I learned the top 2 answers to this question right out of college, and they would mark my marketing and sales career. I was starting work on a presidential campaign. About 60 of us were in a half-day seminar.
The gifted trainer was pounding us for an answer to her question: “What is the #1 reason people do not contribute to political campaigns?”
There is only one obvious answer, she said. She wanted someone to say it out loud. But no one could. She finally handed it to us on a platter.
“They are not asked.”
Hah! It was not what I expected, but it made sense. Often, the only reason people don’t help out is because they are not asked to. No invitation.
The translation to book marketing and sales is fairly straightforward. When it comes to your family, friends and fans, have you asked them to help “spread the word” about your work? Explicitly? Artfully? How many times have you asked?
Even though social media has made it easier than ever to “share,” as Authors, we cannot assume that our supporters will proactively jump in. Acquiring supporters, motivating them, writing compelling content that begets impromptu sharing is a separate issue, of course. Perhaps it goes without saying that we must find the right “voice,” identify the right ways to ask, and certainly earn the right to ask. But ultimately, we still have to pop the question. Will you help?
The 2nd reason people don’t help market your books (or blog) is closely related.