Like most first time authors, I figured that once the word was out that I’d written a book, the world would beat a path to my door wanting to buy it. I’ll admit I gave little thought to marketing until the day my first printing of Handbook To A Happier Life was delivered. In a panic, I called a published author I knew and asked, “What do I do now?” She suggested several books about book marketing, which I bought immediately. I was on my way.
Success in bookselling is a three-step process: 1. Write the book. 2. Print the book. 3. Sell the book. That last one can be a bit tricky:-)
Space does not permit me to go into all the details of my processor to list the many people who helped, however, there are a couple of very important points I learned early on which made all the difference.
The most important thing I learned was to identify my reader. As much as I hated to admit it, not everyone would buy my book. My early feedback told me, entrepreneurs, network marketers, and salespeople were buying my book. I began to ask myself focused questions as to how I could best reach these people. I set goals. After all, if you don’t have a goal, how will you know when you’ve succeeded? I took specific actions daily. That’s important. Consistent action will make all the difference.
There were days when I was ready to give up but I kept taking action. I refused to give up. Another important point. Never, never, never give up! One day, a door opened. I had located a distributor who was selling to the market I wanted to reach. They reviewed “Handbook To A Happier Life” and it was put on a recommended reading list. It went into eight printings with almost 100,000 copies sold and was translated into several languages, and then sold to a big publisher. I knew all along that once people saw this book, they would want to read it.
I firmly believe most books will sell once you have taken the time to clearly define your market, set your goals and commit to taking daily action. And more action – keeping in mind that there are many places you can sell books besides bookstores. Go for it!
The Best Business Card You Ever Had
“Keep in mind Jim, this is a great business card.” That was my first lesson as a new author and it has served me well over the years. On a lark, I sent 20 copies of my new book to the presidents of several big direct sales companies. The result was a glowing testimonial from the president of one of the companies, along with an order for 250 books. Was it worth the cost of giving away the 20? You bet it was! I like to think of giving away books like planting seeds. You never know which ones will spout or when.
Many professional speakers and coaches willingly give away their $12 paperback book (with a cost of a $2-$4) and attract clients and bookings worth thousands of dollars from it. Others obtain high priced consulting contracts using the book as a door opener.