Sunday, February 23, 2014

Marketing and Book Sales

These past couple weeks my blog has been filled with wonderful guests but in the real world my life was also filled with a ton of marketing for my book. In this post I'm just going to talk about selling my book yo a local Indie store.

I decided to include Expanded Distribution (if you self pub via Amazon's Createspace you have the option to include your book in their Expanded Distribution Channels for free, this involves Barnes & Noble, Ingram and a few others) so that my book would be available in some brick and mortar stores. This was exciting but meant that I was going to have to hit up these real life stores and get them to buy my book and then sell it. 

This made me quite nervous. Even though I teach public speaking and even have a unit on persuasion I was dreading having to plug my book. Then I remembered, in another lifetime I had been a wine distributor and I had canvassed this town's local businesses and gotten them to buy my juice so how was that different from now? So I pulled my head out of the insecurity clouds and decided to make my first phone call...

(For the purpose of time and just fun, I am going to outline my first sale to an Indie bookstore with bullet points)

1.) Type up a book flyer. This should include your books title, a pic of at least the front cover, ISBN number, Retail price of your book, and how they can order it (Ingram, directly from you, etc.) short reviews from readers (if you have them). A description of your book (I used what appears on the back of my book) and an, About the Author paragraph that has your contact info.

2.) Be humble. Chances are you're not high in demand, they've probably never heard of you so start off with the simple question of "do you carry self-published local authors?" as opposed to, "how much will you pay me for 100 copies?"

3.) Be persistent. If the person in charge of ordering isn't available when you call, call back. If they miss your scheduled meeting, reschedule. I know to you thus is a huge deal, getting your masterpiece on a shelf in an actual bookstore, but for them it's just work so stay cool and persevere. For my meeting the manager was at lunch so I hung out and perused the shelves dir 15 minutes. (I actually found Albert Brooks' 2030 so win-win).

4.) Be prepared, have a copy of your book ready to show/sell to them along with your book flyer.

5.) Have an infrastructure in place i.e. Have a way of getting your books to the bookstore when sales pick up.

OK, go sell some books! 
To my self-published friends out there, would you add anything else to this list?

Have a good week!!

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