At some point in your writing career, you’re probably going to see your sales numbers go down. It could be a gradual decline or a sharp falloff in sales. No matter what happens, keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world.
The decline happens whether you’re repped by an agent and published by a Big 6 Publisher, an indie author, or self-pubbed. It’s just the nature of the beast. Oh, sure, there are always those who defy the rules, that never seem to see a decline in sales, but it’s not true. At some point, the amount of sales on a particular book or books will slow down. Some are just lucky enough to have several books that constantly bring in the big money.
On average , most of us probably won’t see the sales that J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and R.L. Stine have enjoyed—but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your pursuit. They had to start somewhere, just like you did. There’s always hope. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate the depression that comes with hitting the sales slump.
1. Write more books. One of the best ways to increase sales is to have other titles readers can choose from. Keep putting out the best work you can and grow your fan base.
2. Market and advertise. Having people know about your work might increase their desire to buy it. Get out and let the world know about your book(s) and give readers a reason to buy it.
3. Become a speaker. You’re an expert in something, whether it’s creating characters or developing new worlds or using a semicolon properly, and you can (and should) share your knowledge with others. Develop workshops and presentations to help others become better writers. Become a panelist at conventions and conferences. Heck, do something as simple as read at your local library. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get out there and do it!
4. Stop obsessing about the numbers. This seems like an incredibly simple task to accomplish, but it’s much harder than it sounds. Trust me, I know. I have access to the analytics for several of my books, and I check them way more than I should. I also check my ranking on Amazon way more often than is probably healthy. If seeing your numbers change upsets you, then stop looking at the numbers. There are so many other things to look at on the internet. Better yet, get back to writing!
5. Write more books. This can’t be said enough. You’re a writer because you love to write, so write. Don’t worry about sales, they’ll come with time.
It can be hard (and depressing) to deal with declining sales, but it happens to everyone. Do you have any other tactics you employ so you aren’t focused on the numbers?