Everyone searches for the best-seller formula or a proven strategy to grow one’s brand, sell more books, and be a successful, even famous writer. We know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to anything – not with books, relationships, careers, parenting or any aspect of life. But there are some best practices, the things that give you an edge or a better than 50% chance to win. So what are the best practices for selling more books?
1. Tell everyone about your book – and talk to everyone.
Simple enough. No accessories needed. No permission required. Just tell anyone you meet, even the person standing on a Starbucks line, that you wrote a book.
2. Give incentives to people to buy your book.
Is it a great book? Do they know, respect and like you? They still may not buy. Explain how it will benefit them – they need to want it. Then offer a discount, a free add-on, or some extra reason to inspire a sale.
3. Get those you know to sell for you.
Sure, if they write a review or give a testimonial, that’s nice. But see if you can leverage the relationship to ask for a favor. Can they share stuff about your book on their social media, in a blog post, in a newsletter, in a mass letter email to their connections, or with groups they belong to. Can they take a moment to help you in some specific and timely way? Ask them. Demand help. Beg. Call in favors or agree to help them in exchange for their help now.
4. Promote yourself to the news media – or a outsource it.
Don’t rely on luck to build up your word-of-mouth sales. Get media exposure and third-party validation from the media and you will sell more books.
5. Develop a strong work ethic-and some ethics.
Quite simply: work hard, wisely; and ethically. You can’t do anything else as a substitute. You want to succeed as an author. Good. Work at it, daily, for many hours. Read up, get educated, and learn what to do. Lastly, act legally and morally, and in a selfless manner. People will respect you and want to buy from those they respect and like.
6. Believe in yourself and your book.
It all begins with your attitude, confidence, and beliefs. Either you think you can succeed, or you don’t. Either you feel your book is good and helpful, or you don’t. No one will believe in you until you do. Your mindset determines all that you do and how you are seen by others. Go see a therapist, motivational coach, or a gym. Build your mind and body for success. Read an inspiring, motivational book or 10 of them.
7. Be organized, time efficient, dedicated, and rested.
Those are the basics to succeed in anything. If you can’t stick to a schedule, file things correctly, set priorities, feel energized, or remain committed and focused to your book’s success you need to step aside and retire from writing.
8. See obstacles as opportunities, setbacks as lessons, and weaknesses as strengths.
Yes, turn shit upside down. See things differently, try different things, or do things differently. But don’t just succumb to the moment, to your fears, or your failures. Persevere.
9. Clean up your act.
Change your look – your clothes, your image, your attitude. Sound differently in your greetings. Give a firmer handshake. Make eye contact. Tell a joke. Energize others. Find a way to elevate your game.
10. Engage others.
When you show interest, whether online, in person, or on the phone, do people sense your enthusiasm, wisdom, or level of value? Show how friendly, motivated, resourceful, and intelligent you really are.
11. Identify your strengths and play them up.
Ignore your weaknesses, unless you are prepared to improve them. Figure out what others like in you and why they find you attractive, interesting, helpful, funny, etc. What makes you memorable or different?
12. Tell stories.
People buy from those who inspire, educate, impact, entertain, or enlighten them. Can you tell a good story.
13. Tell stories.
People buy from those who inspire, educate, impact, entertain, or enlighten them. Can you tell a story that demonstrates what you offer – and that moves people to reach into their wallet?
14. Have a game plan, unless you just plan to play a game.
Quite simply, write out your goals, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Put a timeline in place for specific micro-action steps that are needed to enact bigger things. You need a roadmap or else you are mapping a road to a dead end.
15. Help others, not just sell to them.
Figure out what another wants or needs. Show how your book fulfills something that they perceive as valuable and useful. As super salesman Jeffrey Gitomer says: “People don’t buy for your reasons. They buy for their reasons.”
16. Remain opportunistic and don’t fall victim to excuses.
What didn’t work yesterday does not matter. Change things, work harder, get help, get lucky and seek out new opportunities in all circumstances. You can’t script everything. Sometimes an opportunity is right in front of you, but you need to recognize it and seize it.
17. No is a delayed Yes.
A “no” is just a momentary rejection for something. It’s not permanent. People change their minds. Circumstances change. Moods change. Try again and again. Assume the book sale is yours and act as if it will happen. Do not accept a no. Keep going until others say yes – and then re-pitch those who initially rejected you. They may give in at a later date.
18. Surround yourself with positive people.
A good attitude rubs off on others and is catching. A bad one also rubs off on others and is catching. Find resourceful, supportive, strong individuals to motivate you.
19. Be driven with passion and purpose, to succeed.
You need to always keep your eye on the prize, to be really good at selling books by focusing your time, energy, and mindshare on it. By single-tasking and zeroing in on this sole goal, all that you do and think gets filtered through a prism.
20. Exploit your successes.
Each time you break through and get a book sale or secure media coverage, seek to reproduce what worked. Build on a foundation of success. Parlay one sale into another and leverage one media hit into another.
21. Take a break.
Sometimes you work too hard and all that you can see is your book. You’ve walled yourself in and have lost perspective of the outside world. Cleanse your mind. See a movie, hang with a friend, eat a sinful snack, take a hike, go on a date, or visit a museum. Change your scenery and reboot.
“It is literary true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”
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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
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