General Musings

This section is where you'll find my thoughts on life from the eyes of an entrepreneur.  The biggest challenge is balancing the success and obligations that success brings as the more successful one becomes, it seems the more obligations they have to the world.  Feel free to comment as you follow my journey and general musings regarding that journey. 


General Musings on Life & Entreprenuership

Writing Books to Sell Copies is Not the Only Reason to be Published

(12/26/2012) Mark A. Cenicola

As an author, I come across a lot of different pitches for book promotion.  From book review websites to highly paid publicists, there are certainly a lot of ways to attempt promoting your books.  Obviously, each comes with its own pros and cons.

The reality though, is that most authors never even sell 100-150 copies of their books, according to what self-publishing company executives say as reported by The New York Times.  Therefore, before you put a lot of hard work into writing, publishing and promoting a new book with the expectations of getting an attractive return, you may want to think twice.  

As I've written in The Banner Brand: Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand, Build it on a Budget, I make no bones about the fact that I never really expected to sell a million copies.  While that would certainly make my day, the book was primarily written for a different purpose.  The credibility of being a published author is a way to promote my personal brand, makes me more attractive to organizations looking for public speakers and serves as a tool to further promote my company's products and services.  

A few friends of mine do a much better job than I at promoting their books since it's a major income source.  However, selling copies of the book makes me happy so I put a small effort into doing just that now and again.  From selling copies at the back of a room after a speaking engagement, to purchases that come through Amazon/ITunes or through in-person appearances at libraries and local bookstores, I enjoy the opportunity to make money on the book itself, even if it isn’t necessarily the main goal.  

Most recently, I decided to try a free book promotion opportunity through  While my expectations are tepid about what this will do to move copies, I thought it was worth exploring, mainly because I like site's business model.  

For free, they'll build a book promotional page on their website for an author's book(s).  They'll then promote that page within their network.  They offer the free promotion because they earn a commission on book sales that result from such promotion if someone buys a book they heard through on Amazon - simply affiliate marketing.

In addition, their model includes additional viral effects.  I wrote this blog article and linked to the website with the hope that they'd place my book in their "Featured Books & Authors" section.  They already bumped up the priority of creating my promotional page to appear on their website.  That's a nice way of getting SEO friendly backlinks to help drive more traffic to their website and in turn get more authors to share their service.

From there, they may have bigger plans to promote products and services to their curated author following, but I haven't seen anything specific.

It's an interesting concept and good for them for providing a service with potentially mutual benefits for both themselves and the authors who participate.  If you're an author like me who wrote their book mainly for reasons other than selling copies of the book, but still enjoy seeing copies of your books in the wild, maybe this will help you move a few with very little effort.

Phil Simon February 06, 2013 ~ 4:36 AM
right on
Nice post, Mark. Books are part of my platform, yours, and scores of others. As you correctly point out, it may be a bigger part of Person X's platform than that of Person Y.

One Sheet

Mark Cenicola strips away the hype and gives his take on technology and its use in establishing a better business online.

Hard hitting presentations that really get to the core of today's technologically advanced business economy, Mark demonstrates effective strategies for integrating the Internet into a company's operations and giving their website an expanded role in contributing to the success of their business.