According to Google, in 2021, there were 4 million books published worldwide. Just .0025% sold over 1,000 books (which is considered successful.) Last year, out of 38,000 American authors who wrote 2 books a year, only 300 of them made a living from their writings.
It is estimated there are over 1.2 billion freelance writers worldwide with about 50,000 full-time authors in the United States and 78,000 in the United Kingdom. The average royalty through a traditional publisher is about 10%. So, if an author sells 10,000 books for $10, she will make around $10 grand. How many authors sell 10,000 books? I don’t know, but my guess is not a lot. A Google search did reveal only 20 books (of any genre) sold over a million copies worldwide last year. Not great statistics. How does an author stand out from the crowd?
My book consultant tells me. “You have to be a whale in a pond.”
A whale in a what?
She continued. “Specialize. Fine-tune your craft. It’s all about branding.”
An image of a cowboy marking cattle with a red-hot branding iron floated through my head. I replied weakly, “I think I understand.”
Branding, the art of developing and implementing a distinctive set of features or a design for creation or merchandise, has been around for generations: Apple’s apple, Nike’s swoosh, McDonalds double arches, Shell’s shell, the arrow in FedEx, the two Ps in PayPal. But what does that have to do with writing?
“It tells your readers about who you are; your style and your genre. If you do it right, readers will recognize you the minute they see one of your books.” Never get a book consultant to talk about branding. They might never shut up. But the truth is, she’s right.
Little by little, I’m learning about author branding and why it is fast becoming one of the most important tools for finding success. It’s not an easy process learning how to represent who I am, what I aspire to deliver in my writings, how to connect with readers, or how to create the cornerstone of my writing platform. But then again, great things never come from staying in comfort zones.
How did you find solace this week?
© 2023. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved.