Many New Authors Struggle To Sell Their Books

James Patterson and J.K. Rowlings have advantages over new authors for selling their books
Harlem Book Fair Greg
Harlem Book Fair Greg
QUEENS, N.Y. - April 14, 2014 - PRLog -- There is a misconception that, "because an author's book is published that thousands if not millions of copies are being sold." To the contrary,  it is the opposite in most cases.

    Author James Patterson's books seem to be best sellers before they hit the shelves and we've all heard about "Alex Cross"---but that's James Patterson. James has a reputation, a very long and outstanding history as one of the best writers of our time, and not to mention his loyal fan base.

    The average new authors, especially  "Self-Published" authors have none of those attributes. Although some of these new authors may arguably be just as good of a writer as James, they are little known beyond their little circle of friends, families, and co-workers. Their reputation is more recognized in areas other than as a writer and there is no fan base at all as an author.

    This can also hold true for star athletes, actors, and celebrities. A prime example is former California Governor and movie star, Arnold Swartzenegger. He has had tremendous success in Hollywood with blockbusters like, "The Terminator", "Total Recall", "Conan The Barbarian" and other hits. His book, "Total Recall" (inspite television appearances on 60 Minutes, The Daily Show and in bookstores) debuted to very weak sales (according to Nielsen Bookscan) and only sold about 21,000 copies in the first week. Nielsen Bookscan tracks about 2/3 of physical book sales in the U.S., but does not include e-books which can account for as much as fifty percent of book sales.

    21,000 copies sold in a year is considered a success for the average self-published author. In comparison, noted author J.K. Rowling's book, "A Casual Vancancy" sold in the neighborhood of 350,000 copies in its first week.

    What new authors can take away from this is that,

         "Just because you wrote a doesn't mean they're going to buy your book."

    It is widely believed that a large traditional publishing company (as opposed to Self-Publishing Companies) could take any author and make a best selling author. For example, any author lucky enough to be signed to an author's contract by any of these companies (know as the big six), Random House, Hachett, Macmillan, Penguin, HaperCollins, and Simon & Schuster is percieved to automacally become a best selling author. That's not always true. Penny Marshall (famously known as a Hollywood producer, director, and for her role on the hit tv sitcom "Laverne & Shirley") new book "My Mother Is Nuts" only sold about 6,000 copies in it's debut. However, it was reported that Penny did pocket about $850,000.

    "It's well worth noting that many stars and celebrities are signed to hefty advance bonuses and in many instances result in a hefty financial loss to the publisher when the books don't sell."

    One big perception by the public is that, "Authors Get Their Books Free From The Publishers." Wrong!!! Authors like everyone else must pay for their books. Authors get a discount, but not free books. Authors get a percentage of book sales, but not free books---other than a few complimentary copies.

    What new authors need more than anything, in addition to a good book and a market for the book, is the support from their friends, families, co-workers and.....other authors. This alone can be the difference between success and failure as an author. There are way too many instances where people who know the author expects the author to give them the book. If the author and publisher gave away all the books for free, no one would make a living. The author would starve and the publisher would go out of business.

    It is good business for publishers and authors to occassionally give away some free books for marketing, promotional purposes, and gifts. One of the big six could give away hundreds of books while an author may be able to give away one hundred books over a period of time. That author usually gives those freebies to family or long time supporters.

    A publisher can slash the price of a given book in half. On the other hand, an author needs every penny to make ends meet. I remember walking into Costco and seeing the book, "Fifty Shades of Grey" on a table and selling for $9.99. I thought, "Wow!" "Look at all of those copies of that book, on it's own table, selling for only 9 bucks, and my new book, "Why I Sued Eddie Murphy" is selling at $20 bucks a pop!...I can't compete with that!" I looked around and customers were everywhere. It would have cost me thousands to display that many of my books on that table. But guess what? I would have gladly spent those thousands because the responses from readers of my book is just as good if not better. I believe in my book----"Just give me the table."

    "Even as an author, I never ask another author for a free book...I always purchase the book to show my support. Its okay to accept a free book from an author, but it is always better to buy the book...even if you know the author. Sometimes the author may not be able to afford to give a you a free book or may not be able to give his own family a free book. But with your support, the author may some day be able to give you a free book, or some other valuable gift associate with the book such as a t-shirt, pen, or bag" to show his or her appreciation for your support.

         "It's not always easy for authors to sell books."

New Style Entertainment, Inc.
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Page Updated Last on: Apr 14, 2014
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