First of all, congratulations! We know what an enormous amount of dedication writing a book can take. Whether your book winds up on the shelves of W.E. Bookstore or not, please know that we appreciate the effort, care, and creativity that has brought you this far. Now for the hard part – getting it sold:
Here are just a few things to consider when thinking about marketing your book in our store – remember, we want all of your hard work to be rewarding, both for us and for you.
Quality (and by this we don’t mean the fluency of your prose and the intelligence of your thinking).
Is your book as perfect as possible? Spelling, grammar and typesetting count. If you are self-published, the company that prints your book may offer proofreading, or even a fair amount of editing, for a fee. Professional authors with the resources of an entire publishing house behind them have whole teams of people who do this for them. And readers are picky. If you are expecting your readers to pay as much for your book as they would pay for a book from a major publishing house, they are expecting a work of equal quality. Assemble your own team to make your book the best it can be.
In order to sell, your book should be priced at or below the cost of other books of its size and sort. It’s easy to see how your book compares by browsing your local bookstore. When you negotiate for the production of your book, be sure to take that into account, as well as the fact that you will have to pay at least the industry standard discount to stores who stock your book, and substantial sums for marketing so that readers can know your book is available. Do your math ahead of time so that you aren’t disappointed later!
Face it – people do judge books by their covers.
- Create a professional author bio and press release as best as you can to tell your story.
- Contact local and regional media and use mailing lists, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to let people know you’ve published a book and it’s available at W.E. Bookstore Online.
- Send out press releases, review copies, and other promotional materials to local media and any other organizations with which you are affiliated.
- Tell friends and family and send them to the store for copies – this generates the all-important buzz that generates more sales.
- Branch out. How about high school and college alumni associations? Your writer’s group? Eagles or Rotary? Your church? Everyone you can send to the store for copies generates traffic and word-of-mouth for your book.
- Consider a signing. Book signings are a great way to gather all of the folks you’ve been marketing to at one time – and crowds attract crowds. Bookstores are well connected to the readers in their communities and we occasionally arrange virtual book signings for self-published authors whose books are selling well in our store.