Saturday, February 26, 2022

How Authors Bargain For What They Want


After reading Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People, by G. Richard Shell, I thought about how every time an author engages someone about their book, there is actually a negotiation taking place. Granted, one is not negotiating the purchase of a car or world pace, but they are interacting in a way where a transaction could take place.  

Are you looking to sell your book to an individual? Perhaps you are swaying a bookstore to carry your book? Might you want to convince a group to host you as a speaker? How about the news media - do you want them to cover the book? Could you want someone to follow you on a social media platform? 

Any and all of these things involves negotiation -- the power of persuasion and how you market your book or comport yourself. How will you negotiate? 

In Shell’s book, he identifies a foundation of six effective negotiation elements. Let’s look at them, as they could relate to your book: 

1.      Bargaining Style 

How does your personality affect your approaches to negotiation? Are you shy or chatty? Do you speak with confidence? Do you sound friendly? Do you show an interest in their needs, desires, or concerns? 

2.      Goals and Expectations

The beliefs that you have about what is possible or probable --and of what you deserve - can shape your approach. 

3.      Authoritative Standards & Norms

How do you see and treat others? Do you project yourself to be an authority or expert? 

4.      Relationships

Do you act consistently in a way one expects you to? Are you fair, trustworthy, and helpful in your dealings? 

5.      The other Party’s Interests

Do you protect your self-interests but also come off as respecting the needs of others? Know what moves others. 

6.      Leverage 

What can you use to bring people to embrace your views? Are you fearful or at the mercy of someone that you are interacting with? 

Some of the ways to think about how you interact with others should include the following:


  • Think win-win; not just win.  
  • Ask lots of questions- show an interest in them and learn information that can be used to your advantage.  
  • Rely on fair practices and standards, especially ones the other accepts or expects.  
  • Always acknowledge the other party -- make them feel cared about. 
  • Hidden psychological strategies will be used in any good negotiation. 
  • Be willing to shed unhelpful assumptions. 
  • Let people feel they earned a concession even if you are willing to give it to them. 
  • Stay within ethical boundaries of behavior. 
  • Prepare, exchange information, bargain, and then commit to what you want and are willing to give in exchange.  
  • Let people see your passion and good will. 
  • Let others feel they are helping you without compromising themselves. 
  • Shoot for more than you could hope to get. 
  • Show good faith by giving something away of no real consequence, or make a promise to do them a favor.  
  • Seek common ground and try to see how your values align with theirs. 
  • Get them to like you and see you as a human being. 
  • Anticipate what others might demand, ask, or push for, and decide how you will handle them. 
  • Get people to YES by getting small things agreed on early in the discussion. Find common ground even on issues unrelated to your book.  
  • Always assuage the ego of another. 
  • Give others the feeling they lose something if they don’t say yes to you.


Please Contact Me For Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. 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. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

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