So you’ve written a book. Congratulations!
Putting in the time and effort to write your thoughts is a great accomplishment. Greater still is publication. Now you can sit back and watch the dollars come rolling in, right?
Besides the hard work of writing and editing, there is, The Business Side of Writing.
If you plan on selling your book there are several important aspects that must be taken into consideration. In summary, they are; Promotion, Compensation and Negotiation.
In this blog we will discuss the art of Shameless Self-Promotion and in subsequent blogs the remaining points.
How do you get to be a New York best seller?
In a word, Promotion; shameless, relentless, white-knuckled promotion.
It is a necessary part of the writing process. No matter how much you may hate public speaking, it is a necessary evil.
While much of today’s focus is on cyber marketing, good old-fashioned public appearances are another important part of the mix.
Why do some writers succeed at this and some fail? The better question is; why do some of us persevere, and others give up? The answer is simple, there are those of us who will give anything to achieve our dreams, and there are others who will give anything to stay on the couch.
“Okay, you’ve convinced me, but where do I begin?
Let me suggest a strategy that I have followed.”
The phone can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When I was in real-estate, my broker challenged me to make 100 calls a day and ask two simple questions:
“Do want to sell your house?” and “Do you know someone who wants to sell a
I was chasing customers I know, but it worked. The last house I sold was a $400,000 home to a woman from Brazil.
I learned to get tough skin and make the calls, but in the book business, who do
- Start with your niche market. If your book is about gardening – call stores that deal with gardening. If it’s a cookbook – call restaurants and sandwich shops. Ask if you could set up a display and talk to the customers about your book.
- Know your market – learn where your book sells best. Christian books sell better in Christian environments.
- Talk to people – when you are at an event. Don’t just sit behind the table. Stand as much as possible, greet the customers and talk about your books.
- Link up with a local Pregnancy Crisis Center, or the local chapter of a Cancer Society and have an event together. This will take planning and advertising.
- Use your social media connections to promote your event; Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Eventful.com, Events.GSTV.com, Eventbrite.com,Goodreads.com, Oogle.com, bookmarketing.com, salesspider.com to name a few.
2. Next, call on independent bookstores, sometimes called New and Used bookstores.
- Have a nice display and buy push-cards. Vista Print and ColorFunmerch.com are two places where you can get quality promotional material.
- Have a poster displaying your book cover and hook.
3. Next, call the Libraries. They love authors. Ask about literary or local author events.
4. Christian bookstores and big-box book stores would be the last targeted phone calls as far as retail stores are concerned. Invariably, they will charge 40% to sell your books on consignment. We’ll discuss this in greater detail
in my next blog.
5. My next big target is Fairs, Festival and Literary Events.
- There may be a cost involved in this, but it will be worth it. Try sharing the cost with other authors.
- Have plenty of cash on hand and learn to make changes.
- Also, you will need to have a way to process credit card payments. I use Square, but Pay-pal also has a card reader.
6. For the fun of it, call independent living facilities. (Those are the ones where the residents control their own money). Have the activities coordinator to promote you as a local author coming to do a reading.
7. Call schools and ask to speak with the English/Language Arts teacher and see if you could be scheduled to come and speak to their class.
8. Become your own competition.
- When your book is listed with Amazon, they will under-cut your price by a sizable percentage. I went to Amazon and found how much they were selling my book for and under cut them.
- You may even post your book on Ebay and Craig’s List in order to boost your sales on a national scale.
The take away of this is simple. If you want more than the satisfaction of having your book published, and I hope you do, then you must establish goals and a marketing plan. Work within your time and finances. Step out of your comfort zone and let’s sell some books.