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What You Gain When Your Book Flops

5 mn read

What You Gain When Your Book Flops

New episode, new amazing content on the Open Book Besties podcast!  This week, me and my cohost, Misty Walker, came up with a topic we really wanted to discuss: what you gain when your book flops. I know, I know…it sounds fishy, but trust me, we have some information that will brighten your outlook and give you the little push to keep going!

Not Finding Monetary Success…But Still Finding A Silver Lining

Every author and I do mean every author has felt like one of their book releases was a flop, or at the very least, didn’t meet their expectations. Many things could have been a factor in this, most of those outside of our control. However, just because the book didn’t explode like you anticipated or made you a ton of money, it doesn’t mean it was a complete failure. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean it won’t make you money at a later date. Let’s unpack this topic, shall we

Download your free What You Gain When Your Book Flops PDF!
Listen to the whole episode!
You can check out all the episodes here.
Watch the full episode on YouTube!

1) Building a Readership

In the podcast, we dive into exactly what this means, but I’ll give you the gist of it. When I published my very first book, Broken, I went in with no readers. I did, though, find a reader named Elizabeth. She loved my first book and gushed over the hero, Jackson. Then, guess what? She showed up for the next book and the next book and the next book… Fast forward eight years later and Elizabeth beta reads for me. She’s also read EVERY SINGLE THING I’ve written. So, maybe that first book release didn’t make a ton of money, but I gained a reader for life, and that’s invaluable.

2) Practicing Your Craft

With every book you publish, you’re practicing your craft. You’re going through edits, rereading, and polishing your manuscripts. Just like the kid who wants to get better at free throws (and practices day in and day out), you’re getting better too with each book release. Your sales might be less than stellar on your book launch, but that’s okay because you’re fine-tuning your craft. It’s not all for naught. We dig into this in depth, so make sure you have a listen to the podcast!

3) Testing What Works (And Doesn’t)

The great thing about self-publishing is that you can easily test what works and what doesn’t. If something isn’t working for you, you can pivot and change directions at the drop of a hat. In our podcast, we discuss how what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for Misty and vice versa. It’s that way for all authors. We all bring our different strengths to the table and need to build from that. And when your book tanks, maybe it’s time to test something new. Your book is essentially like an annuity and will continue to pay out long past the release date. I’ve had books that are eight years old suddenly make me money by highlighting them on my newsletter.

4) Developing Your Brand

This is such an incredible part of the process. As you release books, you’re developing your brand. We discuss, in the podcast, that who we set out to be (our brand) has completely changed. Misty reflects back to how she didn’t think she’d be known as the motorcycle club romance writer, but she evolved into that. Her brand, specifically on TikTok, has evolved as she releases books and is dependent on what people respond to. It’s all part of the process. Your book made pennies and that sucks, right? But maybe this is your second alien romance book and you have two or three “Elizabeths” who are stoked for the third alien romance book. Maybe you’re becoming known as the alien romance writer who’s obsessed with all things sci-fi. Whatever your thing is, it will develop as you release these books and pivot as necessary. This factors into the next topic: doing what you love.

5) Finding What Brings You Joy and Doing What You Love

As you publish books, you’re finding out what you love…and don’t. I love trying new tropes and subgenres. Sometimes I really love writing those things. For instance, when I started writing MM romance, I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. But, I’ve also dabbled in other stuff, like historical romance, which was fun for a few books, but I didn’t necessarily want to write twenty books in that genre. The main takeaway here is that by writing and releasing, you’re navigating through what makes you happy and eliminating what doesn’t.

6) Discover Your Niche

We touched on your brand up above and this one sort of goes hand in hand with that one. Your niche is basically your specialty. It goes beyond your online personality and what really defines your writing. Misty spoke on how she writes easy, light motorcycle club romances. The writing and love is sexy, romantic, but then she can hammer you with the grit and darkness. It’s kind of her specialty. For me, my niche would probably be forbidden age-gap themes. I thread them into every book just about and it’s kind of a big chunk of who I am as a writer. I’ve only learned this by developing my brand and finding what makes me happy to write. You’ll discover this too, don’t worry!

7) Making Connections and Networking

Being an author is so much more than writing and publishing a book. It’s a business. And, like in any business, you must make connections and network. In the podcast, we peel back all the layers of this topic. We discuss the proper etiquette for making new relationships in the book world that are authentic. Authenticity is key. You want to create relationships where you give rather than take. So often, people hop into your inbox upon you accepting their friend request and immediately ask you do to something for them. Don’t be that person. Instead, build a lasting relationship where the person you’re wanting to connect with will want to help you without even being asked. This section of the podcast is incredibly important and loaded with valuable information to help you connect in a more meaningful way.


We hope this is helpful and that you’ll take the time to watch our podcast on YouTube or play it in the car while running errands. This information in this podcast is something you’ll absolutely feel inspired over and we hope it helps you on your author journey to keep looking upward and onward.

Don’t forget to download your free PDF to keep on hand and make notes on if you need to. Also, leave us a comment on the blog or YouTube. We love hearing from you all and listening to what you want to know/learn about. This podcast is enjoyable for us and relaying important information in a fun, relatable way totally gives us life! Thanks for reading/listening/watching and we’ll see you again in two weeks for another episode!

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Download your free What You Gain When Your Book Flops PDF!

Listen to the whole episode!

You can check out all the episodes here.

Watch the full episode on YouTube!

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