Sunday, September 27, 2020

Where Should Authors Sell Books?


When you write and publish your book you may feel a sense of joy, even relief, and certainly accomplishment. But after giving birth to your book, the real challenge begins. It is time to raise that child and get it to college. So how do authors go about selling their book?

Your first thought is to sell to those you know – family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbors, congregants at your house of worship, those you associate with in other capacities – sports, PTA, or non-profits. That is fine. Sell to them. Then what?

Go back to them and ask them if they can introduce you to other people or groups that may want to buy your book. Lean on your circle of support until it is pumped dry. What next?

Get your book to the bookstore world. Of course the big boys are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and big-box retailers like Target, Costco, and K-Mart. Then there are some 2,200 indie bookstores, sprinkled across the united states. 

Additionally, you can make your book available in multiple formats: audio, e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Allow for your book to be purchased in as many places and formats as possible. 

Then move towards the library market. There are so many libraries out there, including:  

·         Public

·         Schools & universities

·         Religious

·         Military

·         Business

The book world does not stop with libraries and bookstores. There are scores of other outlets that sell or buy books, including:

·         Trade associations

·         Book fairs

·         Catalogs

·         Corporations

·         Direct mail

·         Gift shops

·         Lectures

·         Museums

·         Government agencies

·         Infomercials

·         Health food shops

·         Pet stores

·         State, county, or street fairs

It is up to the author to determine who will buy his or her book, to identify where they congregate, and to develop a plan to cost-effectively market to them.

It takes time, effort, and money to execute a targeted marketing plan. The good news is there is a lot of hungry competition, too. You just need to focus on how you can get what you want and not worry about the rest of the world fighting for shelf space, media attention, and consumer sales.

Perhaps the best way to market your book, after positioning yourself in all of the standard and traditional markets, is to explore new ways to market your book. Can you identify a way with less competition, where few have gone to sell books? For instance, could you form an alliance with another business, group or even fellow author, to traffic your book? Maybe you can collaborate with someone else to get your book into the hands of hundreds or thousands of others.

It does not have to be a million-dollar idea that saves the day. Sometimes something basic and simple stares us in the face and we fail to see it. For instance, make a list of people that you know who have access to lists of lots of people. Maybe they have a good social media network. Perhaps they have a list connected to a hobby. Maybe through work they have access to lots of names and contacts. Could you ask one of them to send an email to promote your book? Maybe split the net proceeds?

I like the idea of bundling. Can you combine your book with the service, book, or product of anther so that you get increased sales?

How about selling your book, in bulk, at a heavy discount, to an organization that gives your book away if a consumer signs up for some more expensive item or service? Or you partner with a non-profit to resell your book like it is Girl Scouts Cookies – and you each get a cut of the action.

Open your mind to the many marketplaces and possibilities out there. Now go sell, sell, sell!


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby 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.

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