Best sellers that aren’t on any list

Dec 19, 2013 | Profit

Some of the world’s bestselling books aren’t on any “best seller” list and aren’t ranked on Amazon. All they are is profitable.

In the early 1970s a trade magazine publishing house started selling a book I wrote for them through their magazines and direct mail. They sold that book for thirty years.

If you think that all the “best sellers” in the world appear on official lists or are ranked on Amazon, think again. Many books are sold directly through the mail and the web and sell well for years. When companies engage a keynote speaker, they often buy hundreds of that speaker’s books. Books that fill a need in a niche market can sell profitably for years with very little marketing.

If you’re writing a business book, think about whether you can make direct sales. Your odds go up if you write for an audience that self-identifies and that you can reach directly.

If companies or associations hire you to give speeches or training, think about bulk sales. Very often you can sell hundreds of books that way. And organizations often put book sales in a separate budget category from speeches or meetings. Some have event books stores that will be happy to sell lots and lots of your books.

If you’re writing a business book that fills a need in a specific niche make sure that you keep your book available for sale. You won’t have to do much promotion, just remind people that it’s available and fills a need, and then make it easy to buy. I call these “eternal sellers” because they can give you a revenue stream for decades.

Bottom Line

When you think through your book’s marketing plan, consider bulk sales, direct sales, and eternal sales. They can give you a profitable best seller that’s not on any list.