The Number One Key to Selling Books

In all the excitement and bustle of indie publishing and traditional publishing and blog tours and Likes and Tweets and Tumbles Reddits and Pins and pics and promotion oh my … we musn’t forget the first and most important element that will always, always sell books.  And I’m pretty sure I know what it is.Skeptics may disagree. Jaded artists and writers who have faced rejection may say no! you’re not correct.
But I promise it’s correct. The first, and, in the end, the most important element to selling books is the same as it has ever been.

And it is this:

You must write good books.

“But I wrote a good book and it was rejected!”

“But what about 50 Shades???”

“But traditional publishers don’t know good books anymore and readers like cheap easy trash!”

And here’s the part that people forget . . . “good” means different things to different people.  My husband used to rail against the Twilight saga until I pointed out to him that he is not, in fact, the target audience. I write about gryfons and wolves going on epic adventures, coming-of-age dilemmas, and sometimes eating fish. Some people think it’s great. Some people would think it’s ridiculous.

I would never read 50 Shades because it’s Not My Thing.

It doesn’t matter if a book is written badly or has strange subject matter or doesn’t appeal to a traditional audience (whatever that is.) It really doesn’t. As long it doesn’t bore the reader, most readers will forgive anything. I still have five star ratings from people who found typos in a book they paid for (bless your hearts.)  There are some very strange books out there, and they sell.  Why? They wrote good books. Argue all you want, but my philosophy is this:

Someone wanted to write it.  Which means someone, somewhere out there, wants to read it.

I guarantee it.

So write your book.

Make it a good book. Find the people who want to read it.

And you will sell it.  Every time.


About jesseowen

I’m a professional author, artist, and for years I was an Equity Stage Manager in the theatre. My current project is a quartet of young adult novels titled The Summer King Chronicles. I’m from the mountains of Montana; I’ve traveled the United States with theatre tours and left the country only twice: once to Italy, once to Scotland. I drink a lot of coffee, I love music and travel and Renaissance art. I read (some) poetry, watch a lot of movies, read, aspire to get up early. Among other things. I still think the original Star Wars is one of the best stories of our time. If you’d like to know more, drop me a line! ~Jess View all posts by jesseowen

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