“Buyers are liars,” is a term some salespeople use to describe their customers. They believe prospective buyers distort the truth to put themselves in a better bargaining position. Regrettably, in some cases they are correct, so be on guard when negotiating the sale of your books to some corporate purchasers.
According to studies among business buyers (Harvard Business Review, July-August, 2016) about half of people involved in corporate negotiations lie when they have the opportunity to improve their potential outcome. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare for – or even prevent – this intangible trickery.
As authors we worry frequently about when the right time to pitch a book might be. While it's never a good idea to be brash, as an author it's very likely that your writing reflects your reality. Therefore, almost every situation you encounter will likely tie itself to you and your book. Thus, the general rule is: if the situation fits -- talk about it! Unless of course you're in one of the following circumstances:
1. At a funeral. It is our responsibility as citizens to be there for our neighbors first and foremost. Funerals are always emotional situations that need support, kindness, and displays of love more than they need book marketing. So, be there for your loved one in person and in spirit. Chances are, if you’re at a funeral, many of the people there will know of you and your book, and they’ll likely perceive you as a more tender and relatable person if you don’t try to upsell your book at that time.
When making a presentation to sell a large quantity of books, many publishers create PowerPoint slides with many colorful charts and graphs. But data itself does not convince people to buy. It’s the interpretation of data and its application to the needs of each buyer that make the sale. When preparing your presentation, first think about what you are presenting – ideas or data. Then consider your purpose: Do you want to inform, persuade or explore? The answers will suggest what tools and resources you need for each presentation. Here are Ten Tips for Preparing a Visual Sales Presentation .
1. Do not automatically convert a spreadsheet into a chart. That only visualizes data. It doesn’t communicate your idea.
2. During the preparation stage, design skills are less important than idea generation. Remember that form follows function.
The Hot Sheet
Get a special price at Bowker on a Hot Sheet subscription now.
Jane Friedman and I have been observing the experiences of authors in the contemporary marketplace as it has developed over many years.
The impact of the digital dynamic, after all, hasn’t just rocked publishing. Like a good, stiff earthquake, it also has rearranged the landscape for writers—opening up new pathways to publication…and several pretty little trails that will lead your career right over a cliff.
But you’d think that at a time when free blog sites about writing are on every corner of the Web, the last thing you’d need to do is pay for a private subscription newsletter for authors. Right? Wrong.
When someone mentions Pinterest in conversation, a common image that comes to mind is an online bulletin board, paired with the now almost iconic logo. However, since its inception in 2010, Pinterest has become so much more than a simple online application for people to browse, save, and share content.
Recently, members of the American Christian Fiction Writers group held an email discussion focusing on the benefits of email newsletters. The main question posed was this: Are email newsletters as important of a promotional tool as some authors claim? In short, the answer was an overwhelming “YES!” Christian authors, Deb Brammer, Misty Beller, Valerie Comer, Randy Ingermanson and Catherine Castle weighed in to share their success stories, voice their concerns, and provide insight into just how helpful newsletters can be.
As an author, are you concerned about setting up a mailing list for your readers? Do you share a concern over any of the following perceived problems with mailing lists:
A core axiom of non-bookstore marketing is that you are not selling your book, but the use of your content to solve a prospective customer’s problem. Showing your potential buyers how to do that may take a little creativity.
Brainstorming – group thinking to find innovative answers to a particular dilemma – is generally used to stimulate ideas. Apply this technique to finding new ways to solve your prospective customers’ problems and you can develop a new source of significant special-sales revenue.