Why Is My Book Getting No Attention

Why Is My Book Getting No Attention

Have you written a great book, but it seems no one beyond your mother and your spouse is interested in it?

You may have one of two problems – or both of them:

1. Your book has wonderful information, or a compelling story, but it lacks a professional polish. If it’s not well organized or written with clear, precise language, it may be hard to read.

2. The people who might love your book aren’t aware it exists. Having a website (which is a must) isn’t enough. If you’re not actively engaged in driving people to it, they’re not likely to find it and learn about your book.

Fortunately, both problems have solutions.

First, the writing. If you didn’t have an extensive writing background before tackling your book, and you didn’t have help from a good, professional editor, that could be hurting you. You might want to consider hiring a ghostwriter to revise it.

Ghostwriters provide an array of services, from turning your two-sentence idea into a 150-page book, to sharing writing tasks with you, to editing and polishing what you’ve written. Many, many books being sold today were helped along by ghostwriters, although you’d never know it — their names often don’t show up anywhere on or in the book.

Entrepreneurs and professionals who plan to use their book as a marketing tool can simply hand the job over to the writer. A good ghostwriter can even give you smart suggestions for topics that will work well for you at any particular point in time. And the two of you can collaborate on the content.

Unfortunately, ghostwriting is not a licensed profession; anyone can advertise their services. So, when you’re looking to hire, do your homework. The best way to find a good ghostwriter is through referrals. But you can also find prospects at elance.com or guru.com. Ask about experience and check references. Ask their previous clients how satisfied they were with communications and their end product.

If you’re a professional who intends to elevate your stature – and, ultimately, build customer prospects – with your book, it’s important to hire someone with a strong track record in that area. If you’re a novelist looking for help refining your story, of course, you’ll want someone who has written novels.

For nonfiction books, expect to invest time in answering the writer’s questions. In order for him (or her) to do a great job, he needs to understand who your target audience is and what their needs, problems, concerns and fears are. Once he knows these, he can gather the information necessary to write with them in mind.

And that leads to problem No. 2, marketing. This is such a challenge for writers, I’m making it the focus of my presentation this weekend at the 2012 Northwest Bookfest in Seattle. (If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop in and see me at the EMSI booth!)

Too often, writers become so focused on getting their book written, they forget the critical second part of their job: telling people about it.

Some are so confident their book will take off after a few people have read it, they feel they don’t need to worry about marketing. That’s like buying a million-dollar house because you just know you’re going to hit the lottery. Yes, people win lottery jackpots. And yes, books become surprise best-sellers. But no, you shouldn’t bet the farm on either happening.

So while you’re thinking about the audience for your book, think about the marketing messages that will appeal to them. How can you reach them to let them know there’s a new book out there?

Consider these questions:
What will be the best channels for reaching my audience? You might consider doing speaking engagements, or sending pitches to journalists and talk show hosts who would use you as a source of information. You might hire a publicist, contract with your publisher, or put together a book-signing tour. Research the options that appeal to you, including how effective they’ll be in terms of meeting your goals.
How much will it cost? Some options are less expensive, others more. Look into the prices and decide how much you can afford to spend. How much of the work can you handle yourself? Even if you hire a publicist to help, you should plan to invest your own time and energy. To get the best results possible, being active and engaged in your marketing campaign is essential.
Can social media help you spread the word? Actively posting and engaging in conversations on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are a great way to build your visibility. The more of a following you have, the more potential audience you’ve created for your marketing message. But remember, “buy my book” posts won’t win you any followers; you need to provide informative and/or entertaining content related to your book.
Remember, it all starts with a well-written and professionally published book. Without a quality product, your marketing efforts are likely to fall flat.

Likewise, your book – no matter how beautiful and polished – won’t go far if people don’t know who YOU are.

See you at the Bookfest!

Read More about Getting Attention for Your Book on Biznik
Read More about Book Promotion with EMSI Here
Read More about Book Marketing Here


  1. I’ve been writing medical thrillers including one historical novel since 2003 and have attended several writers conferences. I have also employed many editors and literary professionals who have provided references to literary agents. Those who replied to my queries had the same theme – a publisher these days is not willing to take the risk with an unknown author. So after much expense and frustration I chose the indie e-book approach in November 2012. I sell 15-20 books a month and get 4-5 star revues. My current goal is to get read.
    Amazon suggested giving away free books as a start to generate a reader base. I began this giveaway process for each of my published 6 books and got a total of 5, 415 downloads. However, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and amazon forum do not equate downloads with readers. I would love to get back into TV and radio with my literary endeavors (before I retired I was linked with educational TV and Radio in CT).
    The editor of my recent book advises to keep on writing and social networking regardless of the recognition inertia. My next e-book is targeted for June with two others scheduled to complete this year at three month intervals.

  2. Marsha,

    You have the best and most helpful blog/newsletter in the blogosphere! Every time I see it pop up in my email, I open it immediately, knowing the information will be golden. Thank you!

    Highest and Best!
    Grant Overstake

  3. We have received wonderful publicity, including a great review from the Library Journal, Huffington Post and the Syracuse Magazine. Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices has also received Awards from the New Apple, (first in the Specialty Category ), and Gold from the Independent Publisher, (the IPPY Award – first in Health. We have recently been informed that we are getting another award and PW (Publishers Weekly) has selected our book for the best Health Publication by an Independent Publisher for 2014, The main reason that self publishing has always appealed to me is that actually it is possible for a self published book to turn out to be extremely professional.
    Our paper is fine quality, for cancer patients to touch, our illustrations unique, cancer cradles reformed into sculptures that have been in galleries to encourage early detection, our color amazing and our editing and writing top quality (as noted by the Huffington Post article).
    We are selling books and also corporations and hospitals have been helping us get books to
    underprivileged groups in hospitals, organizations, and libraries..

    Our problem is that we need to bring more people to our web site and also that at this point, I need more help in marketing because it is not possible to handle everything. Our budget is limited, our product is special. We are anxious to help where ever possible but have been working on this project 10 hours a day for nearly six years and need quality help to do this project total justice.

    To emphasize our quality, the book was just recently acquired by the National Institute
    of Health for their Patient Library.

    We need marketing help. It needs to be at a reasonable price because we are small and have kept the book at a price most cancer patients and their families can afford.

  4. Hello.
    As subscriber to your blog for quite some time, I admit I have done so in a very passive way. This is the first time I write in about my four hundred page manuscript about abuse and molestation. It tells my life from toddler till age sixteen. Boarding school priests and other clergy connected representatives in Belgium were my assailants.
    It’s very difficult to find a publisher or even a literary agent. It still seems to be a “taboo” subject, in terms of distribution. Friends who have read my book, have voiced, that my writing isn’t the best. I was educated in German French and work and live in English for the past thirty years. But still grammar isn’t perfect and I have serious ADHD. I have a tendency to write in a very flowery way. My mind is fantastic at multitasking and that has helped me in my career as Designer.
    I have lived through that life well but I wasn’t born a writer. Life made me write to help myself. I sued the church and won a pitiful amount, after being subjected to awful and way to memorable “carpet shop bargaining” for the amount to be paid out, considering the years of abuse. I do keep up and write a lot of other subjects.
    Some editors, give quotes without the proof of any expertise in such delicate subjects. Amazone quoted over seven thousand dollars without any chance of meeting or talking to the potential editor. A few well read and written friends, mentioned the need to language that “calls a spade a spade”. Yet that is not a language that priest were saying. Actually silence was more what spoke to me.
    Considering the mass market I am not here to write “shades of grey about abuse” for fun but a real recalling my life.
    It’s very difficult to trust someone on this for thousands of dollars. I am thinking of going on “Kickstarter” or going the Amazon way just without editing and warning the reader that this is the real me as I am now and I recall and my thoughts without makeup.
    I am not the youngest. And yes I do use social media, but rather with visuals and photography as I am a fashion, interior and architectural Designer by profession.
    I very much want to share my story to warn society of the danger that hidden by any group organization and to show one can service without taking drugs or dive into alcohol. I would to generate income ‘to use partially fuel a fund to help other children”. I am not super wealthy and could use some additional income.
    Excerpt on a blog came to my mind, But who will be reading a blog that isn’t in “perfect edited English” ? And how much and what to tell or not, before loosing or gaining interest? So many unanswered questions. Does one share the title or not? My preferred title is actually French and is actually linked to exclusive and expensive food (that links to my story). Would you say, it could be a deterrent to the English market or, would you rather thing it will come across as interesting to lovers of food and wine buffs and society in general. Or should one add a short phrase to redirect the mind to what the book is really about?
    What other routes, experiences and advise would you or anyone here suggest?
    Peace of body and mind to all.
    Many thanks gratitude.


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