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Questions & John's Answers:
Selling Your Books
Outside of Bookstores

The following are a few of the questions John Kremer has answered during the past four years of writing the free Book Marketing Tip of the Week ezine. These answers deal with selling books outside of the bookstores.


Question: How to Sell to Book Clubs

Can you tell me how an author gets their books into a book club? I'm interested in the Military Book Club you list on your site, but there is no category to click on at their website as to how to get your book considered as one they would sell. Do they take books once they are on the market? Or do you have to approach them with a manuscript before they are published as you allude to on your website?

John's Answer: Most book clubs like to feature new books for their main selections, but are comfortable buying already published books for their other selections. So, if you want your book to be a main selection, approach book clubs at the manuscript stage. If you expect your book to be an alternate selection, approach the book club later if you feel it will make a better presentation.


Question: I Need to Make Sales Right Away!

“Just a short note to say thank-you for your excellent book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. I have used it as a model and reference in building my Company. One of the largest distinctions I just realized the other day is the Five Promotions Per Day, of which I am implementing immediately.

“The real question I have is this. I have just finished my first printing of Money Freedom – Achieve the Lifestyle of a Millionaire. It is a 176-page book targeted toward opportunity seekers. My web site http://www.themoneyfreedom.com will be up and running in the next 2 weeks and will be filled with various free reports that will attract prospective customers, the end result being of course to order the book. All 5,000 books have now arrived from the printer and are ready for distribution. I have spent everything and need to generate cash starting today or as soon as possible to continue my marketing process.

“I read in 8:06 of your book about the door to door selling and would be very interested in how I could find a model of someone who has attained instant sales thru door to door. I intentionally went to our busy shopping mall on Saturday and parked myself at the front door of which 500 people (4 people in a group count as one) per hour walked by. In just over 1½ hours I did not sell one book. Perhaps it is too direct. If you were me, what would you do to generate immediate sales or perhaps how would you approach this situation?” — Jim Sapara, Quantum One Publishing

John's Answer

If I were you, I'd start right away by building up a list of online supporters and contacts. Check out any ezines and web sites that attract or go to such opportunity seekers. Then offer them some sort of partnership for sales of your book (an associates program or such) — and a higher priced package (e.g., your book with a CD of reports plus a video or audio for $100 or such). The CD could include all the reports you have on your web site plus others that you package from other web sites. Many web sites will offer free reports as a way of generating sales for their packages. You can do the same by offering some of your free reports to other web sites, but always including a strong sales message at the end for your package or book.

Read also Jason Oman's report on how to get to #1 on Amazon. It's linked on the front page of my BookMarket.com web site. Instead of working to get to be #1 at Amazon, you could try to be #1 at BN.com. It's less competitive, so it should be easier to reach quickly. That's what Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin did for Networking Magic: Find the Best — from Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants to Homes, Schools, and Jobs. I don't know if they made it to #1, but when I checked, they had made it to #2 — and were a top 5 business book seller at Barnes & Noble.

Again, these are probably the first things I would do, especially if I had little money and needed quick sales. Door-to-door selling, quite honestly, is very far down on my list of things to do — even though it has worked for some people.


Question: Audiobook Promotions
to College Students

“We published six Cliff Note audiobooks for Wiley, and are trying to figure out how to get to the student market to increase our sales. Going through the traditional book stores has not worked out well probably because students don’t get near an audio section and maybe don’t realize that they are available. I once heard about a company that did classified advertising in college and high school newspapers for PR programs to students. Apparently very inexpensive. Any thoughts there as to who this company might be? If not, any other thoughts as to how to reach this group that would be interested in an audio Cliff Notes program?” — Hugh V. Penton, Sr., Chairman, Penton Overseas

John's Answer

For the audio, I'd recommend that you also create MP3 versions for downloading since college students are really into downloading music, etc. That would get you more exposure into the marketplace. [They are doing this as well, but I wanted to include this part of the answer because I believe that MP3 versions of books could become big sellers as students and other young people begin downloading more and more things to their MP3 players.]

You might also try some of these services that market to college students (note that I haven't checked out these resources recently):

TMS Campus: College (aka College Press Exchange), 435 N. Michigan Avenue #1400, Chicago, IL 60611-4066; Editorial: 312-222-5964; 800-245-6536; Fax: 312-222-3459. Formerly known as College Press Service. Marco Buscaglia, Editor. Email: mbuscaglia@tribune.com. Web: http://www.tmscampus.com.

American Collegiate Marketing, 4440 S. Hagadorn Road, Okemos, MI 48864-2414; 517-336-1600; 800-444-4226; Fax: 517-336-1625.

Campus Dimensions, 1717 Arch Street, 33rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103; 800-592-2121; Fax: 215-568-1701.

360 Youth, 10 Abeel Road, Cranbury, NJ 08512; 609-655-8990; 800-888-8108; Fax: 609-395-0737. Email: events@ampagency.com. Web: http://www.360youth.com. MarketSource, Cass Communications, YouthStream Media, and Market Place Media have all been incorporated into 360 Youth, a division of Alloy which targets young adults, the military, and multicultural markets.

American Campus Company; 757-624-8448. Email: brianfacc@aol.com. On-campus poster campaigns for 3,200 campuses.

Campus Party, 201 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia PA 19123; 215-320-1810. Email: info@campusclients.com. Web: http://www.CampusClients.com. A national college media broker with the ability to market products and services to 15 million students at 3,500 colleges.

The College Kit, The Gigunda Group, 540 N. Commercial Street, Manchester, NH 03101; 603-314-5000; Fax: 602-314-5001. Web: http://www.collegekit.com or http://www.gigundagroup.com. Campus event marketing, co-op sampling programs, product sampling, custom promotions.


Question: Getting Rid of Leftover Books

“In 1999 I wrote a book of poetry titled Straight from the Heart. It includes 100 inspirational poems and 25 ways to help one feel good about oneself. I have over 700 books stored in my garage. I have been searching for an affordable means to sell my books. I am open to placing them in a bookstore on a contingency basis and or selling then out right. Any information that you can provide to me in this regards, I would greatly appreciate it.” — Margaret Lucas

John's Answer

You can sell them direct to readers by doing local readings and by generating an effective local promotional campaign. But, if you simply want to get rid of the books at this point, you have several options:

1. Sell the lot of them to a remainder dealer. For a list, see the end of this web page: http://www.bookmarket.com/19.htm.

2. eBay them. You can offer individual copies or the entire lot for sell on eBay or a similar auction site.

3. Donate them. Following the list of remainder dealers on my web site, you'll see a list of places where you can donate books.

4. Offer them as giveaways for your local PBS station's fundraising efforts. Or you can offer them to other associations that are doing fundraising. These deals could be a straight donation for a tax deduction or a bulk sale at a very low price.


Question: Selling Books in Mall Kiosks

“I would like to know if you have ever heard of a children's book publisher selling a single title children's book at a kiosk in a mall?”

John's Answer

No, I have not heard of that. But I have heard of publishers selling a line of books in a kiosk, although I don't know how well they did with it. With the right book, it might pay off, but I doubt it. You would need a lot of sales to justify the cost of the kiosk plus the cost of your time being there to sell the books.

Still, renting a kiosk for a month and selling direct to consumers might be a good way to meet people and discover what gets them to buy your book. If you're a really good salesperson, you might actually make money as well.


Copyright © 2013 by bestseller marketing expert John Kremer
Email: JohnKremer@bookmarket.com

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