The first time someone suggested I give away my books I was repelled! Why would I give my books away? They are the stability in my income and if I were to give them away, what would happen to my income?
Well, it seems like the more books I gave away, the more I sold! Who would have thought it could be that easy?
The first thing I did was to leave a book on every chair at an event I was speaking at in San Jose. The event organizer didn’t mind, but occasionally they might object. I explain to those who aren’t comfortable with this concept, I will be referring to sections of the book during my presentation and the audience will be more comfortable following along.
I make sure I refer to the book often during my presentation, but in a way that is helpful to the audience.
“When you turn to page 76 and notice how I’ve made a list of all the ways you can engage your audience easier, you’ll notice there are simple steps to make sure you are keeping their attention. My favorite is where I ask a member of the audience a question, especially if they look like they aren’t engaged.”
Then I’ll ask someone in the audience a question and it will usually get a good laugh from the other attendees. But I always make the question non-threatening. I never want to alienate anyone by trying to prove a point.
The results are amazing. The first time I did this, about half the attendees purchased the book. Not bad for any speaker, but what surprised me was not one book walked away unaccounted for. I did make a point of mentioning I had been asked by the organizer to offer the book at a special rate and gave them a 25% discount which made it clear to them it was for sale and not free just because it was on their chair. It was a fairly small audience but even with the discount it added another $500 profit to my day!
Up until this point I had an average sales volume of 25 to 30%, so by making the book more accessible they were able to see first hand the value of having the book to take home.
I interviewed an author who also has an author support website and she told me how she recommends the clients she works with give away five to ten books. The average results are they sell a minimum of twice as many as they give away and often do even better than that.
Now that electronic books are on the scene, everyone is promoting free copies of their books electronically. Once the formatting is done, there is no cost to producing them at all. The trick is however to only give away a portion of the book, such as the first three chapters not the whole manuscript. One author gave away the first three odd chapters so the readers had more of a reason to want to know what was in between those chapters.
This seems to be the latest craze in getting new readers, more followers to your website and re-engaging people who you have had in your database. You won’t always want to embrace current trends, but this one seems to be very effective in getting authors what they want, more books sold.
One of benefits of placing your book on Amazon is they will promote your electronic book for you. They will often even purchase pay-per-click advertisements for you to help you get more traffic, especially when they see you are building a following.
That’s where the work comes in for you. You must engage all of your social media resources and then some. If you’re not comfortable in doing campaigns, hire a virtual assistant team to make sure it’s done well. You don’t want to skimp when it comes to promotions and this usually means more time than funding. But if you engage a VA team you will realize the level of success you are driving for.
In today’s ever changing world, it is important to keep up with technology and trends and even more important to recognize when you need outside help. So jump in with both feet and create step-by-step written plans to help guide you for future launches. I find I forget what it was I did six months prior, especially if it’s a one off task.
The results will surprise you and you’ll end up with one more book sales path under your belt!