Friday, September 6, 2019

Book Sales Tips For Authors

If someone needs to understand how your book can help them, how would you best explain it?  If someone needs to be made aware of your book before he or she buys it, how would they find out about it?  If in order for someone to buy your book they need to trust you and value who you are, what would you show, say or do to convince them and explain who you are?

A recently published book, How Clients Buy: A Practical Guide to Business Development for Consulting and Professional Services, by Tom McMakin and Doug Fletcher (Wiley), provides insights on how people buy from others and go through their buying journey.  Some of it is certainly related to how authors sell books.

The authors say that people buy based on trust, which can come about in three ways:

Relationships – I go to a gym with a doctor and know her to be a very good person.

Referral -  I used so and so and is a doctor I can personally recommend based on first-hand professional experience.

Reputation – I saw that a major track association or magazine ranked this doctor as one of the best in her area of specialty in our city for three years running.

Translate that to books. People will buy based on a relationship (my friend said she liked the book); referral (I liked the book), and reputation (the media validated it).

So how many people are:
1.      Aware of you or your book?
2.      Understand what you and the book offer?
3.      Interested in what you do because it is potentially of value to them?
4.      Respectful of your story, credentials, or track record?
5.      Finding you trustworthy?
6.      Seeing the reading of your book as a priority?
7.      Willing and able to pay the price of your book?

Here’s how to build awareness for your book:
·         Ask for advice and people will be open to yours.
·         Publish your views: blog, podcast, white paper, articles, newsletter.
·         Speak publicly.
·         Attend conferences and network.
·         Host a summit as an authority.
·         Have a best-practices roundtable.
·         Advertise it.
·         Get third-party validation from the media.

In the end, to sell your book, you need to close the deal.
No matter how many people your message is exposed to or that you are introduced or connected to, you have to be able to make the book sale.  Here are some styles of close that could work for many authors:

Assumptive Close – Act as if they will buy your book.
Balance Sheet Close – Add up the pros-cons of your book.
Calculate Close – Use a calculator to offer a discount.
I.Q. Close – Show how only smart people understand your book.
Opportunity Cost Close – Show the cost of not buying your book
Reversal Close – Act like you do not want them to buy your book.
Embarrassment Close – Make not buying so embarrassing.
Conditional Close – Link a book sale to resolving objections.
Compliment Close – Flatter someone into submission.
Companion Close – Sell to the companion with your potential customer.
Exclusivity Close – Show how the book is not for everyone.

Whichever style of close you choose to employ, and however you convey trust, value, and awareness, people will buy your book.  Give others what they need, want, desire, and expect.  When you deliver on your promises, people will endorse you and your book and become your best referrals for support.

“Forging an entire book is an astronomically difficult endeavor.  Simply put, there’s just too much specialized knowledge for one person (or a small army of persons) to keep track of.  The forger would have to master dozens of different disciplines, from the paper, to the ink, to the binding, type, press, and illustrations (most of them saturated with more than five hundred years of quirks and technicalities), to successfully fabricate a book.  One slip up, anywhere along the way, and the deception is revealed…

“In the world of books there are endless roads to explore.  There are curiosities and triumphs, comforts and provocations.  The twists and turns are as endless as the peculiarities of the human mind, for we have translated our inner universes onto the printed page.  The single artifact that best captures the human spirit is the book – which means that it inevitably captures both our glory and our frailties.”
--Printer’s Error:  Irreverent Stories from Book History by J.P. Romney and Rebecca Romney

“I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go into the library and read a good book.”
--Groucho Marx

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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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