Sunday, July 16, 2023

15 Ways Book Industry Doubles Sales


Over one billion books were sold last year. Just how many books could be sold in any year? Is there a threshold that can’t be pierced?  

Whatever the practical limit might be for the number of books that can be sold (due to the time and money available to readers, as well as their need or desire for any book), we are nowhere near it. And yet, book sales totals could be flat or decline this year.   

How do we rise to a potential banner year for book sales? 

1. Open more bookstores.

Convenience leads to more book sales.   

2. Shift entertainment expenditures.

Take the money people spend on other content — such as streaming, cable, theatre, museums, video games, concerts, comedy clubs, sporting events, music, and movies — and apply some of it to books. 

3. Create new readers.

Fewer illiterates means we increased the pool of readers. We also need to get kids or people who can read but chose not to read books, to start seeing books as worthy. 

4. Move from free books to buying books.

This could be a big growth area for book sales — simply cut off the book giveaways and more books will be purchased.

5. Get people to buy more books than they can actually have time to read.

Guilt people into thinking they should buy a book, even if they will never get to read it. People already have bookshelves of books on a bucket list. Take a gym approach to books. Gyms sell memberships and in any given month, half will pay but not even show up. Sell books that don’t get read. 

6. Encourage more buying of books for gifts.

Some books that get received as gifts end up collecting dust, getting donated or are re-gifted. That is fine.  

7. Build up the trend of collecting books.

What if people started to again see collecting books as a thing, the way people collect trading cards, stamps, coins, and memorabilia?  

8. Create a new book format or genre.

Audiobook sales took off 12-15 years ago and the trend continues today. Ebooks exploded onto the scene around 15 years ago but slowed down tremendously. Could some new format, genre, or medium create a crazy book-buying spree?

9. Have the government supplement book buying.

If the local, state, or federal government can give tax breaks, rebates, or sales tax holidays for book purchases, we would see more sales happen.

10. Shift your time allocation. 

Create more time to read by saving time elsewhere — less work, fewer chores, less sleep? Books need to find a way to take market share from competing hobbies and forms of entertainment. 

11. Create shorter books and place fewer words per page.

A book reader can read two 260-page books as quickly as a 520-page book — or three 175-page books. More shorter books means one can read more books in the same amount of time as longer books.  

12. Banish the Cliff Notes.

Get rid of book summary services like Blinkist and Instaread — make people get the book. 

13. Create a need or demand.

If a popular series adds a book or there is a book of information that can only be sourced in an exclusive book,  one can create a demand for books. 

14. Have public campaigns to encourage the buying of books, not just reading books.

Buy, buy, buy! 

15. Reduce retail book theft.

You sell more books when people can’t steal them. 

Are we in a situation where we hit a cap or limit on how many books can be sold— a zero sum game? Can we get to a place of win-win, where current levels can be doubled or tripled, and where one author or publisher can grow their book sales while not injuring or cannibalizing the book sales of another? 

I think the national landscape is big enough to see substantial book sales growth. Can we sell a ton more books? Absolutely!

Need Book Marketing 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 over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. 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 award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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