Creating a Demand to Increase Your Book Marketing Profits
Create a Demand For Your Book and Increase Your Book Marketing Profits
By Al Galasso
There is nothing like the excitement and joy when your book finally arrives from the printer and you are officially a published author. You want to tell the whole world about your accomplishment and share your book with everyone you know.
Before you give away copies of your work freely to friends, relatives and interested parties, here is a marketing ploy you might want to consider. Getting your book into a bookstore can be a daunting challenge, but there is a way to do it that has worked for some of the largest publishers. It has to do with creating a demand. Here is the first way to do it:
Instead of giving the people you know copies of your book, have them call a number of bookstores in their area asking the stores if they carry your title. Believe it or not, if a bookstore receives a dozen or so requests for a title, they may actually decide to carry it. Before you do this, be sure the book is available through wholesalers and book distributors like Ingram and Baker & Taylor so the stores can order the books. Believe it or not, books have become best sellers when the authors knew thousands of people all over the country who picked up a phone and requested a certain title. Of course, you can start on a local scale and work from there.
Another way to create demand is to have people go into the stores and ask to purchase the book. Many times these days, stores can order titles that can be shipped to the buyer or the store directly, and often at very good discounts. In some cases, they can even be printed and bound right at the store if it has the right equipment. When your friend or relative purchases a copy, offer to autograph it for them to make it even more special.
When I was watching a PBS British comedy series some years ago, I came up with a second idea for creating a demand when you are doing an author signing. Again, it involves your friends and relatives. You want to make your signing as profitable as possible but not enough people are showing up. So you hire a number of friends to stand in line to get the ball rolling. Make certain you let the store owner know what you are doing before you attempt this. When the friend comes to your table he will give you a signal, such as a wink so you pretend to personally autograph the book but are only signing your signature. Later the book is returned to the shelf and the store can sell it as an autographed copy to future buyers. When a line is formed at a bookstore, potential buyers want to see what is going on and real sales will eventually take place. You can turn a mediocre author signing into a successful one.
If you belong to a particular group, club or business, invite the members or business associates to help you in your marketing. You may be able to sell many books to these markets, at a discount, and in some cases the books can be used to raise funds for the clubs themselves. This is a win-win for everyone involved. We had one NABE member sell more than 100,000 cookbooks in this manner.
Remember that creating a demand sets the stage for sales. And, as I have said time and time again, follow-up is the key to book marketing profits. At your signings or public events, be sure to give away a free report or gift and collect the name and e-mail address of a potential buyer. Give them a postcard with a link to your website and the free gift. They will appreciate it and you will get more sales for your book in the future.
Al Galasso is the Executive Director of NABE, now known as the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs, which is celebrating its 34th Anniversary in 2014. He has helped more than five thousand authors and publishers market their books through a wide variety of online and offline marketing methods. For more information on his services, visit his informative website at http://www.bookmarketingprofits.com. Sign up for his Marketsmart Newsletter and check out the new online edition of his innovative book selling magazine, Book Dealers World.
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