The Book Marketing Network

For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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Hi, I'm new to this site, so Hello to all. 

My biggest challenge with my book is the marketing. I feel like I've tried everything and still feel like I'm getting nowhere. 

I agree marketing is a real challenge!  I have one commercially published, children's book and over 30 self-published titles.  It's hard to know where to spend my time: social internet sites, marketing sites, author's forums, Amazon's author pages, website construction, book conferences, or all of the above.  I've distributed books locally, attended book festivals, emailed friends and family, joined web discussions and blogs, have a website - now what?

One unfortunate note, Barnes and Noble will not take my commercially published book, "Ants on a Log", because it is not in their warehouse.  They will order it if requested, but they will not put it on their shelves, allow for signings, readings, etc. Locally I am stuck with toy and children's stores, a couple of art galleries and the few local, independent bookstores in my area. Branching out to a wider audience seems critical.

Beryl, great effort on your part! What's working best for you so far?

J. Steve Miller
Author of Social Media Frenzy “Rethinking social media for authors.”
Author of Sell More Books! “What really works for low profile authors.”

Thanks for asking. So far book festivals and a local toy store.  It seems people need to see the books to want to buy them. Cover art and a catchy title are also important. Besides at book festivals I can talk with my customers, little children and their parents.

Thanks Beryl! Concerning the toy store, I too have seen authors who are successful in non-bookstore stores. I was in a Soho Hero (services home office people with faxes, copies, etc.) where they had a low wall display for someone's children's books. They said they sold a lot, and it made sense. Parents drag their kids there, who have nothing to do while their parents do their big people office stuff. The child finds the books on the low rack and starts reading. The parent finishes and is ready to leave, but the child is only halfway through the book and whines for the book.

What parent can resist purchasing a book for a child who's begging for it?

J. Steve Miller
Author of Social Media Frenzy “Rethinking social media for authors.”
Author of Sell More Books! “What really works for low profile authors.”

Thanks Steve, Great idea!  Book stores often have so many books that it becomes confusing and any one book can be lost in the shuffle.  Unless you are a big name author, your book never gets a big display or a optimal shelf location. 

Does anyone here use Pinterest? It's a new social media site and great for book promotions or marketing. It uses images rather than articles such as blogs. Post your book covers there. Try it!

This is my pinterest:

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Always good to have as much info as possible. Thanks

Just thought I draw attention to today's post - Read why Amazon STOPPED the sale of 5,000 Kindle title by Indie Authors.

Aside from the fact that I'm no good at marketing, the biggest challenge is my story itself. I intentionally made it different than most similar fantasy stories because my heroine is rather ordinary and her journey to heroism stretches over several novels before it really takes off. It's hard to sell an idea that only looks cool in reverse, if you take my meaning. I don't like to tell people where it's heading, but a lot of people would only want to read it if they had a better idea.

So thinking I was being clever, I made it harder for myself. Story of my life.

Mark, I'd definitely make the first chapter available from your site and let "search inside the book" give people a chance to read the first chapter on Amazon. That's what gives you the chance to hook them. I wouldn't say on your site that it's available "through POD." Although major publishers use POD these days, some people still thinks it's rinky-dink, so I'd just say it's "available online at Amazon" and link them through that statement.

It might take completing the series to get reviews from people who are wowed with the ending and can convince people with their reviews that it's worth the wait to get there. You've probably thought of most of this, but just my initial ideas. It's definitely tough to get books out there and we're always helping each other with ideas on this forum.

J. Steve Miller
Author of Social Media Frenzy “Rethinking social media for authors.”
Author of Sell More Books! “What really works for low profile authors.”

With regards to marketing and self-publishing, here are the details:
I am with Lightning Source as my POD company, which gets me in the Ingram family of distribution sites. I designed my own book cover and internal art. I have a Facebook page for my first novel, a blog on, and a new website that could use some work. My book could be more of a YA title than more 'adult' fantasy (read 'light on sex and violence') but I have no idea how to reach such an audience. I am planning on attending a few local conventions this year. My book sales are dismal, mostly being to family and friends of family.
Oh, and I'm kind of an introvert too. Bummer. 


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