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END Book Promotion Myth -- The Best Place to Sell Books is a Book Store
Judy Cullins
2001

When most people think of buying books they think of bookstores. Marketing guru, John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book says "I'm glad I don't rely on retail "brick and mortar" bookstore sales for my income, but it will be nice to add that icing on the cake into my cash flow again."

In the past three years, John has sold 45,000 copies of his book, many from non-traditional marketing strategies; his web site, his eMagazine which offers tips, products and seminars, specialty stores, foreign markets, libraries, and back of the room sales. Because he is a recognized name, he and other bestsellers by famous authors get a lot of shelf space in the bookstore--cover side out. For your lesser-known book, only your spine will show and after three months of initial placement, your book will fade away unless you put on your promotion hat to get customers to the store.

In one book coaching session, a new client thought he wanted to sell to the bookstores. I asked him who was his particular audience. He said business people. What kind of business people? Do these people go to the "brick and mortar" bookstore for a business book? Or, will they be more likely to visit a particular business Web site for specific kinds of business books?

DID YOU KNOW?
*Seventy percent of US adults haven't been in a bookstore for the last 5 years.
*Bookstores sell only 45% of all books sold.
*Bookstores return non-sold books to the author-think of the Starbucks people dripping their coffee and scone on your book. The author will get those returns.
*Bookstores will take 90 days, even a year to pay you for your total book sales.
*Bookstores only order two or three copies at a time because of limited shelf space.
*Bookstores buy only from a distributor or wholesaler.

Why the big push to get a wholesale or distributor and get into the bookstore? These people represent so many other authors; don't you wonder how much attention your book will receive? They exact healthy fees, around 55%. That leaves a small profit for the author, and remember, bookstores, distributors and wholesalers don't promote your book!

After her distributor went belly up and she lost $160,000, one author said she would rather have more control over her priceless products. She distributes them all herself now through various venues that suit her personality.

Authors spend a lot of time and money chasing the improbable, when the "golden egg" of self-publishing and self-promotion is right in front of them. In my opinion, I'd sell my books everywhere except the bookstore!

Judy Cullins: author, publisher, book coach
Email: [email protected]

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