SFFMP 153: What to Do When Your Book Isn’t Selling + Selling Direct from Your Site

Today, Jo and Lindsay talked about their experiences selling ebooks and paperbacks directly from their sites, along with some of the pros and cons of doing so and tax considerations. They also ran through a checklist of things to look at if your book isn’t getting the sales you were hoping for.

Here are some of the highlights of the show:

  • Jo talked about why he took one of his recent titles out of Kindle Unlimited after a quarter.
  • Lindsay talked about buckling down and knocking out ten thousand words a day to meet some goals.
  • Selling signed paperbacks direct from your site and also doing special editions or early releases of ebooks from your site when you have a fanbase eagerly waiting for new material in a series they love.
  • Some of the pros of selling direct (keeping a higher percentage on each sale, getting the email addresses of known buyers, and not relying completely on any one store).
  • Some of the cons of selling direct (few people make it work for fiction ebooks, it’s not as easy of a process for the readers, dealing with customer service, and the extra work of installing and maintaining an e-store).
  • Tax considerations (keeping receipts and when Paypal will send you a 1099 if you use them for your direct sales).
  • Checking your cover and blurb if your book sales are anemic. Links to Libbie Hawker’s ebook on blurbs (Gotta Read It) and her two-part video instructions on the same topic (Write an Awesome Blurb or Query Pt. 1 and Write an Awesome Blurb or Query Pt. 2).
  • Avoiding slow pacing, editing errors, and infodumps in the sample pages (and ideally everywhere!).
  • Creating stories and characters that people fall in love with.
  • Not having too high of expectations!


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  • Scott B

    I still say these discussions between Jo/Lindsay/Jeff are some of the most valuable. It’s too relevant to ever get boring. Keep it up, this stuff is very helpful!

  • Steve

    Lindsay — (hopefully not double posting this) — Does KU see you and Ruby as different authors when totaling KU page reads? Or it is smart enough to know you are the same person? Just curious, because it would matter if you are trying to make it to the bonus levels in KU reads.

    • SFFpodcast

      Hi, Steve! Yes, if I’m going to get the all-star bonus, I have to do it completely with the page reads from my name or from Ruby’s name. I’ve done it both ways now (I’m usually only focusing on one name/series at a time anyway), but it would be easier if they all counted, hah.