SELF PUBLISHING ON KINDLE – What If I Never Sell One Copy Of My Book?

What? Self publish your eBook on Kindle and never have any sales? Is that possible? Sure it is.

I would reckon most writers uploading their self published book onto the Kindle would expect a sale or two fairly quickly. I mean to say, isn’t that what friends and relations are for? To support you in your hour of need? Well, no, actually.

I’ve witnessed it several times in the past year. Writers with high expectations that their eBook would rocket them to stardom with sales rattling up by the minute. I suppose it does happen.

What tends to happen is that after the first flush of excitement of having the book for sale worldwide comes the dull, sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach and the realisation that it appears nobody cares a jot about your written work.

So, what do you do? Give up? Think about packing in writing? Get another hobby? Stamp collecting? Flower arranging? Nope. You hang in there.

Which brings me to Richard…..I converted and uploaded his book for him almost eighteen months ago. It’s a quirky piece. Not what you’d call a best seller. But a work with merit in its own odd, off the wall sort of way. It’s been out in paperback for many years now and he keeps coming back to me, usually once a year, to have more books produced…never more than 50 at a time, and he sells them all. It’s a slow process but he’s doing okay.

But his eBook has never sold a copy. He doesn’t promote it at all. He has no interest in the internet. He doesn’t trust it. Result – the eBook has zero exposure. It just sits there on the virtual Amazon shelf gathering cyber-dust. End of story? Nope.

Richard has just this week sold his FIRST COPY.

So what? And I don’t blame you for thinking that. One sale? Who cares? Well, actually Richard does. He never really believed in the Kindle. He was doubtful from the start. But here is the proof that it works. Even without promotion. Someone found it, fancied it, and bought it. Yep, real money. Not borrowed or downloaded for free. Bought the blooming thing.

So the question is, will this sale make a difference to the way he views his Kindle eBook? I hope so. I sincerely hope now he’s seen there is the possibility of making sales ‘online’ that he will embrace the technology and promote his book.

It is ‘his baby’ so to speak….it deserves some attention.


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About writegoodbooks

I help new writers become published authors through self-publishing. I also offer writers the chance to have their work converted into Kindle eBooks and publish them on the Amazon Kindle store.

16 responses to “SELF PUBLISHING ON KINDLE – What If I Never Sell One Copy Of My Book?”

  1. muriellerites says :

    Encouraging post, gives me hope for my book.

  2. GainFromLoss says :

    I was afraid that I wouldn’t sell one copy of my little children’s book to anyone other than my mom and sister… Of course, a little marketing (or giving it away for free) goes along way. I guess when you are only selling it online, and you have put a ton of effort into writing/illustrating it, you have to follow through with sharing it…at least I’m compelled to. Needless to say, I have sold more than two copies in my first week…and people are excited about a second book… I guess I need to stop commenting on your blog and get back to writing! 😛

    • writegoodbooks says :

      You definitely have to share it in whatever way that works for you. Promoting your book is part of the whole process, or at least I like to think of it that way….writing and illustrating is difficult enough but you just have to go that extra mile. When you do that you’re bound to succeed.

      And yes, you should get back to your writing…but keep dropping by to comment. Please. It keeps me going.

    • Femi says :

      I also recently published my book on amazon’s KDP and I have not made a single sale. The feeling is quite frustrating…. I had about 200 copies downloaded during the promo period…. I am still waiting for my first sale. I guess I’ll share the story with you guys when I make my first sale.

      • writegoodbooks says :

        200 downloads sounds pretty good to me. Yes, it is incredibly frustrating at times trying to work out why some books sell and others simply refuse to do the business. But, hey ho, we all just have to get on with it and do our best. A bit like life really….or am I being a bit too philosophical? Probably.

      • Femi says :

        Hey… I know it’s probably not proper to ask people to review your book but then again, I find it amusing that a book can get up to 200 downloads without a single review…. What then is the essence of giving out the book for free? Huh…!

  3. Kevin Finley says :

    I work in book pr and I encourage authors to do a few things that are free. Start a Goodreads page and run a giveaway, offer friends and family a free book in exchange for a review. Also encourage those friends and family members to post it on the retail sites that are selling the book and on social media. The more people are talking about the book, the more web traffic there is and the better chance you have of a stranger coming across your book. My blog has some more advice for the self-published author

  4. Christa Simpson says :

    I self-edited and self-published my own debut novel TWISTED on Amazon a couple of weeks ago, with low expectations after hearing all of the horror stories about not selling a single book.

    I’ve sold A LOT of books. At least a lot to me. Well over 500 on Amazon alone in just two weeks at the $0.99 price point. My mom and sisters admit they haven’t bought a copy yet. Everyone’s asking me how many books I have to sell before throwing a party. Any suggestions?

    I know one thing, my dream has already been realized and I’m just happy to keep the hope alive. Thanks for your post. 🙂

  5. casmiraharrison says :

    Kevin and Steve,
    Another good, free option that is sometimes overlooked is sending a copy to your local news pubs. My own has a local book review. Smaller papers love the hyper-local interest.
    It may take a while to get in, but worth a shot.
    If it’s available as an ebook, it’s mentioned in the review.

    It’s always amazing to me how often writers fail to promote themselves once their book is done. The real work’s just getting started at that point.

    • writegoodbooks says :

      Yes, local press is important. I’m always banging on about getting in touch with local newsdesks (press, radio, TV), building relationships and giving them what they want, when they want it, and in a form that’s easy for them to turn around in minutes….all nicely set out with images, video links if you have them, links to text on a website….the works.

      Local outlets are always looking for ‘First time writer Fiona hopes to hit the heights’ or ‘Will Fiona be the new J K Rowlking?’ that kind of thing….corny at times, but great publicity all the same.

      I’ve spent time in and around newsdesks in my time and I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t……

      Great comment again…..thanks.

  6. joelghames says :

    Fascinating and helpful reading for another self-publisher to be (3 books to be revised and fly into the ether). Also appreciate the thought regarding local press.

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