Just what is “discovery” in book publishing? Simply put, it’s exposure for your book. Many in the industry, including both publishers and authors, believe exposure automatically equals sales. Actually, while gaining exposure isn’t that hard, it doesn’t guarantee book sales. We worked with an author who spent all of her book marketing money to purchase ads in advance of a film release, but ultimately the needle never moved on the sales chart. Her efforts didn’t yield a single sale.
So the challenge is not discovery. Why didn’t her method pan out? I mean, aren’t ads a good book marketing idea? The answer is: it depends.
How Readers Buy Books
Back in early 2017, I was at Digital Book World in New York, and one of the speakers brought a set of slides and some fascinating statistics. I learned that very few sales result from ads, but most books, an incredible 95% of them, are sold via word of mouth.