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What if My Book Doesn’t Sell?

What if my book doesn’t sell? I think that is a question all writers at least think about. It is a legitimate question, but is it the most important?

I have put my best efforts into my latest book. Am I concerned about sales? Of course, but there are other areas that are more important. In my case, I have a website to maintain, a blog to write articles for, plus reviews to get for my book.

The truth is all of these things affect sales, but I choose not to focus on how many books have been sold. Long term that is important, but I write because I love to write. But sales don’t occur if people don’t know about the book.

Going forward, I am more concerned about getting the word out there to the potential readers. And that is going to require work on my part!

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

What should I do about marketing?

The truth is that the more money you have available, the more you can do. But since you may be on a strict budget, I will discuss those things that are either free or inexpensive.

PRE-PUBLISH

I have divided this int Pre-publication and Post-publication. In Pre-publication your primary goal is to get noticed.

One way to get noticed is through book reviews. I have recently discovered a book review resource called Booksprout. You can try it out for free or signup for the $10 a month program or the $20 a month program. The essential difference between the two paid programs is that the $10 gets you up to 50 reviewers per ARC (Advance Review Copy) while the $20 gets you unlimited reviewers.

That is a very reasonable price. There are no guarantees about whether you get a 1-star, 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star review. Only that you have the opportunity to get reviews.

Booksprout is recommended for pre-publication but can also be used for books already published. Booksprout explains how it all works on their website.

One warning: If you have your book listed in Select (KDP Select), you cannot use Booksprout. To use Booksprout cancel your automatic renewal of Select and when it reaches the end of its term, then use Booksprout.

Another pre-publish strategy is to make use of your email list. This strategy can be free or come with a subscription price. Email is a long-term strategy. By that I mean you can grow your Email list over time. You may need to experiment with your content and how it links to your book. But it is something that almost all ‘experts’ recommend.

Then there are ads.

You will need to look at what type of ad is your best. For instance, do you use a Facebook ad or an Amazon ad or a YouTube ad. Depending on which you choose there are rules that you would be wise to learn.

If you choose to run an ad, make sure to establish the budgeting with firmness. Advertising without control can end up costing you a ton of money.

Pre-Orders

Pre-Orders of your eBooks can accomplish two things. The first is the sales build up and are accomplished all at the same time; thus, providing your book a surge right at the beginning which Amazon will notice. Secondly, potential buyers will notice the surge and be encouraged to buy.

Pre-Orders are only for eBooks on Amazon, but if you have a website and sell your books (see under Post-Publish Website for more information), then you could create your own Pre-Order for print books. I plan on experimenting with this for my next book.

There are additional strategies you can use, but these four ideas standout and can work for a small budget.

POST-PUBLISH

Three of the four strategies you used for Pre-Publish can be used also for post-publish. Obviously, Pre-Order is no longer available once the book is published.

Reviews

Booksprout can be used for published books. See Booksprout for more information. Make sure to include all your reviews. That means the bad ones as long as you have more good ones. It lets people know that you are providing them honest information and it gives you the opportunity to review the reviews.

Ads

Ads are recommended. No matter which platform you use it will probably be your most expensive item. But a successful ad can make a big difference.

Website

Your website can be an integral part of your advertising. If you have reviews, you can post them on your website. This can be very important, especially if you sell your books on your website. KDP allows you to buy and sell copies of your book through the Author Copies program. That is only true of print books, but it gives you a great advantage.

I mentioned in Pre-Publish the idea of selling your books on your own website and offering your readers a Pre-Order of the print book. As far as I know there are no restrictions on doing that.

Ads

All the options you have for ads in Pre-Publish are available in Post-Publish. You might want to remember that books sold by Amazon have a 60-day window. Meaning, that the proceeds from the sales are not paid out until 60-days have passed.

But if your ad directs buyers to your website, then you get instant payment.

These are just a few suggestions. The more money you have available, the more you can do.

But one last principle: Don’t focus on the sales. If you are writing with the idea of making big bucks you may or may not succeed. But if you fail in that endeavor you could become discouraged.

I suggest you focus on why you write. I write because I love writing. Whether I become rich or not is not my focus. I love writing and will continue to write as long as I continue to love doing it.

Do I want to make money? Of course! I have a vision that God has given me and money would make that vision a reality. But whether I write or not is not dependent on sales.

I love reviews. Occasionally, as time permits, I review books by other authors. But reviews of my books are valuable. They not only tell potential readers what you think of the book, but they help me sharpen my craft and make me a better writer.

I plan on submitting more of my books to be reviewed on Booksprout, but you don’t have to wait. If you buy one of our books from Amazon, you can post a review. Or you can try Goodreads where I am listed as R. Riddle.

We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Potiphar in The World of Joseph

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

The title of this blog is Potiphar in the World of Joseph. And it is part of my ongoing blogging about my upcoming book The World of Joseph: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. So, today I will highlight Potiphar and wife, whom I call Zulekha.

According to the Bible in Genesis 39: 1, Potiphar was the Captain of the guard. In my book I used the term Royal Guard as Pharaoh was the king. But it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that this guard was not a dozen men guarding the king, but rather Pharaoh’s army.

In those days Egypt was under one ruler, Pharaoh Sesostris I. His father had taken the throne from another and united the north and south under one rule. But it wasn’t done with just his army. Although he was looked upon as the ruler, Pharaoh did not have absolute rule at that time.

His support was dependent upon the governors of the various regions. These governors had their own armies, and some were strong enough to resist Pharaoh if they had a mind to do so. As long as they were kept busy fighting the Nubians in the south and the Hyksos in the north, they were controllable.

But they represented a problem. As Captain of the Guard, a position probably equivalent to General of the Army, Potiphar would have had responsibility not only for Pharaoh’s life but for the kingdom itself.

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

In the Bible, Potiphar disappears from the account of Joseph’s life in Egypt when Joseph is cast into prison. But most likely Potiphar was still around as the commanding general and perhaps over the royal prison. If so, he would have had numerous opportunities to run into the young man.

When writing I like to ask questions and my first question was, What happened when Joseph became Mentuhotep the Vizier, and he came into contact with Potiphar? It was an intriguing question that led to the development of Potiphar’s position and interaction with the vizier.

A follow-up question was, Did Potiphar keep track of Joseph while the lad was in prison? After all, it appears in the Bible that Potiphar did not believe his wife’s charge of attempted rape by Joseph. Another question would be, As the second most powerful man in the kingdom what, if any, relationship would Mentuhotep have with Potiphar?

In other words, there is a lot of room for speculation about their relationship. And for that matter, Joseph’s relationship with Potiphar’s wife!

Research didn’t answer those questions, but it did provide the backdrop that I could use to develop the story. And if you are a writer reading this then I want you to see that no matter how hard or uncomfortable research maybe it has the benefit of adding to your story. Not only as historical backup, but it can lead to subplots that bring your story alive!

I have mentioned in previous blogs about recent developments in Egyptology. When I began writing, Egyptology was based on Traditional chronologies. These chronologies were totally unreliable. So, I was very pleased when modern archaeological research resulted in a far more reliable chronology.

In the past I had to try to make the Egyptian timelines match with the Biblical. And that was horrendous! So, you can imagine my relief when I discovered that there was now a newer, clearer, and far more accurate Egyptian chronology.  I was even more excited when I compared that chronology to the Biblical and found virtual agreement!

If you are an author and you are leery of doing research or you regard it as too much grunt work, I recommend you purpose to do it anyway. And remember, when using secular sources, they tend to radically change. If your book is related to the Bible, then consider the Bible as your ultimate source. The King James Bible is an excellent resource and doesn’t change unlike some of the newer translations.

When you pick up my book to read take the time to see how much of a role Potiphar had in Joseph’s life. And take a look at his wife, Zulekha.

On August 8, 2021, the eBook version will go on Pre-Order and the actual launch will be August 12, 2021. The paperback and hard cover versions will also be published on August 12, 2021. The printed books will be available at Amazon.com and at TR Independent Bookstore where they are always discounted. The eBook will only be available on Amazon.com.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.