If your books aren’t selling, what then?

When I read the latest e-mail News from best-selling author Maria Murnane, I realized that I was not doing enough to market my own work. In fact, I think most authors do not do enough to market his or her work.

Murnane—the author of three chick-lit novels with number four on the way: Perfect on Paper; It’s a Wavery Life; Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two coming in April—made it official that she had met her sales goal for 2012 and sold more than 100,000 books.

I first heard Murnane at a Saturday morning monthly meeting of the Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club. She was a dynamic guest speaker. After hearing her, it was obvious that she is probably an extrovert, and that helps when it comes to an author promoting his or her work, and the evidence says Murnane is a one person industry.

On her Website/Blog—Maria Murnane.com—she offers book marketing tips for free and for a price.

Because I’m not a dedicated extrovert but more into writing alone in my man-cave, I don’t expect I will be following  in Murnane’s marketing footsteps in the fast lane. Instead, I’ll stick to Blogging and Social Networking. Besides, I’m okay with being a mid-list author with sales of about 12,000 copies, so far.

However, a recent piece—Failure to Launch by Donald Maass—published in the February 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest Magazine supports what Murnane is doing, and if what she is doing doesn’t work for you, Maass offers advice for that too.

Maass says, “You’ll never meet an author who admits to publishing a ‘failed’ novel. You will, though, encounter authors in bars and on blogs who will loudly tell you what’s wrong with the book industry. … If you encounter disappointments in your publishing career, don’t despair. That happens to pretty much every author. This trick is not to simmer but to learn.”

Writer’s Digest also lists the Seven Secrets of Successful Self-Published Authors.

In fact, you may want to learn from authors like Maria Murnane. Other authors you may want to learn from are: Hugh Howey; John Locke; Amanda Hocking; J.A. Konrath; Boyd Morrison; Michael J. Sullivan; Michael Prescott; Barbara Freethy; Charles Orlando; James Altucher; Dean Wesley Smith;  Michele Scott/A.K. Alexander; Barry Eisler; Louise Voss and Mark Edwards; Kerry Wilkinson; J. Carson Black; Tanya Wright; Denise Hamilton; Vivian Yang; Laurel Saville, and Elle Lothlorien

If learning from these successful authors doesn’t work, then return to Maass’s advice and learn how to become a more powerful storyteller. Maass says, “While the industry isn’t without blame, the fact is that you can’t change the business. You can only change your writing.”

It seems that Murnane discovered that secret long ago, because her writing has found more than 100,000 readers. The strongest path for promotion is readers spreading the word, and writing that needs improvement does not earn word-of-mouth.

Discover Authors Finding Readers

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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