The Author – The Best Sales Person
Have you ever been asked, "How is your book doing?" Well, my response to that question is, "the book is not doing anything, it is only a thing…it can’t move." Books do not sale themselves.
With that being said, you must do some things to let the world know that your book is available and that they need your book, and you must also tell readers why they need your book.
The responsibility for book marketing and promotion is totally the job of the author and/or publisher. The author may take on the job themselves or a public relations specialist may be hired to publicize and market the book on the author’s behalf. But, either way, the author must be heavily involved in marketing and promoting their book.
I have learned, through trial and error, who my target audience is and how to sell books to them. I believe that the best thing I can teach aspiring authors is what I have done, and what has and has not worked for me. So, I designed a workbook to teach marketing and promotion strategies I have used while selling my own books.
I believe that the author is absolutely the best sales person to market and promote their own book. Allowing potential buyers to meet the author is key to a good bookselling campaign. When people become interested in the author, then they want to buy the author's books. For example, when people learn I spent time in foster care and that my mother left and never came back, they become interested in reading the book I wrote about my foster care story, A Gifted Child in Foster Care: A Story of Resilience. Then, when they learned that I recently found my mother after five decades, they were even more interested in reading my foster care story.
When people are able to meet me as a part of my book promotion, then marketing becomes easier. For example, when I approach a member of my target audience in person with book samples and marketing material, the organization is more likely to make a purchase than if I simply mail the material or make a phone call. Also, if I am able to do an author presentation, in conjunction with a book purchase, organizations are more likely to add my books to their programs and libraries.
However, the books they purchase need to be a good fit with their vision, mission, purpose and goals. So, choose wisely who you spend time “in person” with. Be sure your time is spent promoting to the correct target audience.
In-person guest author presentations may include:
Reading a poem you wrote
Reading an excerpt from your book
Sharing helpful information
Giving an inspirational speech
Conducting a book signing
Facilitating a workshop
Purchasing an exhibit table at an event
When I conduct in-person guest author presentations, attendees are more likely to want to purchase autographed copies of my books after the presentation. In addition to walk-in visits and setting appointments to meet with my target audience, in-person presentations have resulted in the most book sales.