Is it possible for a very good book to not make a commercial success?

Yes it is actually, and here’s why: distribution. Many will blame promotion and that’s also a good reason, but let’s face it: We live in a world where there are 1,000 books published every day. Something is bound to get lost in this system.We’ve worked with numerous titles from small presses, boutique houses as well as quality self-published books and we’ve seen this issue time and time again. The problem is no longer the “how” of getting published, it’s accessibility. Having an Amazon account isn’t considered distribution. Keep in mind that this isn’t a problem just isolated to a small publisher, we’ve seen this lack of exposure in bigger publishing houses too.

So what can an author do to avoid this issue? Keep promoting the book. We believe in the long runway of promotion. Regardless of how you are published, with that many titles flooding the marketplace you’ve got to get out there and stay out there on a consistent basis.


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Penny Sansevieri has taught extensively on publishing and book marketing. She’s taught for numerous conferences over the years discussing publishing, book promotion, as well as self-publishing. As CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Penny’s been in business for over 10 years and her firm specializes in organic Internet marketing. They’ve had 10 books on the bestseller list in the last 15 months. Penny has written 5 books, three of them focused on publishing: Get Published Today, From Book to Bestseller, and Red Hot Internet Publicity.

For more tips and advice on writing, read more questions and answers.