Take these steps to ensure your book is marketable:
· Research the competition. What do others offer in their books? Equal it and beat it. Do something different but don’t dismiss the basics either.
· Test it on friends and family. Ask those whom you know and trust for honest feedback.
· Sample strangers. Those you don’t know may be more honest and frank with you.
· Act as if you have the book to sell before you even write it. Pre-sell it.
· Be prepared to rewrite, edit, add chapters or remove portions of the book to make it more marketable.
Your book is as valuable as people think it is. If your book is the only one of its kinds and it helps someone solve a potentially costly or challenging problem, they would pay a ton of money for your book.
To price something to sell, start by looking at what other books go for on your topic and format. Hard cover sells for costs more than a paperback or an e-book. Compare what the other books promise to do for readers and look at the author’s credentials. If you write a book on a topic that has many competitors or a competing book was written by someone seen as an authority giant of that genre or industry, you will have to be conservative in your pricing.
Other factors include: Will people buy the book as a gift or for themselves? Is your book filling a want/desire or a need? Does your book have cool packaging that allows, even demands, you to charge more?
What Can Be In Your Sales Offer
- A great price
- The option to pay with various methods (check, credit card, paypal)
- A money-back guarantee or free trial period
- Free shipping
- Multi-book discount
- Free gift with your order
- Free samples
- Time-limited offer
Can you package your book with something that will not only make it more desirable, but will also provide a better value?
You Can Package It With Anything, Including:
· Another book – your own or someone else’s.
· A DVD – your own or someone else’s.
· Membership discount to a group, club, or web site – your own or someone else’s.
· A consulting deal.
· Free items – other people who seek publicity for themselves may offer you things that can be physical or electronic to share with others.
· A company’s product sample (especially if it is connected to your book’s topic).
· A CD – you own or someone else’s (audio downloads as well).
· Coupons that, by themselves, make the book valuable.
· A toy or game.
Why Your Book Might Not Be Jumping Off The Shelves
Whether you are published by a traditional publisher or self-publish, you expect your book to sell well. Obviously most books don’t just sell themselves. It takes constant effort and mindfulness to move books off the shelf. In order to determine what can be done to help sell your book, take an inventory of what you have done and compare it to what needs to be done. Ask yourself the following:
For each market your book can be sold to, who is selling it? For instance, when it comes to bookstores, how are the stores being made aware of your books? If you are self-published, but not print-on-demand or e-book only, you will need a distributor to make your book available to stores. In order for a local Barnes & Noble store to sell your book they must have an account with someone to order books from. Some authors mistakenly think that if they are with Baker & Taylor or Ingram (both wholesalers, not distributors) that they are covered. Only half-way, actually. These wholesalers can fill a store’s request to order a book but a distributor differs from this in that they can be proactive and make sales calls to bookstores to encourage them to order books. Wholesalers merely fill orders but do not proactively advocate for you. Big difference.
Now, just because you are with a distributor does not mean they will generate a ton of sales. Some are more proactive than others in their ability to contact bookstores. Further, the distributor is only as effective as the information they can offer to the stores about you and your book. So if you are doing exciting things in your marketing and publicity efforts you need to let your distributor know of this. Further, it helps if you have a schedule of events, advertising buys, or public appearances that you can forward to your distributor, in advance. Things move slowly in publishing. They need weeks to order books and stock shelves, so always think ahead.
Sales Pitch Keys
Tell a qualified buyer what they want to hear, charge as little as possible, and deliver it with a smile. That is your formula for making a sale. But it may not be a profitable one.
You need to find potential book buyers who should want what you offer at a price you want/need to charge. To do that you will have challenges – the cost at finding and contacting this pool of people; the time/cost to follow-up with them; and finally, the cost to deliver a sale.
Once you find people to pitch, what will you say that will lead them to buy from you now? Make sure your sales pitch is based on solid research and preparation. Communicate with confidence and deliver a strong message through a means they are paying attention to. Then follow-up.
They are looking to see if they like you, if you know your stuff, if you are reliable, if you are like them in some way. We buy from whom we know, who offer deals, who say what we want to hear, and who entertain us. Sometimes a sale is yours to lose, meaning don’t mess it up by saying more than is needed. Play it cool.
DON”T MISS THESE!!!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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