Sunday, March 31, 2019

Read The Phone Book If You Want To Sell Your Book

Image result for phonebook images
Have you ever sat down and read the phone book?

It is probably not on your must-read or bucket list, but if you want some suggestions as to who to market to, flip through the yellow pages. Look at the headings. There are probably 1,000+ headings.

Start by taking notes on which groups of people you would consider approaching. For instance, let’s say your book is about losing weight or raising children or running a small business. Look at each phone book category and begin to think how you might start calling businesses out of the phone book. It is an exercise that can be useful to make you think about your marketplace.

You will start to see listings, such as accountants, acrobatic dancers, actuaries, acupuncturists, adoption services, adult care facilities, etc. Each group could possibly be someone you can sell to. In the case of a book about losing weight, you might think, okay, I can contact acupuncturists and see if they would resell my book to their health-conscious patients. Maybe I can call a local association of acupuncturists and speak before a group. Perhaps I can advertise on web sites of acupuncturists where I only pay based on sales generated for the ads.

You can then look beyond them and think about how you can sell your book to other groups that don’t seem as obvious a fit . For instance, maybe you contact several accountants and ask them if they do the taxes of businesses they think would be interested in buying or reselling a weight loss book. Maybe the accountant is connected to gymnasiums, doctors, or others who would be interested. You never know. The accountant may be in need of your book as well.

You will see things in the phone book such as ‘escort services,” “family counselors” and “gymnastics instruction.” Each of them may be interested in losing weight or keeping potential weight off. Escorts are weight conscious; family counselors deal with many people where their weight is a part of their problems; and gymnastic instructors counsel people on weight control.

Of course many entries will have no correlation to your book, no matter the spin you try to take. A book on weight loss will not yield book sales by contacting “locksmiths” or “mortgage companies.” But “marriage counselors,” “maternity wear stores,” and “modeling schools” could be good fits.

Read the phone book -- and identify your book's marketplace!


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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 ©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 and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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