Did you read my article last month about tips on how to sell your book using Print On Demand? It was filled with tips and also my experience using this method. You can read the full article here.
As a continuation to last month’s article, today I will be talking about how to sell your book via eBook and commercial distribution.
The main eBook sellers are Amazon kindle, Barnes and noble and itunes. You can set up files directly to each of these platforms or utilise your account through IngramSpark who service all three of these retailers. They do require that you have your files in epub format.
Amazon kindle has a KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform that you can easily manage. The format to upload to this platform is word and for your children’s books you can use their kids book creator as it turns your files easily into .mobi files. It is easy to manage offers and there is a helpful pricing setting section in the setup process. Sales are easy to monitor on your account also so you can gauge what campaigns are most effective in achieving sales.
The key to achieving sales in eBooks is to have your book not too highly priced, have effective keywords in place and encourage readers to review your book. Be proactive in promoting your eBook. There are lots of ebook readers in the world and you need to make your eBook stand out amongst the crowd and make that reader press buy.
You can now set your eBook up on pre-order also so that you don’t miss out on presales in anticipation of a launch and it will be delivered to your customers reading device on release day.
Achieving best seller status is highly achievable in eBook. This often happens through a promotional discount period and when partnered with influencers in your genre or a widely anticipated launch. It is important that your book is categorised for success also so take some time in placing your book in the right category during set up.
The cover is a major selling point so if you are not a savvy cover designer it is best to invest in this as it is important in making your book visually appealing to your customer.
Give to receive.
When you are marketing your book in anticipation for its launch it is most definitely worth compiling a list of influencers to gift your book to. In the publishing world these books are called ARC’s (Advanced Reading Copy) and are important as interest is instigated before release. If you can connect with them and try to have them agree to read your book before you send it. If the right person promotes your book at the right time, magic happens.
Many of our individual sales waves come when someone with a large social media presence promotes your book through a review.
We are all big thinkers here so let’s start thinking bulk orders and a have a more commercial mindset.
If you have a big social media following or a very strong partnership with an influencer who is willing to promote your book, focusing energy into a big pre order campaign is the way to go. This way you will have secured enough sales to make bulk print viable and you are cutting out a lot of middle men in the process. The reality is that there is a lot of work in processing orders so that is something to be mindful of.
Focusing energy in targeting a bulk order from a business that is interested in your genre of book is also a very smart move. I have seen many authors successfully secure contracts to supply bulk orders for their titles. Again, you would mould your pitch to suit the business you are approaching.
Bulk sales are a great way to achieving Best Selling order status. This is a great accolade to have when hosting events and public speaking appearances which in turn are also great opportunities to capitalise on sales. Readers love to meet the author and have their book personally signed or alternatively you could have them pre-signed and for sales throughout the event without having to be there.
This leads me onto the option of a book tour. If your book is commercial enough it is worth considering a book tour. This can be a costly exercise and often authors team up and visit a few major cities where readers will come to meet and greet. It is also an investment in yourself if you are hoping to publish books future books and create a following. Readers love to know their author.
Finding the right distributor for you can be challenging but it is not impossible. Distributors want to sell books, that’s how they make an income. Get yourself best prepared to be accepted by having a strong marketing campaign in place. Ensure that your book is the best quality you can at minimal cost to you ensuring that you can capitalise on this. Think like a publisher!
It is important to note that return per book is not much when supplying to distributors, sometimes as low as 30% of RRP. But the capacity to sell books is dramatically increased so it is up to you to determine if you are prepared to take a risk.
Woodslane is an approachable distribution company based in Sydney. You can register with them and have your book stocked in their warehouse. You can stock 100 copies or 1000 depending on how big your marketing campaign will be. I talked with an inside contact who informed me that you can expect to typically sell 200 books with a small marketing campaign and 1200 or more with a national campaign. It is also good to know that they have Big W on their portfolio.
New South books are another big distributor for publishing houses but are closed to taking on new accounts at present. Their distribution house is TL distribution so it may be worth pursuing an account with them.
There are lots of different ways to sell your book. I suggest that you find the right blend for you. Take some time to sit down and work out exactly what is the right blend for your book. I will go more in-depth on this subject when I am facilitating the Ausmumpreneur online challenge in August.
A few tips to sales success
1. Do your research.
2. Relevant marketing, marketing and more marketing.
3. Find out who the big publishing houses use to distribute in your genre and contact them directly.
4. Pursue the big sales opportunities. That can be single wave of sales of bulk sales.
5. Keep building your brand.
I do wish for high sales volumes for us all. We all have so much to share with each other and a book filled with priceless, precious information is a minimal investment with high potential for each reader. This should not be undervalued, it should be treasured.
There is enough room for multiple best-selling books in this world so let’s not compete with each other, I suggest that we elevate each other. Some of the best-selling romance authors that I know all support each other, they have an amazing tribe of followers who are keen to discover a new amazing talent.
This year I am delighted to be a part of the SPN (Small Press Network) distribution subcommittee. This proactive group of small publishers have banded together to make a positive difference in getting books onto store shelves and increase sales for the smaller publishers. Watch this space.
I do hope that you have enjoyed what I have to share with you about selling your book.
To your book selling success!
About our Ausmumpreneur Expert :
Karen is founder of Serenity Press, a boutique publishing press based in Perth, WA that services clients with their established global distribution link. She is passionate that a publishing experience should be a positive one and likes to manage things at a personal level with her amazing team. 2015 was a big year for Serenity Press and 2016 is going to be amazing. Karen would love for you to join Serenity Press on their journey as they grow from strength to strength bringing amazing books to the world. Everyone has a story within themselves that deserves to be told.