Books don’t sell books

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The headline in the Detroit Free Press tells of a hope that many have had: “Self-published author aims to make writing pay.” Here’s a summary of the story.

“More and more people are paying to have their words, illustrations and photographs printed, and then they trying to earn their money back — and turn a profit — by selling the books.”

Reality check. Getting a book written is necessary. So is getting it published. But if you want to make money from your books, you better show up prepared to sell.

Books don’t sell books

No matter how good your book is, it will not sell itself. Marketing and sales are business processes, like writing and publishing. After your book is written and published it’s time for sales and marketing.

People sell books

People put your books in places where interested potential readers will find them. People set up the web sites, write the sales copy, and make the calls. Most of the time, most of the work is done by one person, the author – you.

People with sales and marketing plans sell more books

Every time I work with a client on the book project, we talk about marketing. What’s the business plan for your book? How will you sell books? How will your book help you make money in other ways?

People with plans and discipline sell even more

Plans are great and they help, but they don’t sell any books. Only people sell books. You have to have the discipline to follow the plan day after day, every day, long after it’s stopped being fun. And you must have the discipline to analyze your results and change your marketing plan if it’s not working.

If you’re the author, it starts with you

You’ve written the book. You’ve gotten it published. Now it’s time to sell some books. Let the games begin.

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