16 Tips for Selling Your Books to Businesses
Retailers such as bookstores, supermarkets and discount stores buy books on a returnable basis. Publishers can avoid this profit-draining industry policy by selling books in large, non-returnable quantities to business buyers.
Success in this sales environment, however, requires a modified approach. With a little creative thinking you can find ways to help business buyers use your books to reach their goals. A bank might give a book about getting a college loan to parents of graduating high-school seniors. Kellogg's currently has a promotion with Scholastic in which a consumer who buys two boxes of its cereal gets a coupon for $5 off a Scholastic book. Here are some tips to help you think outside the box, and sell more of your books, without returns, to business buyers.
1. Know how they will use your book. Businesses do not sell books off the shelf; they use them as marketing tools to stimulate demand for their products. They might use your books as gifts to customers, as a prize or patronage award, or to train and motivate employees.
2. Focus on content. Business buyers do not purchase books to resell. They are swayed less by packaging than by how the information in your book can help them sell more products or services.
3. Re-purpose your content. Sell your existing content to different buyers. How do you find these buyers? Ask yourself questions such as, "Who else could use the information in my job-search books?" (Target high-school students, state governments or prison libraries.) "Who could use this content in generally overlooked segments?" (Translate your content for Latino readers.) "Who could act as a decision influencer?" (Consider parents of college students.)
4. Stop selling your books and start selling your content … in the form desired by buyers. Think of yourself as a consultant. Find out how the people in your target audience need your information. Do they want it in a book, booklet, three-ring binder, DVD, audio book or e-book? You may find it difficult to sell a job-search book to frugal college students, so re-publish your content as booklets and sell them to the colleges, who can give them to the students.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."