family and best friends, who, realistically speaking aren’t even a ‘sure thing’) at buying your books.

You Can’t Just Put Your Book on Amazon and Expect It to Sell

Just putting your book on Amazon is not enough. You must grow an audience, build an email list, and have people to tell about your books, who will tell more people. You have to get your book in front of READERS.

I see a lot of writers spending a ton of time showing up in groups for writers – which is great when you need to learn the ins and outs of writing and publishing your book. But generally speaking, those people are NOT your target audience. So make sure you spend time in front of the people who want to read your book.

Steps to building your author platform:

  1. Start early

  2. Identify your ideal audience – do your research here and make sure you have this part nailed!

  3. Create appealing content

  4. Seek out opportunities for visibility

Start Marketing ASAP

You want to start creating a buzz very early on. (But don’t worry, if you didn’t, you can still catch up!) A consistent practice of doing this will help you enjoy the sweet success of sales on launch day!


One 30-minute coaching session with Write.Publish.Sell.

(a $125 value)

This is What It Takes to Sell a Lot of Books by Guest @WritePubSell #sell #books #marketing #NaNoProMo

Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!

All comments must be left prior to midnight on Thursday, May 14th, 2020 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Friday, May 15th.

Good luck!

Alexa Bigwarfe

Alexa Bigwarfe is a USA Today Best-Selling author, and author coach/publishing shepherd through her company Write|Publish|Sell. Alexa enjoys providing advice on building your author platform on her Author Daily Minute Daily Skills briefing on Amazon Alexa ( ). Join her 5-day Author Platform Growing Challenge at for more action steps to grow your author platform.

For a more detailed plan on developing your book marketing, purchase Rachel’s new book,
The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge
Now on Amazon!
Readers’ Favorite Silver Award Winner! 

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(8) comments

Wayne May 8, 2020

Very thankful that I have been able to sell as many of my books that I have since I have messed so much up!
Thankful to that it is not too late to do a better job !

Ernie Fink May 8, 2020

Yes, I have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do. I somehow get the feeling I’m going to spend a lot of time here.

not that that’s a bad thing.

Jessica Turnbull May 8, 2020

I still have a lot to learn when it comes to marketing but I’m glad that I’ve been able to sell a few books through Facebook ads.

There’s still time for improvement!

McKenna Dean May 8, 2020

I confess, the stats on this post were a little disheartening. But you’ve given me a lot to think about. It seems I have a lot to learn!

Jo Hawk May 8, 2020

I’m trying to start early. It is like drinking from a firehose, and some of the stats are overwhelming. But I know the only way I am going to lose this game is if I give up. That ain’t happening.

Cathy Parker May 8, 2020

WHY? Because I like Alexa, she’s a savvy businesswoman and has a sense of humor as well as a heart. With these attributes and her experience, she’d be a great fit as a coach for me. And boy do I need help. I know the things to do, I am trying to do the things I need to do, but I can’t get traction.

Kella Campbell May 9, 2020

Thanks for this helpful article. Why would I want to win a coaching session with Alexa? Because I keep making all the marketing mistakes and need all the help I can get!

Justin Bienvenue May 10, 2020

Honestly not what I was expecting. It’s called This Is What It Takes to Sell Lots of Books but doesn’t really get into what it takes. An audience and email list is obvious as are the numbers we all as authors don’t wanna hear. Very short article too..

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