You want to write a book – a very exciting and challenging undertaking. Good for you. You have a great book idea – an idea that you believe needs to be in print. You believe that other people have an interest in what you have to say. You believe that many people will buy your book, and if you do the job of writing correctly, many people WILL buy your book.
It is your dream to have your book in every bookstore in the country, perhaps even in several countries. But wait, have you planned beyond bookstore sales? Many authors are unaware that there are many markets for books beyond the bookstores. The bookstores may be your first market, but there are many other “hidden” markets, and here are some key book marketing tips to help you tap into those markets.
It is likely that the first market that will come to mind is traditional book stores, and of course they can be a vital part of your sales. Do your research in getting to know your competition on the book store shelves, i.e., look at the other books that have been written in your genre. What writing style is most appealing to a wide audience? Is there a gap in the information provided in the other books? Are there problems that have not been addressed? Find the needs and fill them. When you are satisfied with the information that you are providing, think about what will attract the book store buyers. They will want to know about your planned publicity campaign. If you want people to buy your book in book stores, you are responsible for letting people know that your book is available, thereby driving buyers to the stores.
Besides book stores, books are purchased in the nontraditional book market by display retailers, book clubs, catalogs, gift retailers, volume buyers (think Costco and Price Club), corporations, foundations and foreign markets. These markets are considered “hidden” because they exist outside the usual bookstore market, yet they account for many millions of dollars each year in book sales. In fact, we sell thousands of books to buyers like these every year (for more about our Book Marketing tips and secrets click here: Book Marketing Tips). These markets, however, do not buy any and every book. They are looking for books that appeal to their customers.
If you are planning to sell your book primarily from a website to a specific type of buyer, someone who is searching the internet for answers to a concern or problem, you can be as specific as you like. The general public, again in this instance, is not your market – you already have enough buyers to make you very successful.
So, before you begin the writing process, make an outline of your book. Then, look at your list of potential buyers. Have you filled their needs? If not, can you add information or chapters to your book that will increase the likelihood of sales to those buyers? If you want to sell thousands of books, think about the end user of your book and write for them, not for yourself. That is the ultimate book marketing tip. See you on the bestseller list!