Articles and Features
What Makes One Book Outsell Another?
by Judy Collins
Wouldn't you rather write a book that sells well than be stuck with unsold inventory? When you plan ahead with the tips below, you will sell thousands rather than hundreds of your unique and important information or inspirational products.
1. Write non-fiction first. These books are 90% of total book sales. After non-fiction success, you can use your profits to partially finance a fiction project.
2. Write short books to start. Short books in any format, like eBooks, booklets, guides or special reports are faster, easier, and cheaper to write than full-length books of 200-300 pages. They can be as short as five pages (special reports), to eBooks that can be 5-100pages (even longer).
3. Market to a book-buying audience. Women buy far more books than men, about 75%. If your message benefits women, you'll do well in sales. If it's a book your audience needs, it will sell more. It's best to see the need and fill it rather than have an idea-then look for an audience.
4. Choose your cover and title with care. Image is almost everything. You have four seconds to impress your potential buyer. Be clear, use metaphor and make sure your title elicits a picture or an emotion. Keep your title short, preferably 5-7 words. What solutions and results does your book promise? See more free articles including "Titles Sell Books" on www.bookcoaching.com.
5. Expand your book into a series. Think of the huge success of the Chicken Soup Series. They have one cover for all the titles. The latest count is 68 million. Think of spin-off products that relate to your book. Some people prefer to learn by listening to a cassette. You may also want to serialize your eBook, sending one part or chapter a week through an autoresponder. These formats actually help you sell more books. Other spin-offs include coaching, consulting, speaking, seminars, columns, or videos.
6. Impress your potential buyer within eight seconds with your back cover copy. The biggest mistake authors make is putting their title on the back cover. Since it's already on the front cover, you need to instead, put your sparkling headliner at the top. It must hook your readers, stir up their emotions, and hit their desire. What benefits does your book offer? How to get more money, heart-centered relationships, more fame, more health? Include from 3-5 bullets of benefits, what your book promises its readers. Finally, testimonials are the number one way to turn your potential buyer into a "take-out-their-credit-card-buyer."
7. Create your written marketing plan before you finish chapter one. This plan covers your first year's launch period and lifetime plan. You'll want to market at least two years. Inexperienced authors wait until publication and lose a great deal of sales. Your plan could include how many books you want to sell, your 30 second tell and sell, book reviews, news releases, the articles to market your book, the book signings, talks, electronic newsletters, and a book Web site. Without a written plan, an author creates vague results.
8. Put as much time into marketing as you did the writing of your book. Your goal is to have people read and learn from your unique message. Why plant a garden if you don't harvest it? John Kremer, book marketing guru, and author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, says to do five things each day. Five calls, five press releases, five Online contacts or a combination of tasks.
9. Include Online marketing to sell more books. While you can sell your books on other peoples site, you will eventually want your own. An author without a Web site is like a person without a name. Your site can contain book reviews, testimonials, excerpts and discussion boards. See www.FiveStarWebDesign.com created by Leva Duell of Carlsbad, California. This site is full of tips, and free articles to help you create an irresistible Web site that keeps buyers coming back.
10. Start marketing your book early. The best time to start your marketing is while you are writing your book. It gives you the bigger picture of where your book is going, and helps you write fast, compelling copy. If other marketing and promotion campaigns have brought few book sales, left your wallet thinner, wasted your valuable time, and left you with a garage full of unsold masterpieces, you may now be ready to set up your book's virtual marketing machine-the Internet to keep your book dream alive-- getting it into the hands of thousands of readers rather than a few.
You can start marketing your book right now, even if you don't have a Web site. Research and find ways to learn non-techie ways to start your lifetime book promotion journey like you would eat an elephant-one bite at a time! Watch your sales grow!
Judy Cullins: 20-year author, publisher, book coach
Helps entrepreneurs manifest their book and web dreams
eBk: _Ten Non-techie Ways to Market Your Book Online_
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