The #1 Mistake Most Authors Make

Before posting in this marketing forum, please try to read 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget. This forum is mainly for followup questions and discussion after reading that book. This forum does indeed allow for much broader discussion of marketing and promotion than just that book, but it's good for everyone to be on the same page about the basics.

Please note, this forum is not for self-promotional plugs. It's for discussing how to promote your book or other writing.
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 3146
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Woman in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 228
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660
Signature Addition: testtesttest

The #1 Mistake Most Authors Make

Post by Scott » 02 Jan 2016, 11:25

For a limited time, I have guaranteed that any author who follows the 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book will sell at least 100 copies of his or her book. You could say that each step of the ten steps represents one common mistake many authors make.

As shown in the topic Average Author Sales, most authors do not even sell 50 copies. That means I am (for a limited time) guaranteeing that any author who follows the 10 Step Plan will sell more than double most authors.

I think I know what I am talking about here. My new book Achieve Your Dreams has already 'sold' over 4,000 copies. It hasn't even been out for a week! :D Almost everyone who read it is rating it 5 out of 5.

Now, you might say, but, Scott, the book was free for 5 days, so surely it was easier to 'sell' more copies if the book is free.

In a sense, you would be partially right. However, that thinking also demonstrates the #1 mistake most authors make.

The #1 mistake most authors make is not respecting your readers' time, and really not respecting your reader. To think that the $1 to $10 purchase price is what would prevent someone from reading your book is a symptom of not respecting your readers' time and not respecting the competitiveness of the market.

Achieve Your Dreams is a short book. Nonetheless, even if someone can read it in just 30 minutes, even at a legal minimum wage, they would have invested more in time than a typical book costs in regular money.

Time is money.

I believe I respect my readers' time. That's why Achieve Your Dreams is a short book. There are surely a lot of books that would be just as awesome if you cut away the fluff.

If you are selling a book for $5, you don't need to produce a book that is worth $5 to the reader. You need to produce a book that is worth $100 to the reader or $200 to the reader. More probably! The reader isn't just paying the $5 price tag for your book; that's just a tiny fraction of what they are paying.

At OnlineBookClub.org we have a huge list of books that cost money on Amazon that authors have sent us for free to get a review. Some of the very interesting-looking ones--with great descriptions and covers from authors with other great books or good credentials--get selected relatively quickly and read. Some are almost never read.

Any good literary agent or legitimate publishing house has the same problem. They don't read most of the manuscripts they get.

So many authors are under this delusion that someone else should be so grateful to get their book for free. No wonder these authors think it would be so easy to up the price just a few bucks and sell the book for a small profit. In my 10 Step Plan I explain that delusion in the section about The Mommy Bias.

I'm not saying good books have to be short. Look at Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

It's deeper than just avoiding fluff. It's about respecting your reader.

It's about not cutting corners. It's about not producing a half-assed product.

There are so many different mistakes that authors can make in this regard. All those different mistakes are individual manifestations of this overarching #1 mistake of not respecting your readers' time and thus not respecting your reader.

Whether you haven't even written your first book yet, or you have but you want to sell more, make sure to read the 10 Step Plan.

What do you think? Please hit the reply button to let me know.
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

User avatar
Carrie R
Posts: 324
Joined: 28 Sep 2012, 20:28
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Favorite Author: So many
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... d=19706">A Fine Balance</a>
Currently Reading: Pachinko
Bookshelf Size: 25

Post by Carrie R » 02 Jan 2016, 13:38

The pricing of e-books is an interesting issue. It seems I balk at having to pay more than $7 for an e-book, and yet I don't think twice when I pay that amount for a movie. And a movie only offers us two hours of entertainment where a book often offers more. But as you point out, it isn't really a time thing--it's a product thing. If I pay $4 for a book that only takes me an hour to read but gives me new knowledge or knocks my socks off in entertainment value, I won't mind. But if I pay $4 for a poorly put together e-book (or more for a paper copy), I'd probably grumble.
Official OnlineBookClub.org review of Eating Bull ~ March book of the month!

Review of The Seneca Scourge - Previous book of the month!

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 3146
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Woman in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 228
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660
Signature Addition: testtesttest

Post by Scott » 02 Jan 2016, 14:16

Carrie R wrote:The pricing of e-books is an interesting issue. It seems I balk at having to pay more than $7 for an e-book, and yet I don't think twice when I pay that amount for a movie. And a movie only offers us two hours of entertainment where a book often offers more. But as you point out, it isn't really a time thing--it's a product thing. If I pay $4 for a book that only takes me an hour to read but gives me new knowledge or knocks my socks off in entertainment value, I won't mind. But if I pay $4 for a poorly put together e-book (or more for a paper copy), I'd probably grumble.
Thank you for your reply, @"Carrie R" :)

I would grumble if someone paid me $20 to watch a movie or read a book, and the book or movie was no good.

A shocking number of self/indie published books aren't even edited. :shock:

It's even worse when we consider the competitiveness of the market. Over 2 million books are published each year. Regardless of how one values their own time, why read a book that offers hundreds of dollars worth of entertainment or information when one could read a book that offers thousands of dollars worth of entertainment or advice? And with 2 million books each year from which to choose, there's plenty of books like that.

I've heard some readers say they don't even consider reading books priced under a certain number, like $3 (for ebooks). Granted, that's probably not the norm among buyers. The norm is to be attracted to deals and bothered by unusually higher prices. But it's probably a better rule of thumb actually, and it does demonstrate my point: that the real purchase price is in time. This is why most free manuscripts get thrown in trash, unread by the recipient. The author who is looking to create a product that is worth $5, $10 or $20 is committing what I've called the #1 mistake most authors make. Authors and publishers have to create a product worth the real purchase price, which is so much higher, which is valued in time in the context of an ultra-competitive market with millions of new books each year.
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

User avatar
Carrie R
Posts: 324
Joined: 28 Sep 2012, 20:28
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Favorite Author: So many
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... d=19706">A Fine Balance</a>
Currently Reading: Pachinko
Bookshelf Size: 25

Post by Carrie R » 02 Jan 2016, 14:27

Scott wrote:Authors and publishers have to create a product worth the real purchase price, which is so much higher, which is valued in time in the context of an ultra-competitive market with millions of new books each year.
Very true.
Official OnlineBookClub.org review of Eating Bull ~ March book of the month!

Review of The Seneca Scourge - Previous book of the month!

User avatar
katiesquilts
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 570
Joined: 20 Aug 2015, 20:10
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 112
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 64
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 612
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-katiesquilts.html
Latest Review: A Price of Blood by Renee Peters and Rae Stilwell

Post by katiesquilts » 03 Jan 2016, 19:57

Hmm, I might be a cheapo college student on a budget, but I never pay anything for ebooks! To me, free ebooks are like a library that I can take on the go with me, with no late fees either. Sure, I have to wade through tons and tons of questionable self-published novels, but when novels have had time and effort put into them, as Scott mentioned, it's easy enough to tell them apart from all the other slapped-together books. I am especially on the look-out for authors who have free trials of novels that would usually cost much more. I know it's a ploy to get me hooked on the series, but I still jump on them anyways... :lol:

User avatar
DanAmerson
Posts: 3
Joined: 12 Jan 2016, 11:35
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by DanAmerson » 12 Jan 2016, 20:36

Excellent way of looking at pricing; give 100$, ask for 3$ back.
Most people have it backwards; they ask 'how do I get 10 people to give me 10$'

S Henry Knocker
Posts: 10
Joined: 12 Jan 2016, 15:06
Bookshelf Size: 13

Post by S Henry Knocker » 13 Jan 2016, 15:48

:This was a very interesting read I tried to write my book this way. I tried not to waist a readers time when writing reports on the job and I appreciated the reports that got to the point when I was a detective.
S Henry Knocker :D

User avatar
mlceniceros
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 Feb 2016, 22:12
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by mlceniceros » 09 Feb 2016, 23:20

Well, great read and thank you for posting this information.

User avatar
ReadDear
Posts: 28
Joined: 04 Feb 2016, 22:29
2017 Reading Goal: 1
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by ReadDear » 27 Feb 2016, 11:01

katiesquilts wrote:Hmm, I might be a cheapo college student on a budget, but I never pay anything for ebooks! To me, free ebooks are like a library that I can take on the go with me, with no late fees either. Sure, I have to wade through tons and tons of questionable self-published novels, but when novels have had time and effort put into them, as Scott mentioned, it's easy enough to tell them apart from all the other slapped-together books. I am especially on the look-out for authors who have free trials of novels that would usually cost much more. I know it's a ploy to get me hooked on the series, but I still jump on them anyways... :lol:
Teach me please, how to find a good book before buying it?
"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 3146
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Woman in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 228
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660
Signature Addition: testtesttest

Post by Scott » 28 Feb 2016, 10:51

ReadDear wrote:
katiesquilts wrote:Hmm, I might be a cheapo college student on a budget, but I never pay anything for ebooks! To me, free ebooks are like a library that I can take on the go with me, with no late fees either. Sure, I have to wade through tons and tons of questionable self-published novels, but when novels have had time and effort put into them, as Scott mentioned, it's easy enough to tell them apart from all the other slapped-together books. I am especially on the look-out for authors who have free trials of novels that would usually cost much more. I know it's a ploy to get me hooked on the series, but I still jump on them anyways... :lol:
Teach me please, how to find a good book before buying it?
@ReadDear Use the book reviews from our own team! You can see them at OnlineBookClub.org/reviews/

:D
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

User avatar
LivreAmour217
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1992
Joined: 02 Oct 2014, 12:42
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 69
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 118
Favorite Author: Too many to count
Favorite Book: Ditto
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 240
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-livreamour217.html
Latest Review: Treasure of the magical mine moppets by KJ Blocker

Post by LivreAmour217 » 28 Feb 2016, 15:41

You hit the nail right on the head, Scott! I often forget how much I paid for a specific book, but I never forget the experience of reading it. If I feel like I wasted my time and energy reading a book, I will feel cheated regardless of the price (or lack thereof).
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein

User avatar
ReadDear
Posts: 28
Joined: 04 Feb 2016, 22:29
2017 Reading Goal: 1
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by ReadDear » 06 Mar 2016, 23:21

Scott wrote:@ReadDear Use the book reviews from our own team! You can see them at OnlineBookClub.org/reviews/

:D
Thanks! :techie-studyingbrown:
"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Skoraeus
Posts: 22
Joined: 17 Mar 2016, 22:55
Currently Reading: Magnus Chase and the God of Asgard
Bookshelf Size: 10
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-skoraeus.html

Post by Skoraeus » 17 Mar 2016, 23:27

I second that Scott. I completely agreed on the pricing of the books. Books prices varies over different type of genres, book pages, rating etc. Some books cost 10 bucks, some 15. But their content is defiling in the sense that they only provided the 'equal' amount of content to the pricing. If authors could merely use 10 bucks per book as a guideline, while producing a book that's worth maybe, let's say, 50 bucks in content. It would definitely create an uproar. Don't forget that good books tend to spread quickly. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, use that to ur advantage.

User avatar
Rachel McClellan
Posts: 11
Joined: 07 Apr 2016, 14:38
2017 Reading Goal: 6
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Rachel McClellan » 15 Jul 2016, 18:33

I'm going to have to check out your book Scott! :)

User avatar
emthomas1
Posts: 27
Joined: 27 Jul 2016, 00:07
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reading Device: B0163GNS5S

Post by emthomas1 » 28 Jul 2016, 19:15

Interesting post and novel (no pun int-...oh, yes it was) way of looking at pricing. There's a Harvard study waiting to be made about Ebook price points, I'm sure.
E.M. Thomas

Post Reply

Return to “Marketing and Promotion for Writers”