Tuesday, March 12, 2019

How Authors Get Bulk Sales

To really get some sales going for your book you’ll need some bulk sale purchases.  What are they and how do you get them, you ask?  Read on.

Bulk sales is a term tossed around by authors and publishers.  There’s no clear definition, no set number of books sold that makes something a bulk sale, but let’s say, for argument’s sake, a bulk sale is when you move a bunch of books at once.  If an organization buys 10 or more copies of your book at once, that’s a bulk sale.  Some may buy 40 or 50 copies or 300.  All of them are bulk sales. The more you sell, the bulkier the sale.

Now that we know what bulk sales are, how do we generate them?

Start by identifying a profile of who will generally want your book. Let’s say it’s a book about using faith to overcome cancer by a middle-aged woman.  Those who may buy this may be interested in:

·         Stories of survival.
·         Those who believe in the power of faith.
·         Those who have cancer right now.
·         Those who survived cancer.
·         Those who know or treat cancer patients.
·         Books – about strong women.

Now think about the groups, non-profits, companies, schools, house of worship, and professional industries that serve those people.  Locally and nationally, you have all kinds of associations that deal with cancer and survival.  You can contact them and highlight your story and maybe offer to speak at a gathering, donate some of the proceeds, or give a huge discount so they can resell or give the book away to donors and new members.

Since faith played a role, based on her religion, she should contact houses of worship of that religion.  Again, they may have her speak to talk about the power of faith to heal, and agree to purchase a bunch of books for resale or to give out to certain members.

She is a resourceful woman who can approach groups that support women.  She can also try the medical community, from oncologists and hospitals to drug companies and medical insurers.

What influences a bulk purchase?

·         Great book on a timely, relevant topic for that group.
·         A big fat discount and free shipping.
·         Your personal appeal to touch the heart of a decision-maker.
·         If the book educates/teaches members.
·         If they can give it out to induce sales, donations, or some other favorable action. 

There are many places to sell your book in bulk too – both in and out of the country.  Identify your targeted reader, research the type of groups that serve such a reader, and put together a strong offer to their decision-makers.

Who might buy in bulk that you should think about?

1.      Schools at-all levels, public and private.
2.      Houses of worship.
3.      Non-profits.
4.      Corporations of various industries.
5.      Trade associations.
6.      Government agencies.
7.      Hotels and resorts.
8.      Museums and gift shops.
9.      Festivals, fairs, and conventions.
10.  Book clubs.

Anyone that you sell in bulk to will likely be approached by other authors for the same thing – or by others in related fields, like toys, music, or gadgets/products that appeal to the members of an organization.  They will scrutinize your offer to see if it is better than what others peddle.  They want to deal with a trusted partner that can deliver on their offer.  Some may want the opportunity to make returns.  You want to avoid that at all costs.

One note of caution.  Bulk sales generally appeal to groups for non-fiction books. Poetry or novels are tough sells.  These entities want your book because they believe their members will benefit from the information and that they can profit from giving them away or re-selling them.

Selling in bulk is one of many ways to get your sales going, but bulk sales don’t come easily.  It takes hours of research and outreach to get someone to say yes.  But once you generate a bulk sale, your increase your chances of success.  Why?

Because whatever you offered, worked.  That’s your model to use.  And if the organization likes the book’s response from members, it may re-order more.  It can write you a testimonial that you can use to sell to others.  They may also help connect you to other branches to sell to.  For instance, let’s say you generated a bulk sale to a church in Atlanta.  Maybe it can connect you with fellow churches in other cities.  Let’s say it was a regional office for Verizon.  Maybe they can introduce you to other regional offices or their national headquarters.  Or maybe a local union, a hospital that’s part of a bigger medical group or a city government agency can each refer you to others in their group – statewide, nationally, or internationally.

Some of this is not straight forward as far as who to contact at a given organization.  The bigger the group, the harder it is to pin down the right person or reach him or her.  But it’s worth pursuing because the pay-off can be huge.  Plus it’s one of those things that seems elusive but is within your power to make a sale.  A big sale.

Bulk up – and supersize your brand.


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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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