Why Give Your Books Away for Free?
There are two general worlds in which we market books. The first is through bookstores and the second is to non-bookstore buyers. In both cases, you can increase your sales by giving your books away in limited quantities.
In the familiar world of trade sales, publishers know that they must give books to reviewers and as samples to get on television and radio shows. This type of exposure exists in the world of non-traditional sales, too, but there are additional reasons to consider giving books away in special markets as an investment in future revenue.
One example is to get exposure through blogs. Rather than start your own blog, find one that already exists on your topic -- one with a large following -- and send the blog owner a copy of your book to review.
Another technique is to send a book to the newsletter editors at associations aligned with your topic. Allow them to excerpt from your book periodically, with attribution to you as the author of the content. While on the associations' websites, send a free copy to the membership chairpeople. Their job is to increase membership, and they could give people a copy of your book as a "thank you" for joining or renewing their membership.
If you are a speaker, send a copy to an association's meeting planner with a proposal to hire you to speak at their next conference. Similarly, if you are a consultant, give your book away to prospective clients. In this way, your book becomes an expensive brochure that could generate consulting fees far greater than the cost of your book.
Corporations could use your book to help them sell more of their products. Send a copy to the appropriate marketing manager or sales manager with your proposal for using your book as a premium, advertising specialty, or self-liquidator. Give Human Resource Managers a copy, too. They may be able to use your content to help educate, train, or motivate employees.
Invest in your future by giving books away now. But only do so with the expectation that you will be repaid with additional revenue over the long haul.
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."