What to Do If Your Books Are Not Selling

What if your books just never seem to sell that many copies?

What happens if, in spite of following all the professional advice out there, your book sales fail to produce consistently sustainable income?

In other words: what if your passion never lives up to your internal hype?

Can you handle that truth? Can you live with that?

These are questions many writers face sooner or later. How you answer them will determine two things:

  1. Your life-long self-image
  2. If you’re a real writer or a dabbler who simply enjoyed writing for awhile

If you give it your all and discover—after years of effort—that the world just doesn’t seem to appreciate your work, then no one can blame you if you decide to hang it up and move on. Congratulate yourself on being one of a select company who actually wrote and completed a manuscript.

If you discover—after years of effort—that the world just doesn’t seem to appreciate your work, then on the other hand you might decide to buckle down and press on.

For some, failure is not a wall but a challenge.

For these Creators of Worlds, there is no roadblock, no challenge, and no disappointment powerful enough to squash their dreams. And so they persist. They continue honing their craft, believing in the power of the written word and in their ability to convince readers and buyers that their work is worthy.

They continue, even in the face of consumer indifference or neglect, because they love it—they love writing, creating, crafting new tapestries of words.

That is the mark of a brave and determined soul, an author who is likely to succeed, one great day. Some would even consider such a brave soul already successful, before the acknowledgement and deals start rolling in to confirm this.

Either kind is perfectly cool. Embrace your decision and be at peace with it.

If you decide to embrace the latter, you would do well to consider learning from those who have trod a similar path of struggle. The following are example of novelists who fought the good fight, who knew the pain of anonymity and who forged ahead anyway, until the day came that the dark clouds parted and they—through effort and skill and help from others—finally managed to break out and establish themselves as consummate professionals.

You can too—if you want to put in the work and if you absolutely unshakably believe in the quality and content of your books.