Most people know how to read, but not a lot of them know how to write. Unfortunately, it follows that not everyone who knows how to write also knows how to write a novel, let alone write one that the average book reader would buy in a heartbeat. You might be one such novelist who finds him/herself struggling to make ends meet and hoping to recoup your publishing costs by selling a decent amount of copies of your latest work. You might have even been asking yourself how you can write a novel that would sell to the public, most especially if you find out that most copies of your novel remain unsold for a few reasons listed below.
Why Is Your Novel Not Selling to the Public?
Regardless if you have a deal with a publishing giant or are self-publishing your works, you’d be thinking that all those months you’ve spent holed up in a corner writing your magnum opus would finally pay off once copies of it get stocked in bookstores. You couldn’t be more wrong with that though as any bookstore putting your novel on display for public sale is but half the battle. Any successful novelist out there would be quick to tell you that you can become one of them too if you’ve sold copies of your work well enough that you won’t have to worry about anything else. So if you find your novel almost wholly ignored despite being on full display at some bookstore, you might want to ask yourself why it is not selling to the public as it should have been. Here are a few reasons why that is so.
1. Poor marketing
Your novel might not be selling to the public because they don’t even know that you have one out.
- Some aspiring novelists think of themselves as writers and nothing much else, which makes them forget that promoting their work to the reading public is just as essential as having finished writing it.
- Other aspiring novelists do the opposite extreme, which is over-promoting their work by relentlessly reaching out to just about every blog and website in existence.
2. Wrong cover
Whoever said not to judge a book by its cover must not have been a reader at all because even just the cover of your novel alone can make a huge difference between making it sell like hot cakes and letting it go unnoticed in a bookstore display.
- If your novel in its published form comes with a cover that doesn’t stand out, you’ll find yourself unable to interest any readers at all.
- Your novel’s cover might stand out, but if it doesn’t match the literary genre you’re aiming to penetrate, any potential readers might get an entirely different idea of its content based on its cover alone.
- Some readers might even feel a bit ashamed to read your novel in public if its cover is not appropriate enough for their age.
- Your novel might even become a laughingstock if its cover looks like someone did a sloppy job of mashing random images and text together.
3. Over-detailed blurb
Your novel may have an enticing cover, but if any potential reader who checked out its blurb feels like having read another novel after taking a look at it, he/she wouldn’t even bother buying it anymore.
- Giving away almost the entire plot of your novel is a big no-no when writing a blurb.
- No one wants to read an entire wall of text. Your novel’s blurb should only serve as a preview of what to expect in it.
So What Should You Do to Make a Novel That the Public Will Buy in an Instant?
The good news is that it’s never too late for you to write a novel that would not just unleash your writing talents to a broader audience but also bring enough profits for you to enjoy. All you have to do is to follow these essential tips on how you can write a novel that will sell to the book-reading public.
1. Read other novels for inspiration
- Before you can even sit down and write that first draft, you should read other novels first and jot down any takeaways you could use for your novel.
You shouldn’t just settle for the classics as there are a lot of contemporary authors out there that you should keep tabs on as well.
- Reading other novels will help you become more open to different writing approaches and enhance your writing skills further.
2. Write a novel for yourself and the market
You should probably learn to accept as early as now the fact that writing and marketing have to exist side by side for you to even make a living out of the former.
- You would want to identify what literary genre you like a lot before planning to write your novel.
- Most successful novelists tend to specialize in a specific literary genre.
- Checking the latest trends in the literary genre you choose as your niche ensures that the novel you plan to sell to the public will be highly relevant and not dated.
3. Keep your novel’s words per chapter short
Most readers feel accomplished enough if they’ve finished a chapter in a matter of hours or even minutes, so your novel should only have the right amount of words per chapter.
- You can have as many chapters as you want for your novel as long as its number of words per chapter is at a level that the average reader can appreciate and retain.
- Using dialogue instead of long narrative passages can also help shorten the number of words per chapter of your novel.
4. Revise until you can safely conclude that your novel is ready for publication
- Self-editing is a highly valuable skill you should learn before you could even send any draft of your novel to a more accomplished editor.
- The published form of your novel should reflect your final output, not some draft riddled with errors of various sorts.
5. Make sure that the physical copy of your novel is thick enough once published
Your novel in its published state as a book should be sufficiently thick for the reading public to notice it once they come across it in a bookstore.
- Most readers feel that the money they’ve spent on your novel is worth it if the published book itself is thick enough to make them want to read it for a couple of days at the very least.
- You can work on publishing your novel as a thick book even while stuck on a budget by using a reasonably large typeface and ending chapters at the top of a page.
6. Keep writing even if your novel still doesn’t sell to the public
Just because your novel hasn’t sold to the public doesn’t mean that you have to quit writing altogether and go back to the tedium of an office job. In fact, getting rejected might actually be good for you.
- Even the most successful novelists have published works that didn’t sell well.
- Some literary classics didn’t also get recognized at all when they first got published.
- You should just learn from the feedback and try and try again until you finally have a novel that will sell to the public.
With these tips on writing a novel that sells to the public, you can turn your novels into a profitable enterprise that can turn you into a successful novelist, resting comfortably among the exclusive league of bestselling authors Just remember though that regardless of if your novel sells a thousand or only a handful of copies, the most important thing is that you managed to put out a novel anyway which most other people would be hard-pressed to do, and that should be more than enough of a cause for celebration on your end.
Sarah Robinson is a passionate writer and advocate for donating stories to the less fortunate. She currently works for BookRazor.com and enjoys reading her favorite novels in her pastime. She has a loving and very supportive family and enjoys visiting book signing events whenever she can.