When I self-published my book in October 2015, it was an immediate hit. No, it didn’t make the NY Times Bestseller list, but a hit amongst my tribe.
I’ve got a mailing list with thousands of people subscribed. I’ve got a huge network of people including friends, family and colleagues. So when I announced my pre-sale, I was getting about thirty Shopify notifications an hour, informing me of every purchase.
But around Christmas 2015, the sales started to slow drastically. My mailing list had purchased the book. My friends and family had already bought it. And then there were a few stragglers getting it on Amazon. But all the sales dried up. From thirty notifications an hour to one notification a month. Annoying!
So I went on the hunt for new ways to sell my book, and here’s how I sell at least 1,000 every month:
1) Sell directly to corporations. Selling your book on sites like Amazon are great, but it rarely moves hundreds of copies for the average author. Consider selling your book B2B. I built a small sales team, and split them up into regions. East, West, North, South. We created lists of all businesses in our target markets, and then reached out to decision makers and pitched them the book. Sales Managers and HR Heads are looking for ways to motivate their team. Why can’t they buy your book in bulk?
2) Sell at conferences. I’m not as famous as Steve Harvey. People aren’t running to Barnes and Noble to get my book. Neither are they excited to see me when I show up at a live event. But for those who show up and hear me speak, they become interested in my content. Whether it was here in LA, or in Boston, or even in Africa, much of the audiences that hear me speak, buy the book. And at almost every event, I sell out of inventory. And since I sell directly to consumer, all sales goes directly back into Kareem Taylor Communications, Inc. Always have your books on hand, and consider using Square to process payments.
3) Run your own event experiences. Have you considered hosting your own event? Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, and owner of Ferrazzi Greenlight, hosts dinners around the country. He invites potential leads to hear his presentation. Sometimes, these dinners result in new business, and even sales of his book. Of course, for him, the consulting business may prove to be more profitable. But selling a few books after your presentation never hurts. And be careful with this. Don’t turn your events into a scam, or make people feel like it’s just a sales pitch. Build a presentation that teaches and brings value. If you host an event people dislike, they’ll never return. And in the long run, that’s not good business.
There are countless ways to allow your books to work for you! Be creative. Be fearless. Be open. Good luck!