Is Your Book in the Limp-Along Merry-Go-Round?

It’s reality check time … are you feeling a tad bummed as an author? Look in the mirror and ask: Are you disappointed with the flow of your book sales?

So … why do some authors fail … and merely limp along with their book sales?

Here are my top 10 reasons “why your book could be nose-diving” and caught on a book limp along merry-go-round.
1 Not understanding why minimal editing by a non-professional could be the “kiss of book death.” Trust me … your friends and yourself are not the editor—you and they are just the first read through.

2 Not getting an interior and cover designer on board from the get-go—your cover should never be a DIY project unless you do it for a living. And then, that could even get it the way. Remember, the cover is the magnet—it attracts the potential “buyer”. Too many authors want the cover to be for them. Wrong approach.

3 Not getting that authoring and publishing is a business. It has a P&L and a timeline. If you are a “hobbyist” … yup, you will have a limp-along book—guaranteed.

4 Not do the pre-work … discovering “WHO” they are really writing for. Not probing and determining “WHO” their competitors are and “WHAT” the competing books are. If you are just writing for YOU … then you have a very limited audience.

5 Not having a Platform for both Book and Author–there is a difference. Your Platforms are not just social media presence. They must incorporate your vision for you and the book; your passion; and your commitment to it in time, energy, and money. Platforms are essential—it doesn’t matter if you are traditionally published or self-published.

6 Not marketing and drilling into the niche for the book. Only 10 percent of the book is the writing/creation; 90 percent is the marketing and support of it. It’s part of your Platform under “commitment”.

Not getting that you are the CMO—Chief Marketing Officer. Yep, you need to be using social media—but the right ones, not all of them; your need to be gathering emails (such as Mail Chimp); create a method to store their names and emails; and communicating on a regular basis—that’s how to build fans that you stay connected with and who will support you and your efforts.

Not saying NO … and getting sucked into one of the “pay to publish” quasi-scams. If you signed on with a pay to publish company –you MUST Google the name and put “complaint,” “scam,” “problems,” “lawsuit,” “con,” “rip-off,” behind it and READ, READ, READ PAST THE FIRST PAGE of Google. Xlibris (owned by Author House) alone has over 40 pages of complaints, yet people sign up right and left. Author House is loaded with grumbles. In fact, any of the subsidiaries of Author Solutions, such as Author House, Author House UK, Author Hive, iUniverse, Palibrio, Partridge Publishing, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris.

And, that doesn’t include the many “partner” imprints such as Balboa Press via Hay House and Westbow Publishing via Thomas Nelson. Author BEWARE. These are all publishing predators and they lurk everywhere. Also, check out and If something looks too good to be true, then it usually is.?

All of the above are not publishers … you don’t pay a publisher for services to create your book. Do … not … get … in … bed … with … any … of … them.

9 Not avoiding the RTP Syndrome … the Rush to Publish. I get it, you are excited—you want this baby out. But, did you get the manuscript edited? Was it done more than once? Did you do your pre-work? Do you really get who your reader/buyer is and develop the book to meet their needs, not yours? Have you set up your marketing strategies?

10 Not realizing that authoring and publishing are WORK. Oh yes, it’s a lot of work. You need to plan for it, and you definitely need to get your family and friends behind you and on board. Is this journey overwhelming and exhausting at times? You bet it is. Is it wonderful? Yes, it can be.

Your experience encompasses choices. By being smart, there’s less pain … and the rewards can be explosive. The choice is yours



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Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published in 2016: How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps, and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre-, during and post-publishing of their books. Join today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday if you are an GOLD member. 

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