Three Reasons Why My Book Will Never Sell

view boston renaissance hotel

It’s 10:17 a.m. and I’m still in my pajamas, sitting in bed with my computer. In a hotel room. In Boston.

I’m here with Ron for a long weekend, and what am I doing? I’m hiding in our hotel room. That’s ok, I tell myself. There’s only so much fun one girl woman can handle. (With my 50th birthday looming, I can’t really say girl anymore, can I?) I’m exhausted and I need some rest.

But of course I’m not resting either. I’ve been on my computer ten hours a day—catching up on personal emails, writing, listening to recording from a five-hour webinar I missed hearing live last week, reading other people’s blogs. And thinking about my blog. Thinking about my blog a lot.

As most of you know, I think too much.

And that can be dangerous.

I’ve been struggling to figure out what to do with my blog. And that’s a complicated thing. At least it is for me.

I’ve been thinking about it for months. Something about my blog feels, just, not quite right. What am I writing about anyway? Food, travel, missed opportunity? Who the hell knows?

Certainly not me.

That’s why I signed up for the webinar I mentioned earlier. It was called “Reach Your Goals By Blogging” and it was given by Penelope Trunk. Penelope is a professional advice giver who I like because she seems to change her mind about what she wants even more often than I do.

My goal, has always been to build an audience so eventually I can write a book. Or rather have someone to sell the book to once it gets written.

Of course one of the first things Penelope says during the webinar is that it’s almost impossible to use a blog to sell a book.  She says that because it’s true, it’s almost impossible to sell a book.

The web is full of negative statistics:

1.  Less than 2% of completed manuscripts get a publishing contract.*

2.  1,469,840 book titles were published this year.*

Self publish you say? The odds there aren’t much better.

3. On average, self-published books sell less than 250 copies.

It is very likely I will spend more on an editor than I’ll ever make back.

There are exceptions, like Fifty Shades of Grey—but they are the exceptions. It may have worked for Marilyn Monroe , but really, in the history of Hollywood, how many people to the number of Hollywood starlets discovered at the mall.

So I’m holed up in the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, which is not actually on the waterfront, enjoying the view and asking myself—not just what do I want to write about—but why?

Why do I want to do something that’s almost impossible?

Why does anyone want to do anything?

Today is my third day holed up and the best answers I can come up with are:

  1. Because I want to.
  2. Because I’m crazy.

Why does anyone want what they want?

Maybe it’s time to shower and get some breakfast. I’m so lucky I married a man who likes to read all day.

PS- We cashed in some Marriott Rewards Points to get here.

*Disclaimer. I have no idea where they get these numbers from or if any of them are accurate.


  1. I’m right there with you– because I’m crazy and because I want to.

    Also, if nearly 1.5 million books are published per year, why shouldn’t ours be among them?!?

  2. Hi Lisa,
    This is Anna from your life in the trade show world. I am so glad I came across your blog! I’ve been thinking exactly the same thoughts, and if we lived anywhere closer than on the opposite sides of the country, I’d invite you for coffee. As to for why we write – because we can’t not write? Because as writers, we have to? Because that’s how we process life and get amazed by it every day? I don’t know – it’s just what I’ve been thinking about lately when trying to figure out what to do with my own book about food… Would love to read some of yours! And also, love the travel stories.

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