“Stop selling your books and start selling your content…in the form desire by buyers. Think of yourself as a consultant. Find out how the people in your target audience need your information. Do they want it in a book, booklet, three-ring binder, DVD, audio book or e-book? You may find it difficult to sell a job-search book to frugal college students, so re-publish your content as booklets and sell them to the colleges, who can give them to the students.”
~from 16 Tips for Selling Your Books to Businesses, in the November/December issue of Book Business
Whenever you produce something and make it available to the public, you have to be ready for feedback to come your way. Of course, when it’s of a positive nature, this is a delightful aspect of running a business and producing materials. It’s definitely not always like that, but I am so grateful for the people who take time to express gratefulness for something that has helped them. Here are a couple of comments I’ve recently received in e-mails regarding the Journey to Self Publishing CD that I released last year:
“You and Arlen have kept me company as I’ve driven around town doing errands, and I’ve learned so much from your CD.” ~Anne O., Canada
“God bless you for sharing what you have learned about self-publishing with “others” through the CD. I received your CD from my daughter and son-in-law for Christmas and it was by far my favorite Christmas gift! I listen to your CD at least five days a week as I drive to and from work.” ~Debra W., North Carolina
If you have dreams of writing and publishing a book, this is for you! I’ve put together a Special Self-Publishing Package that includes a copy of both Journey to Self Publishing and Pajama School so that you can refer to the book as I discuss various aspects of the design and publishing process. Throughout the month of February, you can get the Special Self-Publishing Package for only $24 (plus shipping) by using the coupon code: FEB2011
According to Book Business, “The No. 1 reason people buy a new book is because it’s written by an author they like.” This statement was made in an article of Fourteen Tips to Increase E-book Sales in the latest issue of their bi-monthly magazine. Addressing the question, “Do book browsers convert to book buyers?”, writer Peter Hildick-Smith offers this tip: Play to your author’s strengths.
This is a fascinating insight, equally relevant in print books, because the number one frustration I have experienced in marketing my book – Pajama School – is that people express interest in reading it, but that interest rarely translates into sales. I knew it would be hard to break into the market as a new author, but I had no idea just how hard it would be! That’s probably why the above observation resonates so much with me.
What exactly does this mean for new authors? Apparently, somehow they have to get lots of people to like them. 🙂 How this translates in practice I really don’t know. But if you have any tips or thoughts you’d be willing to share on the subject, I’d love to hear them!
One of the best pieces of advice I received prior to publishing my book, Pajama School, was that I should carry a box of books around in the trunk of my car. I have sold more books this way than almost any other single marketing initiative. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating setting up shop in your car on a street corner with a homemade sign advertising your books – although who knows, maybe that would work, too! The way this has worked for me is that when I’m at a gathering with friends, invariably someone will ask about my book and comment that they’ve been meaning to purchase a copy, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. So I mention that I just happen to have some out in the back of my car that are available. The person usually perks up at this and is eager to buy one right away!
I also make a point to say something about the new book I’ve released in any conversation with someone I’ve just met. Often this leads to further questions and conversation, and if they seem interested I’ll grab a copy from the car and show it to them. Sometimes this also results in an unexpected sale. So, I pass on this bit of sage advice to all other self-published authors – always be prepared with a box of books in the trunk of your car!
One of the things I have been doing some research into over the past several weeks is payment processing options. As long as I am doing on-line sales, what I’ve currently got set up through PayPal works just fine. But I’m also going to be doing some off-line sales and need a working solution for those who would want to pay via credit or debit card.
I had heard of a Christian company called Cornerstone Payment Systems that sounded promising, but after a week of failed attempts to submit their on-line form, and having two e-mails returned as undeliverable I gave up on that option. So today I started investigating the options through PayPal. The Virtual Terminal was looking like a viable option until I saw the pricing chart – $30/mo. fee + a per transaction fee of 3.1% + $0.30. Eek! Perhaps I will find that the pricing is competitive with what I would have to pay to use a credit card processing company, but I still have no idea. I can’t imagine making enough in book sales at this point for that to be a cost-effective solution!
Still need to do some more research, but I would love to know if anyone has any recommendations for credit card processing companies. Also, I’d love to get some input on whether you think it would mean a significant loss in sales if I opted not to accept credit/debit cards at this point for offline sales. I just have a single book, priced at $14.99. Is it unreasonable in this day and age to limit people to paying with only cash or check? Any advice or opinions?