Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

Dear Dan,

You post every day for weeks and weeks and then suddenly nothing. You’re the hardest working guy I know. What happened?

A visual representation of how I felt the last two days.
A visual representation of how I felt the last two days.

Answer: I got sick as hell, that’s what. Man, it was brutal. IS brutal. Basically I have the flu, and when you live in Florida and it’s 95 degrees out NOBODY gives you any sympathy for that. Meanwhile, I thought I was better after 2 days so I got up and started doing stuff, and crashed like a ton of bricks. Then my daughter got it. Now my wife. The cat is always puking so she doesn’t count, and the dog is absolutely terrified.

The house is trashed, because the one person who picks up around here got sick first. Turns out the other two can do a lot of damage in just two days. Oh, and they abandoned me. They went shopping for half the day and went to grandma’s the other half. I don’t blame them, I was pretty nasty to be around, but how’d the house get so wrecked with nobody here?

But that doesn’t mean I’m not working! In fact, just yesterday, before Round Two of The Plague visited upon me, Allison and I were working on a blurb for Poggibonsi.




My blurbs are terrible? Yes. Yes they are.
My blurbs are terrible?
Yes. Yes they are.

That is harder than it sounds, my friends.

And because yours sucks, it’s costing you.

See, your main selling source, Amazon, is largely an impulse buy. That’s important to know, not if you’re Stephen King with a huge following, or Hugh Howey (I just threw his name in there for Allison; I’ve never knowingly read any of his stuff), but if you’re small or independent, you need the Ammy advantages to work to your favor.


1. You must write a good story – actually, you can write crap but then I don’t want to talk to you and you need to be a super marketer.  And you need to be a super marketer anyway. But there are a LOT of guys writing crap and making money on Ammy, so if we write good stuff we should be able to do even better. Otherwise the terrorists win. And “good story” includes no typos and all that jazz. (Learn about writing better stories HERE)

Made you look!
Made you look!

2. You must have a good cover – well, only if you wanna sell stuff. A brightly colored cover with contrasting colors will catch the eye and draw attention to it. So will other things, like big boobs or puppies, but those images may not fit well with the story inside the cover, so govern yourself accordingly. And again, we’re writing good stories so we want the cover to represent that. But if it doesn’t catch the eye, it’s not gonna sell well. Think impulse buy. The cover has to make people want to read the blurb.

3. The blurb has to make people want to read the story. The blurb is a few lines about your story that bait the hook and make people want more, so they click BUY. Think IMPULSE BUY. And if you’re a good storyteller, you might take 80,000 words to tell your story. That in no way means you are good at condensing it down to 250 words of ad copy – and make no mistake, that is what your blurb is. It’s a tiny ad that, along with your professional looking cover, make people want to click BUY. If it doesn’t do that, it’s a loser – and I’ve had my fair share of loser blurbs! I still do! For several reasons. They are hard to do well, and I didn’t really know that until recently, but mainly because I have a hard time writing blurbs for my own stuff. Probably, so do you.


Now, you’d say as a writer you should master your blurb. In fact, I’ve seen several well known writers who may or may not write their own blurbs, say just that. It’s writing! You’re a wordsmith! Just do it.

It’s not that easy. It is a different kind of writing, just like a painter is an artist but we don’t expect him to be a master sculptor or pottery thrower. It is a different skill set AND most of us are TOO CLOSE to our work to be objective enough to write a good blurb.

4. The other rules are things like pricing and whatnot. That’s totally your call, but I can offer a few guidelines. When you are known as well as Stephen King, you can charge Stephen King prices. Don’t work for free if you don’t have to – and you don’t have to. Run sales on occasion but otherwise, we could write 10 posts on pricing and still not resolve the question. Most authors who follow my rules should be able to sell their stuff at above $2.99 or more and not have issues, but feel free to make any comments about that as you want. (4 Tips To Market Your book CLICK HERE)

So, in a nutshell, your books isn’t selling because your cover is amateurish and your blurb sucks.

Now, what do we do about it?

Glad you asked.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you. (Cos I’m still sick and this was hard enough to do. I’m going to go lay down now.)

16 thoughts on “Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

    • I’m going to work on the evolution of the blurb we (mostly you) worked on and post that tomorrow.

      It’s much easier for most people to do a blurb for something they didn’t write, but you did the blurb for The Fourth Descendant and it has done well.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post…

    I’ve struggled trying to write a blurb for my story. I’ll think I have it pretty good, but then I go back later to read it. Ugh! Even I wouldn’t buy my book. Not good…

    Liked by 1 person

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