I get asked all the time, "How do I sell more books?" when the real question ought to be, "How do I write a book that sells?" Authors are frustrated, of course. With over four million new titles published in 2010 alone, competition for readers is beyond staggering, it's epic. Many authors complain that despite their promotion efforts and expenses, book sales remain anemic. Unfortunately, in most cases they come to me after the fact, after the book is published. When it's too late. I can see quickly what went wrong.
To write a book that sells, you must sell the book in the writing. What I mean by that is your book must stand out. It must communicate a clear, tangible benefit to a specific audience. You cannot write a book with some vague, willy-nilly benefit to "everyone" and expect to become a bestseller.
Your book needs a bestseller title, a vital component in getting people's interest and helping them understand what's in the book that they want. Example, a made-up title: Divine Awakening toward Enlightenment and an Empowered Life is loaded with sweeping terms that most of us don't fully understand and points to the vague benefit of an "empowered life," whatever the heck that means. A book like this, I predict, would be chock full of platitudes and meditations with no particular reader in mind and no concrete solutions.
These days, you cannot overestimate how busy people's lives are, nor can you begin to imagine the amount of information they are asked to consume every day. No one has time to read a book unless they know upfront what they are going to get out of it.
So, if you want to write a book that sells, to start know 1) who your audience is and why they would read your book. 2) what you promise to deliver 3) go about delivering it as clearly as you can.