You have options for getting your book into the marketplace. With today’s technology, you can sell directly to the reader, through your own website and many online retailers, acting as your own sales person. You can use social media to drive buyers to those places, but you’ll spend a lot of time and effort doing it, and unless you get really lucky and your book catches on (because all the previous components are stellar), you may not sell many books. You can hire people to help make this more successful, and who knows? It might land in the right hands at the right time, someone important will notice it and you’ll find yourself on the Today Show. But just in case, buy a lottery ticket today.
Any product for sale needs multi-faceted sales channels and your book is no different. Online is just one channel and you’re limiting your sales opportunities. You have to use other channels where people buy your product. In the book industry, that means retail or special markets. For each of these channels, your book will need one more component to be successful.
Book stores, specialty stores, department stores, and libraries all offer wonderful opportunities for you to get your book in the hands of readers. But in addition to that great book you’ve produced, one other component is critical. Your book must meet their customers’ needs and be about the subject matter their buyers want. Each retailer knows who buys what in their store. They know what their patrons like; they know what sells in their store, and each store is unique. In one book store, mystery and romance will sell, while self-help books sit on the shelf gathering dust. In others, inspirational and guidebooks are hot sellers. Department, specialty stores, and libraries are the same. They all understand what their buyers buy. Get to know which stores sell your type of book and which libraries have patrons that read what you write. It won’t do you any good to spend your time trying to get your book into a book store that simply doesn’t need your genre. For some reason, we seem to think that all book stores should carry our magnificently written and produced book. But, if you don’t have to provide food for a dog, you don’t need pet food, no matter how good that pet food is.
Your book can be a valuable tool for organizations, corporations, associations – fundraisers, conferences, promotions, etc. – and an opportunity for you to sell many books at one time. Selling into these markets also requires one more component in addition to writing and producing a great book. Your book not only has to provide a benefit for the reader, it has to provide a benefit for the organization. Will your book save them money, increase membership or sales, improve their product or services’ value-add, strengthen their relationship with their customers, get them good publicity? What does it do for them, not just for the reader? No matter what type of organization it is, they all have common goals. They want to reduce costs, increase new revenue and retain existing revenue, improve product, and look good to the public. Identify how your book can help them do that, and you’ve opened up a great sales opportunity for yourself.
The Next Great American Novel is not magic. There is an element of timing and luck, yes. But no matter how lucky you are, it’s a matter of great writing, production AND marketing. One will not succeed without the others. Does your book meet the mark, or is there more work to be done? Can you turn your book into the Next Great American Novel?
As a MindBody Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and award-winning Author, June Hyjek offers extensive experience in helping clients manage their pain and stress, working with them to move through life’s transitions with grace and peace. She is the author of “Unexpected Grace: A Discovery of Healing through Surrender” and a meditation CD, “Moving Into Grace.” Her book and CD offer hope, comfort and insights to help us move through the difficult times we all face in life.
Personally, June deals with debilitating complications from Scoliosis and has moved through the physical and emotional pain of seven spine surgeries, finding healing through mindbody approaches and the loving support of others. Her personal experience provides the passion for her work and her speeches, which offer inspiration and hope for achieving and maintaining wellness.
June is a graduate of the Advanced Training Program with the Center for MindBody Medicine, and is certified with the American Alliance of Hypnotists. She also holds certifications in traditional fitness and Pilates with the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America and Body Balance University, with specializations in chronic disease, spinal stabilization and orthopedic disabilities.