Today’s guest blog post is from my colleague Judy Cullins, author of LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales.
“I’m not sure my peers and audience will want my book.”
“I don’t expect great sales or to be a bestseller.”
“It’s not like I’m ever going to be on a top TV show.”
“If only the local paper interviews me I’ll be happy.”
“I just hope to make back my printing costs.”
As a book coach, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard emerging authors say these words. Perhaps you recognize yourself in them.
Of the half a million books published every year, most books sell less than 500 copies. Publishers want only the famous to promote. The real sales for less known authors who are willing to market every day will come from the internet, blog marketing and social media promotion.
Who cares what the statistics are? What do they really have to do with your book? Is your book really competing with 500,000 books? Let’s say you write a self-help book – maybe only 20,000 were published this year – that’s still big competition, but it’s smaller than half a million, and if yours is a self-help book about succeeding in business, maybe only 2,000 were written on that topic.
Remember, many readers read more than one book on a subject. Just because they read another book in your topic doesn’t mean they won’t also read yours. And, if you use some book coaching, you can learn how to angle your book to a smaller, yet powerful, target audience. It’s far easier and more profitable to market a book (to an online audience that you can easily…) where you can readily find them online to market and promote to.
Why do most books sell less than 500 copies? Of course, quality matters. But most likely, it’s the lack of direct and indirect marketing the author does, since marketing takes double the time you spend on writing. If you don’t implement 2-5 marketing strategies each day, you won’t sell more than the 500, and most likely, less. Yes, the quality of the book may make a difference, but I’ve seen some really badly written books become bestsellers. It’s all about the promotion. The bottom line is that most books don’t sell many copies because most authors give up after giving little or no effort to promoting their books.
For eBooks and print books – look beyond the stats – how you can create a business around the book – and repurpose it into a lot of other sales to build your wealth stream.
So think big. Raise the bar. Shake off your fear and self-doubt. Here are a few ways to raise the bar, to make your book a success, but remember that none of them will work if you don’t work at it yourself.
Book Coach Judy Cullins’ Raise the Bar Tips
What You Believe about Your Book, You can Achieve.
1. Build Your Confidence – Get Feedback from a writing or book coach.
One of the biggest mistakes authors make is to publish their books before they are ready. Many authors are shy and afraid to let people read their work. But the more people who read your book and give you feedback, not to mention having it professionally edited and proofread, the better your book will be. If the book is really bad, you will be saved a great deal of embarrassment and money by not publishing it based on the feedback you receive. Feedback also gives you the opportunity to see your book anew through other people’s eyes and to improve it. Best of all, when people tell you they like the book and why they like it, you will feel good about it. You will build your confidence. That is a real boost when you promote it.
2. Ask “What If?”
Visualize your book’s end results. It’s much more doable to accept your goals as already true. Here’s a mental rehearsal exercise to create more sales.
Now that my book “title” is published and well marketed,
I SEE Example. I see myself smiling at my success.
I HEAR Example. I hear praise and testimonials from satisfied readers.
I FEEL Example. I feel exhilarated that my book appeals to my audience and they become my 24/7 sales team.
3. Work backward from the results to what steps to take to get there.
Working backwards can help you figure out your specific goals. If your end goal is to create 8-12 ongoing clients that yield you a six figure income, how will you make that happen?
If your end goal for 6 months is selling 600 copies of your how to book at $15.95, how will you make that happen?
Judy Cullins’ Rule of Thumb: Business from expanded services, more expensive book and audio packages and programs yield about 2/3 of my yearly income and books are about 1/3. Get real in your expectations, and don’t give up.
Build a Sales Funnel to Reach All Audiences
- Offer your free eBook to get opt-in subscribers.
- Offer a low cost eBook of around $15.00 for those who don’t trust you yet.
- Offer middle range products from $25-100.
- Offer high end products or services at over $100.
This rule of thumb on your sales funnel also includes your services.
The point is to connect the dots – to figure out how you can get your book noticed – by using the loftiest goal possible – and then following the dots forwards and backwards. Until you get them all to connect to achieve your goal. Be sure to consider all the possibilities. Think of a dozen ways you can get your book to hit the big time. How it happens doesn’t matter so long as it happens. You have a thousand opportunities if you just look for them and let others know you’re looking for them.
4. Engage in Baby Steps.
Write and take action on High Level Activities (HLA’s) each day. Give your book away to opinion molders. When I sent a review copy of my LinkedIn Marketing book to 6 business leaders who knew me and my other books, I asked for testimonials. I was so amazed at their generous comments.
5. Set up an affiliate program to sell your books.
Anyone who visits my site and sees the “make money selling books” URL can make 50% of the sales. Think how this one step expands an income stream.
Everyday focus on what you can do that day to promote your book and make sure that each success leads to another. If you land a spot on a radio show, ask the hosts if they have suggestions for other shows you can be on. If you get an interview, tell the interviewer about another great author you know. Referrals help make friends and friends help other friends. Network, meet people, talk up your book to everyone you meet.
If you are reluctant to act, get some professional help. If you think you can’t afford to, you may stay stuck for years. Too bad. Your audience awaits your great information, personality and skills to help them to a better life.
What part of your book project are you stuck on? Leave a question or comment, and I’ll do my best to give you what you need to solve your concerns.
About the Author
Book and Blog/LinkedIn Coach Judy Cullins helps you transform your LinkedIn presence into an income stream for life. Author of 14 books for business people authors that include LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales, Judy offers free, up-to-the minute weekly publications on writing and online marketing here.