Top book business influencers say this. Then, where are most of the books we read being sold?
Giants like Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup success says. “Only one out of seven people in the United States go into book stores to buy a book.” Book marketing experts John Kremer of “1001 Ways to Market your Book…” and Dan Poynter of the “Self-Publishing Manual” says something similar as does long time book coach, Judy Cullins, author of 20 personal growth books and 18 business/writing books including, Write your eBook or Other Short Book–Fast.
You may disagree, but do you wonder why these experts say that the worst place to sell books is in a book store?
1. You are not famous, and your traditional publishing support amounts to a possible three-month book tour, billed against your sales.
And it’s common knowledge that these don’t work well. Your book’s shelf life at Barnes and Noble or other brick and mortar bookstores is about three months too. They often refuse self-published books from Create Space and others like it. And, you the author must promote each book full time to receive less than 50% of the profits.
2. Your audience (who are they?) doesn’t go to a bookstore to find your book.
They go to browse and aren’t’ sure what they want. If your book ( as an unknown) is next to a popular author, only your book’s spine will show. Potential buyers will pass it by for the well-known name. In our San Diego Barnes and Noble, people bring their Starbucks coffee in to sit and read. If they spill coffee on your book, you will get it as a return, without a sale, and pay the postage.
3. Smart business people and personal growth authors know their audience is online.
They can sell straight from their websites.
And they market online to get their readers to their websites, with article marketing, social media marketing, and with a business blog for the same purpose–at least once each two weeks to stay in touch with their audience. The point of the blog is to build a community around your book. This happens when you capture your visitors’ emails when they sign up for your blog articles. This works for fiction as well as non-fiction.
Your audience wants to know and like you before they buy from you. They will more likely subscribe to your newsletter, your blog, and your free reports rather than get into a car and drive to the “brick and mortar” bookstore. After so many website visits, many will buy your books or use your service.
4. Know that after three months of initial placement, your book will fade away unless you put on your promotion hat to get customers to the store.
That is a whole lot of work–preparing your talk, scheduling press releases, and even travel. Why market the hard way and travel, especially in today’s faltering economy?
5. Speakers among you like to sell books at the front or back of the room after educating your audience on why they need their information and entertaining stories.
With the proper handouts, you can even sell your eBooks this way.
Speaking applies to giving teleseminars or interviews by audio and video to market your book to your best audiences. And you market these from your email and website. You get your website sales by collecting these emails from each venue. Teleseminars do take organization, but are far easier to do than giving live talks.
Most authors don’t want to put time into their book marketing, but this is the all-important action the author should make over a two-three year span–before they write another book!
Remember, a book website is not enough. Your fans and readers need to find that site. In your marketing plan, you need to consider the internet– a blog, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. In less than six months, you’ll see a marked difference in sales, so you won’t be the one with only 300 book sales.
6. You’ll make unnecessary book marketing mistakes that cost you sales.
Develop a book marketing plan that includes a blog and social media. With a schedule, it’s almost automatic.
7. Bookstores are not practical for authors..
Seventy percent of US adults haven’t been in a bookstore for the last 10 years with the internet and Google at their finger tips.
Bookstores will take 90 days, even a year or more to pay you for your total book sales. One local San Diego author had to take her distributor to court after non-payment for 2 years.
Bookstores only order two or three copies at a time because of limited shelf space. If you aren’t well known, and you don’t promote a lot, your book will disappear.
Bookstores buy only from a distributor or wholesaler. They also take from your book profits.If bookstores only sell 45% of the book sales, where are the rest sold? It must be the internet. Even grandparents are online. Your book audience is awaiting your book, so be sure to put it in their “hands.”
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What has your experience with bookstores been? How about online sales? When you share, we all benefit!
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