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Selling Your Book: Part One

Three Undeniable Truths about Selling Books

It is one thing to advise authors on how to promote and sell their book, but it is an entirely different thing to do it for yourself. Over the course of my publishing career, I have handled literally thousands of titles. Sometimes I dive into the trenches and become deeply involved in packaging, printing, sales and marketing and at other times, I play a peripheral role. Let me share three undeniable truths that I tend to live by when dealing with someone else’s book.  

No one can predict how well a book will sell. Very wealthy authors have spent millions promoting their title with little to show for it in the end. People with a strong personal brand will always have an advantage, but even fame can sometimes disappoint when it comes to book sales.

The public is usually indifferent to your book. What may be important to you just may not mean very much to the rest of the population. It is up to the author to persuade the public to care. Writing a book may primarily engage the intellect, but selling is all about heart. You really do want people to care, almost as much as you do; authentic passion about your book will open all kinds of doors. An important corollary to this is finding the best way to communicate your passion to the wider world.

Little details are important. The book jacket should catch the eye. The text should be attractive and easy to read. And the publishing team should be well informed and committed. While it is your vision and ability that was of greatest importance in the beginning, it is the quality and commitment of your team that will carry you toward the finish line.