Sunday, March 2, 2014

Making Book Sales Happen!

What will inspire someone to buy your book?  How will you show the value in purchasing it?  If you can answer these two questions, you will sell many books – provided you execute a strategy based on supporting the answers to those questions.

You believe people will love your book once they read it, and it may be true that readers will clamor for more once they invest their money to buy it and time to read it, but how will you convince them it’s a great read?

Perhaps if you speak with passion, enthusiasm, and energy, you can persuade someone of the appeal to your book.  But how often do you get to talk someone into buying a book?

Maybe the book jacket or Web site copy perfectly describes the benefits one will derive from reading your book, but how do you get them to read this copy in the first place?

You can sell it on the fact it’s unique, different, new or written from a voice that has not yet been heard.  You can sell it on price, though some people don’t even want a free book if they don’t believe it’s worth their time.  You can sell it with glitz -- fancy cover, color photos, glossy paper, cool packaging – but people want substance and good content too.  You can have great testimonials from known experts, celebrities, bestselling authors and your mother – assuming you can get such endorsements (hopefully mom’s not holding out).

Individually – and collectively – these things can make a difference to influence some on-the-fence customers.  But what really puts it over the top is this:

1.      Show how the book fulfills a true need or desire – and why it’s better than any competing books or options.

2.      Be available and be discoverable.  People must know the book is available – online or at a store.  When it’s out of stock or hard to find you can’t sell it.

3.      Use the news media to validate and give credibility to your book.  A third-party endorsement from a trusted news source can’t be beat.  Engage in a book publicity campaign.

4.      Build up word-of-mouth.  You need to seed your campaign with a few hundred or a few thousand advocates – these are people who read it, love it, recommend it when asked, and proactively and unsolicitedly (is that a word?) gush to others how they MUST read your book.  That little army of supporters will talk your book up in a way that will create demand for the book.  Be prepared to give out advance review copies or heavily discounted copies, initially, so you can get a buzz going.

Lastly, to sell a lot of books requires luck.  But you make your own luck when you put yourself out there and experiment, take a risk, and try something new.

You make sales happen – no one else.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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