Being a new author, I’ve been asked the question of “How do I sell more books?” too many times to count. I can give my insight on how I personally gained book sales, but let’s be real, what worked for me, won’t necessarily work for everyone. Because I believe in remaining teachable and learning from many sources, I reached out to Tieshena Davis, author of “Think Like a Bookpreneur” and the founder of Purposely Created Publishing, for her expertise advice on how to gain massive sales in the self-help book arena. Here is what she said:
“Every author’s dream is to sell thousands of books and simultaneously build their platform to reach the masses with their message, yet the majority never achieve this goal due to lack of sales skills. Many authors quickly lose confidence when they discover that it requires a bit more than participating at local book signing events or screaming “buy my book” on social media.
Due to a highly saturated market, a lot new authors are overlooked, and while their self-help books contain extremely valuable content; low visibility hinders their sales. After working with hundreds of authors, I’ve noticed their biggest challenge is finding alternatives outside of retail sales. Developing a short, simple and concise strategic sales plan will get them on the right track.”
I then asked Tieshena to explain in detail (3) key strategies new authors should focus on when releasing their books. Here are her recommendations:
- Content licensing
Niche market practitioners are constantly looking for valuable information to offer their consumers, establish credibility and catapult their brand. The content in your book is a valuable resource that can be leveraged to help them achieve this goal. Offering your content for usage and distribution to third-parties allows you to monetize your expertise and quickly expand your sales channels.
Content licensing is an overlooked strategy for authors to generate ongoing revenue while having a limited marketing budget. Furthermore, licensing your content initiates an opportunity to develop long-term partnerships with like-minded people who can help you fuel new ideas and conceptual content (and help gain even more sales). Take a moment right now to ask yourself, “What other experts, consultants, coaches or specialist can I partner with to help them deliver exclusive information to their audience?”
- Sell large quantities to special markets
Traditionally, authors create marketing plans targeting general buyers such as bookstores, online retailers and book clubs. However, many overlook non-bookstore buyers such as gift shops, corporations, associations, schools and the military, also known as special markets. These “special buyers” present a lucrative opportunity to sell your books in bulk, on a non-returnable basis. Similar to licensing, bulk sales focuses on using your content to help the buyer meet a specific objective.
Knowing their challenges (pain points) gives you an advantage to package, price and position your book as a marketing tool that companies can immediately benefit from. Brian Jud, a leading expert in “special sales” to non-bookstore markets, says, “Once you change your marketing focus from “me” to “them,” you will go a long way to increasing your sales, revenue, and profits.” Indeed, this sales strategy requires much more research and creative application than the usual, but the return will be far greater than what you’ve ever imagined for your book.
It starts with thinking outside of the box, and applying the simple rule of “doing more with less.” Think about it: you can maximize your profits much faster if you sell 50 books to 1 special sales buyer, opposed to selling 50 books to 50 individual buyers. Right? So, begin brainstorming on how the special buyers listed above might use your book as a marketing tool. Could it be a special gift to their consumers? Perhaps it could be offered as a premium item, along with one of their products or services? Or maybe it could be offered as an incentive? The possibilities are endless!
- Transform your content into products
Your book is a compilation of valuable content that can be disseminated into bite-size portions (products), and distributed in multiple forms to meet a specific function or need. Repackaging your content is a great way to upsell your book.
First think: how can the information in your book educate, entertain or help improve the reader in some way? Understanding the core problems, needs and desires of prospective buyers and their audiences, will help you determine the products to develop. If a prospective buyer decides that your book has valuable information, but they’re not interested in purchasing it in “book form”, be prepared to offer the content in other ways. This could be as an audio book, pamphlet, CD, DVD, workbook or downloadable e-book.
Having these options available shows the buyers that you’ve already anticipated their needs, and you have a vested interest in making sure their audience receive what’s best for them.
There you have it! Options and flexibility are vital for profit maximization. You see, chasing after a traditional publishing contract is great, but being the creator and copyright owner of your content gives you an unprecedented advantage to have your work distributed through various non-traditional sales channels. Do not let anyone tell you that self-help books are difficult to sell. Why? Because Tieshena, myself and many others are changing the game!
To learn more about Tieshena Davis and Purposely Created Publishing, visit the website at www.publishyourgift.com or email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.