Success Stories:
Selling Direct to Consumers
Face to Face

Selling Books on the Street Corner

Michael Murphy, author and publisher of Powerful Attitudes, has taken to heart a recommendation that I made in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books: Get out onto the street and sell your book! Here's his story:

I thought you might find this humorous and/or intriguing. I self-published a book in August called Powerful Attitudes. I've got some heavy-duty guys who have promised to promote me. However, these aren't going to come about until after the first of the year.

So, in the meantime, I've been standing on the street in Dallas, Texas (60 miles from my home) and selling my book. I sold 55 one day last week. Today, Sunday, I sold 123 books. Not a bad day for a guy standing on the street corner.

In addition, a local news network affiliate called me and asked me when I was going to be out there again. They apparently want to do a story on me.

I had two signs (20" x 24") made up. I attached them to a 6 ft. long stick with Velcro (so I could get them in my car). One is the cover of my book and the other says, Buy My Book, Only $15.

I even had two ladies go to the local convenience store and buy a disposable camera. They came back and wanted their picture made with me. It was hilarious!

Share Your Book

“First, I'd like to say thank you for sharing your information at BEA. As painful as it was, I appreciated your comments. I'm enjoying your 1001 Ways book immensely. In fact, I was sitting at Starbucks yesterday while my daughter was at a nearby birthday party. I read your book while I was sipping on my coffee.

“You said that we should always HAND someone our book when they inquire about it. A few minutes later a gentleman asked me why I was reading about marketing a book, so I grabbed my book, Personality Insights for Moms, out of my bag and HANDED it to him (as you prompted). Guess what? He loved it and bought it for his daughter (to help her with his grandchildren). How cool! You helped make that sale possible!” — Susan Crook, author, Susan Crook Communications

Autographs and Business Cards

I receive your tips newsletter and I have 2 tips for you if you want to use them.

Send Your Autograph

People all over the county buy my book and I can't be at every bookstore to sign their copy. So instead, I offer my guests on who have purchased my book an autograph. I have small note cards with the cover of my book printed on the front. I sign a message to them on the inside along with my autograph. Then they can keep it with their book. It's another chance for me to get my name in front of them. When Christmas or other special occasions come around, they may consider purchasing a copy for a friend or relative along with a special note just for them.

Everyone Wants Something for Nothing

Magnetic business cards are an inexpensive way to get your name and website out there. You can mail them to your guests. Look at your refrigerator: It's loaded with business card magnets. Because they are useful, you never throw them away. Before ordering your magnets, take a look at your refrigerator, which magnets stick out the most? This will help you decide what yours should look like.

You can send a free magnet to anyone who signs up for your newsletter, signs in on your website, sends you an email or a self-addressed stamped envelope. Because these people are already interested, you can collect the emails or addresses for future mailings.

At I offer my guests a bookmark and magnet if they send a self-addressed stamped business envelope. My magnet will be in front of them and their friends for many years. And it’s fun to see how far away the requests come from.

— L.A. Hunter, author of Romeo’s Playbook: A Man’s Guide for Enhancing His Relationship and Sex Life

“Just wanted you to know that one of the many reasons that I have sold thousands of books, and will continue to do so is because of power-packed info that you send out to authors. This e-mail alone has given me at least four new ideas to get my books into even more hands.” — Kevin Wayne Johnson, Writing for the Lord Ministries.

Take Time to Talk to People

“I believe that I read on your blog about a woman named Allyn Roberts who has a book: Queen Power. I connected with her and she did an interview with me for her ezine. It's amazing what can happen when you take the time to contact people. After all, despite all our superhuman activities, we are all just human beings.” — Jill Nussinow, The Vegie Queen; author of The Vegetarian Connection. Email:

John's Comments: In most cases, that's all you have to do. Make contact. Stop putting off making important contacts. Call them up. Email them. Do something.

I like her trademarked title, The Vegie Queen. We can all be kings or queens of something. You may call me the Book Marketing King. Mmm, or maybe The Emperor of Book Marketing. Or the Duke of Do-Do. :))

Promote Your Book: Do It Every Day

If you want to sell more books, there is one basic principle that is essential: Do something every day for every book you love. Call someone. Write a letter. Create Internet links. Update your web site. Write a related blog. Give a talk. Dance a jig.

Okay, maybe the last action won't do much for your book, but it will help you get into action. So, perhaps start by dancing a jig. Then do three to five things every day to market your book. Be consistent. Don't take a day off. If you make three contacts a day, real living breathing contacts, you'll make more than a 1,000 contacts in a year. If you sell your books to those contacts, if your pitch is right and strong, you will get noticed. You will sell books.

The mistake most authors and publishers make is that they spend two to six weeks marketing a book and then wait to see what happens. Well, I can tell you what will happen. Not much. Not if you don't continue taking action every day.

Do it today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Copyright © 2010 by self-publishing expert John Kremer

Open Horizons, P O Box 2887, Taos NM 87571