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Return to Articles about Copywriting

Distribute Your Self-Published Book - Part 1

by: Judy Cullins

Judy Cullins ©2005 All Rights Reserved.

Where is your book now? With a distributor? In a book store? Or, did it already die an early death after a few months?

New self-published authors often believe they need a distributor to sell a lot of books. They want to use Ingram or Baker & Taylor because they think they need to get their book into the "brick and mortar" bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

Authors go through many hoops and snags to accomplish this--what I call the "traditional publishing nightmare" of inefficiency and lack of support for authors. Usually the author only gets around 15% royalties. So many hoops, some give up. So many authors I speak with have gone this route still have hundreds, even thousands of unsold copies littering up storage space. Talk about discouragement.

Distributors Can be Dangerous to Your Book's Health and Your Wallet

One author wrote, illustrated, and marketed six beautiful children's books. Her books were well received and reviewed. For some time, the profits rolled in until her distributor went bankrupt, owing her $160,000. After she stopped crying, she decided to take her books on the road óto local fairs and talks where she could keep all the profits.

Distributors take quite a chunk of money from the author's profits too. They charge the author for storage, and when books are returned, the author loses those sales, and has to pay the distributor too. Authors lose from the bookstores because they pay late or are unreliable. Some authors wait way beyond 90 days. In fact, many just don't get paid. Writers are not always good at collections either. These middlemen not only take most
of the author's profits, they cause much stress too.

How Can Self-Published Authors Distribute?

Self-published books include: print books (perfect bound, comb bound, print on demand or print quantity needed, or stapled), eBooks, printable eDocuments sent over Email through Word, or eBooks, the electronic version only to be read via computers.

Local Distribution.

For each venue, make sure to include ordering information such as your Web site URL, company address, toll-free 800 number, local phone number, and an order page to fill out for fax or phone orders.

1.Distribute through the Press.

-Create a "Power Press Release" (include tips or how-to's)
-Get a Feature Story from the Media
-Write a how-to article and submit

2. Distribute through a local Radio and TV Talk Show as a guest speaker. Give your own teleclass, or guest speak for another person's teleclasses.

In just a phone call away you can reach 100's of people interested in your book's topic. Teleclasses are for anyone, conveniently heard at your home office--with email backup.
Guests call a pre-arranged conference number and participate as you would in any seminar. In addition to specific tips given on the call, to get people to sign up for my ezine or visit my Web site, I give each a bonus report related to the topic. The host may email these out for you.

Next time you visit a Web site that offers information you need, check out the links for teleclasses.

When a guest speaker with other experts related to my fields, my books sales go way up as well as new clients increasing three-fold. These sales make up over half my income.

Getting on radio talk shows helps authors sell books. Be sure to give the producer a list of questions to ask you, copies of your book for the staff, and agreement you can mention you Web site or other URL where your books are sold.

3. Distribute at local talks to groups. Sell your print books at the back of the room. Take a clipboard and capture everyone's email at the talk. These people become your dedicated sales force and tell others. Word of mouth takes up to one or two years, so be patient for results. Check your library for Clubs who need speakers.

Develop a two-sided flyer with testimonials, your book cover, excerpts, and an ordering coupon. Take books and flyers with you everywhere. Offer to all you meet, even your dentist!

If you are discouraged because traditional methods of book or product distribution havenít brought you the profits you wanted, think Internet distribution. This Online promotion method is good for the long haul and costs you little time or money. With Online distribution self-published authors or Web site businesses get to keep all the money.

Whether you have a Print on Demand (POD) book, traditionally printed book, or an eBook (eDocument), you can become your own distributor these Online ways:

1. Distribute through two-step email promotion campaigns.

You don't need a Web site to sell books. Benefit from the easy and preferred way to buy books-- email. They number more than three trillion today.

First Step: Send a freebie to your different email lists. Think of your email groups--customers, clients, ezine subscribers, ePublishers, teleclass groups, and networkers. Offer to give them a free answer to one question. Offer a free "Special Report," or an excerpt from your book. These give your Online relationship a good start, because increased sales come from trust developed during relationship marketing more than anything else.

Second Step: Follow up with your book sales letter. Each sales message includes: headline to capture attention, background of problem, where the potential buyer wants to be, benefits and features of how to get there. Add testimonials and be sure they are credible and sincere.

Be sure to ask for the sale and include several easy ways to buy: toll free number, fax or mail by an order form placed at the end of the sales letter, or if you have a Web site, a link to where they can buy with a secure provider.

I encourage you to try this kind, gentle, and easy way to get your print or eBook into your audience's hand.

Part two is available at article-70@bookcoaching.com.

About the author:

Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Author of 10 eBooks including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast, Ten Non-Techie Ways to Market Your Book Online, The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Your Targeted Web Traffic, and Power Writing for Web Sites That Sell, she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, "The BookCoach Says...," "Business Tip of the Month," blog Q & A at http://www.bookcoaching.com/opt-in.shtmland over 170 free articles.
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Email her at Judy@bookcoaching.com
Phone: 619/466-0622 -- Orders: 866/200-9743




 

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