Wednesday, April 25, 2018

10 Ways To Sell Books Despite Technological Challenges

Can a book sell a lot of copies when it doesn’t exist in print?  Can a book sell a ton of copies without retailing in a physical bookstore?  Can a book be a best-seller without having a publisher?  Can a book that got negative reviews or lacked sales become a movie?

The answer to each of these questions, in 2018, is YES. Welcome to a new era in book publishing.

So how does one promote in this environment, where there are new ways to sell books, promote them, and market an author’s brand?

With all of this change in the media, retail and publishing industries, how does today’s author plot a course for success?  

Technology continually turns things upside down, to the point that books can be written with the help of a computer – as well as promoted, marketed, and sold.  Soon, maybe robots will create and sell books on their own.

Regardless of all the changes and challenges associated with selling and promoting a book today, let’s focus on the 10 foundational basics that you’ll need to rely on in order to get your book noticed.

1.      Execute a timely, comprehensive, smart book publicity campaign.  Where needed or affordable, enlist the help of a seasoned pro.

2.      Cover the basics – have distribution to bookstores, libraries, and major retail chains.

3.      Make your book available in as many formats as possible – print, e-book, audiobook.

4.      Execute a grass roots campaign – start by directly reaching out locally to stores for signings, libraries for appearances, and organizations or schools for bulk buys.

5.      Have multiple books, products or services to sell so that your efforts to promote or sell one thing can help you sell plenty of things.  For instance, you can promote book X to a radio show or service Y to a TV show or speak at a convention about book Z. People will then check out your website or track down all of your books, products, and services as a result of exposure to your message about one of your offerings.

6.      Give your book to loud-mouths – whether online or in-person.  Find people with big followings and good networks.  They can spread the word about your book.

7.      Think BIG – what stunt or big play can you make that would instantly put you on the map?  Is there an issue in the news that you can insert yourself into?  Is there a big-name celebrity who can endorse your book?  Is there a huge group that will agree to buy large numbers of copies?

8.      Can you speak with confidence and conviction – but act out of a sense of urgency and desperation (without people seeing you as desperate)?  In other words, act like this is the moment you live or die; that you have to see action taken that yields significant results. If you want something, you need to go after it and seize it.  Take it!

9.      Help yourself by helping others. Not only is it a moral quality to have - it can be a strategic advantage.  Help a charity or non-profit, even donating books or sharing proceeds, provided the group can somehow help you get the word out about your book.

10.  Offer your book as a prize or reward.  For instance, give it to a school doing a fundraiser.  Or offer it to parents of kids who come home with an A+ report card.  Or give it to salespeople at companies when they reach a certain sales goals.  Or reward every high school graduate at a school with a copy of your book.  It will make the news and the recipients will talk about it to others.

No matter how books are created, printed, sold or promoted, you can find a way to generate attention and increase sales.  Instead of complaining how the media is shrinking or bookstores are closing, go out there and use your modern-day megaphone to champion you book.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.”

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