Okay, so you’ve written your first novel. You’ve released it to the public. Sales skyrocketed (we can dream, right?) and now have fallen flat. You’re feeling discouraged, like you should throw in the towel, like you’ve wasted your time. But wait! Don’t be disheartened. Try something new. Here are four ways you can breathe new life into your novel.
The first idea is to hold a book signing event. You can check with your local library, bookstore, or comic shop. If all else fails, see if you can rent a table at your local flea market. Where I live you can rent an outdoor (covered) table for anywhere between $3 and $15 per day. Join forces with another local author or two and go in together. Even if you don’t sell any books you can get word out and generate interest in your writing.
The next idea is to create merchandise. There are several sites you can use to create fun items that can help spread the word about your novel. T-shirts, coffee mugs, bookmarks, and posters are great for giveaways, contests, and sales. Sites such as VistaPrint and Zazzle allow you to customize the design, pick the kind of item, and order them. Generally, the more or an item you order, the lower the cost per item. Having people take selfies with your merchandise and post them can improve your promotional efforts.
Another idea is to pick a character from your novel and write a short story about them. You could write something that takes place after your novel, before it, or in some cases during the novel. This can lead to great results, as you can offer it as a freebie in exchange for signing up for your email list. Or you can put it up for sale for $0.99 for the exposure. Either way, it increases the number of books you have released and improves your visibility.
The last idea goes along with the short story idea – write another novel! More books will increase your exposure, which helps sales for all of your books. You can write a sequel to your first novel, continue the series, write another stand-alone novel, or start a new series! The important thing to remember is that you’ve done it before and you can (and most definitely should) do it again!
If your sales have stalled, that’s no reason to worry that you’ll never be able to make a living as an author. It just means you need to take the next step and rekindle the fires that led to you writing a novel in the first place. If any of these ideas have worked for you, or if you have other suggestions, leave a comment below!