Five Great Things That Don’t Sell Lots of Books… And Two Things That Do

I thought I’d done everything to give my book Coffeehouse Theology a chance to sell a lot of copies. I was very busy in the time leading up to the book’s release and afterwards with endorsements, reviews, blog tours, and social media buzz.

While there are a lot factors that go into a book’s sales from the marketing ability of a publisher to the state of the economy (which was at rock bottom at the time of my release), I’d like to process a few things in public about marketing my book and what I learned.

These are things that you the author can control. Results may vary depending on any number of factors, and the rules of publishing are generally made to be broken. However, there are some trends I have noticed.

The more I speak with other authors and industry professionals, the more I think I missed a few strategic opportunities to improve my book’s chances because I focused on developing some areas that were certainly important, but not quite as critical when it came to selling books. They may have helped sell some books, but they were not the most important factors when it came to selling LOTS of books.

I’ll spend this week and the next unpacking some of this a bit more, including how my publishing strategy has changed over the past year.

Here are the lists that I’ll dig into over the coming days:

Five Great Things That Don’t Sell Lots of Books

Trustworthy Endorsements

A Great Forward

Great Reviews

Social Media

A Web Site


Two Things That Sell Lots of Books

A well-written book that is targeted to the needs of a specific but wide audience.

A Trusted Name with an Extensive Platform (One note: the 5 things in the list above are part of a platform, but there is much more to a marketing platform than those 5 things)