Are your book sales limping along? Are they on the light side? Would you like to increase them?
Do you know that every author needs to master the art of selling? And do you know why? Start with ineffective authors pitching their books lose book sales. They become invisible. And, money doesn’t come their way. Could that be happening to you? If so, that’s a tad of a downer.
At the core is sales. Selling books. Pitching your book … and yourself. Even if no one told you that the job description for “author” and “writer” had “sales” sandwiched between the covers, you need to realize that you and every other author is in sales from the moment the day starts. Yup, selling their book.
It may not be all about your book, but sales are in play. In just about all we do. Think about it. Have you ever had to convince yourself that you are going to tackle a problem that’s been looming? Or deciding between the chicken or taco salad? How about picking up the phone or interacting with someone who isn’t your favorite person, colleague or boss; or wooing others to your point of view . . . you are selling—either to yourself or others.
And that includes books. Books are a product that need to be positioned and presented.
That’s the challenge. The general public is often leery of a salesperson. Is the person a liar, manipulator, or fast-talker? If your mannerisms/styles are those of the ”perceived” salesperson, trust and credibility take a hit. I mean, no authors want others to think that they are liars and overall bad people. Long-term relationships may never materialize if that happened. Rejection is in play.
Savvy salespeople “get” that they are problem solvers. As an author, you are a problem solver. Whether it’s entertaining for a few hours with your storyline or introducing solutions to a topic or educating, you are at the book chalkboard with your reader.
Rejections Happen … all the time!
Oooh … the rejections word–no one likes them. No one wakes up and says, “Hooray … I can hardly wait for the next rejection.” But here’s what’s happening: when you can’t handle rejection, you don’t want to pick up what you perceive to be a 250-pound phone or meet new people because you just know that the rejection experience will happen. It feels awful.
With all the electronic gizmos we have today for communicating, is old-fashioned phone contact necessary—be it good news or bad news? You bet. Outside of actual one-on-one contact or live video, phone interfacing is crucial. Hearing voice tones adds a significant dimension to any words that flow.
Begin with the end in mind.
Sounds good—what does it mean? That means being clear on the specific goals you want to achieve and then determine the specific activities necessary to attain those goals. If it’s selling more books–yes!–then start there.
Will rejection happen?
Of course, it will. To overcome the pit in your belly when it smacks you in the face, start with:
- Separate what you “do” in your role –author– from who you “are” as a human being—i.e., your self-worth and self-esteem. Regardless of whether or not someone chooses your solution—you are still the same human being…..creative, dependable, funny, generous, etc.
- Set your goals, set them high and go for it. Rarely do you excel unless you stretch yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot achieve. Be clear on your personal vision and goals, have a plan to achieve them, and refuse to let anyone or anything stand in your way.
- Use a sales process that is focused on continually adding value and is all about the other party, which is something many talks about, but few implement. This is where relationship selling surfaces. Yes, it focuses on Relationships, Engaging, Leveling, Asking, Tailoring, and Endorsing. It’s all about creating trust and credibility so you can quickly clarify, qualify and move forward.
Relationships are built on trust and credibility—with yourself and others.
We authors need to think of it as being a member of the 4-H club is essential in building relationships—Humor, Humility, Honesty, and cHutzpah. Instead of raising critters … you are raising a book!
Engage others in something of interest to them. It’s all about THEM … not you.
The axiom, knowledge = power is inaccurate. It’s knowledge + implementation = power. The more you know and you are able to use will put you ahead of the class. You will be about them so you are perceived as a “partner” versus a vendor or salesperson.
Level your expectations every step of the way. Gain mutual commitments about the next steps. If there is no next step—stop.
This is appropriate with almost any interaction for effective communications—whether a job interview, meeting with a co-worker/boss/peer or prospect … or selling books. Ask, “What would you like me (or do I need) to do next?” Clarifying expectations eliminates confusion.
Asking questions—lots of them—is an essential part of the selling process.
The more you know, the better you can provide a solution that fits the need of your potential buyer.
Tailor your solution to meet their specific needs—no more no less. Remember, you are a problem solver.
Endorsements are always good to pull from. Gain them from everyone who you know that has benefited from your sage words. The more “buy-in” you have upfront, the greater your chances of successful sales going forward.
When you’re selling yourself and your book, this how-to differentiate yourself and create long-term relationships. A smart author move.
Yes, every Author Is Involved in Sales … from the get-go! Have some fun with it. And, if you don’t have my book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech, this month is the perfect time to get it to move you forward plus pick up a variety of tips of how-tos in promoting you and your book. It’s in print, eBook, and audiobook.
Are you ready to spring into your book sales!
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 37 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences.
Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE.
Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact me.