The Anxious Author

3 Things To Do When Your Book Sales Dip Unexpectedly – The Anxious Author

Book sales are a fickle thing. One day you’re considering quitting your job because things are going so well and the next, crickets. But there are times when many authors see a dip in their sales. Sometimes in a time of crisis, or when there are elections going on, as they are in the USA right now. One or both, take your pick.

I just finished a run of Byran Cohen’s 5-Day Amazon Ad Challenge and when talking with the other authors, learned that many of them had seen a recent downturn in sales. These days I’m getting messages from author friends who are down-trodden with the state of their sales. It’s not a great time to make sales, if there ever was one.

2020 has gone down in history as one big struggle and it’s not even over yet. These times happen and sometimes they’re not over so quickly. Knowing that is no compensation, we have businesses to run and mouths to feed. But arming ourselves with the best ways to deal with it is a good coping strategy to ride out this dip, because that’s probably all it is.

With that in mind, here are 3 Things To Do When Your Book Sales Dip Unexpectedly:


This is a small word for a rather large task. My favourite approach to re-strategising usually involves learning something new. Exploring alternative routes to walk and building on what we know in order to reach our destination.

A lot of successful authors act as if there’s only one way to do things because that way worked for them. So for them, that is the only way to do things and that’s fine. But when we are just starting out or our usual methods are failing us, it doesn’t hurt to broaden our horizons.

There is no one way or doing anything and successfully selling books is no exception. Taking a look at our strategies from another, or several, perspectives is healthy and potentially productive. If it means taking a course or reaching out to your author friends for their opinions, don’t be shy.

Use The Time To Write

Marketing is a whole occupation by itself for indie authors and if the world is falling apart for a month or two, we can capitalise. If, no matter what we do, sales are going to suffer, we can always dedicate a little more time to producing more products.

More books give us a broader net with which to catch royalties and spending more time on them means that we can bounce back faster when things are a little more rosy. It’s not an ideal situation when budgets are tightened and income takes a hit. But if we can financially cope regardless, forward thinking is the solution and our futures are full of books we haven’t written yet.


Were there some strategies or avenues you really wanted to explore when royalties were fast-flowing? Something you decided not to try in case it hurt your sales? A royalty dip is the perfect time to experiment with methods you already knew about but decided it wasn’t the right time to try.

One thing is for certain: if you’ve made good royalties consistently and now you’re not, the market has changed, even if it’s temporarily. Dabbling in the methods you’ve always wanted to try is still a risk but it’s significantly less riskier than it was when you were earning more royalties.

Experiencing a drop in royalties is often a heart-plummeting experience and nobody’s going to feel good about it. But it might just give us the opportunities to spread out, focus on another important element of the journey or have a play around with our current strategies.

Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!

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