12 Tips to Maximize Your Book Sales

  1. Create a Book Development, Publishing, and Marketing Plan. Create a detailed plan. Selling books takes effort, diligence, and tenacity.
  1. Write for Your Audience. Test your concepts and content on a focus group, research other books on the subject, know what readers want, and write a book that readers want to read.
  1. Deliver a Clear Message. Create a core message and present it succinctly – using examples, interviews, and statistics to support it. Use a thesis statement to keep you on track. You should be able to convey your key message in one sentence.
  1. Hire an Editor. Your manuscript must be polished and free of typographical errors, and grammatical mistakes. Besides proofreading, a professional line-editor will ensure your sentences are properly constructed and your content is arranged for flow and clarity.
  1. Ask for a Peer Review. Have a professional colleague review your manuscript. Encourage honesty and use the criticism to make your book better during the revision process.
  1. Include an Index. Readers expect an index to be included in a legitimate book and libraries will only carry books that have indexes.
  1. Establish an Author Platform. Your platform is your media visibility - how much exposure you have as an expert on a particular subject… your blogs, websites, speaking engagements, seminars, television and radio interviews, and podcasts. Your platform is what will help promote your book when it is published.
  1. Know Your Position. Determine your position in the market. What other books are available on the same topic and what differentiates your book from the competition? Write a positioning statement outlining your target audience.
  1. Create a Professional Book Cover. The book cover sells the book! Consider it a marketing tool and hire a professional book cover designer.
  1. Acquire Testimonials and Endorsements. Personal recommendations add legitimacy to a book and help sell it. Place them with the sales copy on the back cover.
  1. Build a Database of Potential Readers. Start collecting names of potential readers well in advance of your book’s release date. You can build your network through social sites and your website and blog traffic. Create a sign-up page and offer an enticement (such as a newsletter or free report) for subscribers to opt-in. Ideally, you want to develop a list of 5,000 people or more.
  1. Have an Online Media Kit Available. Make it easy for journalists and TV reporters to use you as a source for interviews by putting an online Media Kit on your website. Your Media Kit can include photos/headshots, a list of topics you speak on, sample interview questions, a portfolio of media clips, a backgrounder or bio, excerpts from you book, reviews of your book, a calendar of upcoming events or speaking engagements, and press releases.

Laura Cross is a writer/author, producer and founder of Rebel Seed Studio - an independent film production company, book publisher, and podcast network. Laura has worked as an author-strategist and professional ghostwriter of narrative nonfiction and how-to books. She is the author of the books EXPERT AUTHOR: Turn Your Expertise into a Profitable Business, Self-Help or How-To Book and BESTSELLER BOOK PROPOSAL: Develop a Winning Pitch, Acquire a Top Literary Agent and Land a Publishing Deal... Before You Write Your Nonfiction Book.

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