Where Should You Be Selling Your Books?

When I was a kid my brothers and I played a board game called Risk. The goal was to conquer the world. This is our goal as writers, so it's a good analogy, right?

The board was a map of the world. Each player started on one continent with a number of armies. Rolls of the die determined the outcomes of battles, introducing a certain element of chance, but good strategy usually triumphed.

One concept my younger brother never grasped was that one big army defending his borders was stronger than 3 or 4 small ones. But he liked spreading things out, so he'd have 4 armies each in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia rather than putting all 12 in Mexico.

Our older brother would come down through Texas with 6 armies and blow through like Santa Ana. Or whoever would have been blowing from the north.

Like Butter Spread Over Too Much Toast

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If Your Goal is to Sell Books . . .

. . . change it.

As a nonfiction author, your goal is to build your business using your book as an elegant, even extravagant, $5 business card to give to prospects.

Selling books is an outcome, if it happens at all.

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A Few Basic Truths About Selling

a few basic truths about selling

1. People don’t buy needs, they buy wants. If you’re positioned as a ‘need’, they buy on price. Selling at the lowest price is rarely a good way to do business.

2. Businesses don’t buy based on quality, or the best presentation, or even, who’s a friend of the boss. They buy what will fit into their existing infrastructure with the least amount of red tape and politics.

3. People don’t change from what they have to a competitor. They’ll change to something entirely new, if it fits #1 and #2 above, but convincing them simply to switch phone services means that first you have to convince them that their previous choice was wrong. This is a losing battle.

4. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. You must earnestly believe that your product or service is going to change the world, or why should anyone bother?

So, to summarise: whatever you’re selling must be sexy and irresistable, something you believe in deeply and passionately, something fundamentally different from what they’re doing now, yet which will fit into their existing infrastructure without pain.

And that’s why selling things like phone systems or services, office supplies, cleaning services, and the like, is so very hard.

Selling luxuries, specialties, boutique niche whatever? People expect to pay a premium price, even change how they currently do things, in order to bring in the best.

Think you can't be the best? "Best" isn't about top quality, low price, most options. It's about making them feel like they're the best.

You can do that. Anyone can do that.

It's just that so few people try.

Which gives you quite the professional edge, doesn't it?

Post by Joel D Canfield