The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes said, “Of making many books there is no end”(Eccl. 12:12).
“Making them” is the first part of the creative writing journey. Selling, marketing and distributing your books is a major obstacle course, but it can be done with some planning, lots of prayer and much perseverance.
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The only way to get people to buy your books is to make them aware they are available. Internet Marketing is a vast subject, but well worth researching because there are literally millions of buyers online at any one time.
The best way to learn how to succeed online is to learn from the experts. Patience, discipline and perseverance are the keys to succeeding online.
- Identity your readers. Are they young, old, rich, poor, educated, urban, rural, Christian?
- Locate your readers. Where do they congregate, shop, worship? What magazines, newspapers, literature do they read? What radio programmes do they listen to? Where will you find them on the internet? Are they computer-literate?
- Concentrate on these areas as you consider the best way to promote your book.
When setting the retail price, it is important to take into consideration that bookshops normally require 35-40% discount, after which they add VAT. They do not take kindly to being undercut by the author.
Preparation of advertising material
- Catalogues – print in colour for distribution to bookshops.
- Extra cover copies – to use as advertisements, especially for bookshops. Keep in mind marketing agents do not carry loads of books into the bookshops, but sell from covers.
- Quick order forms.
- Collect testimonials and endorsements.
- Christian bookshops.
- General bookshops.
- Specialty stores
- Online bookstores (internet)
- Non-traditional markets (places you don’t normally find books)
- Offer incentives
- Consignment stock
- Ask your friends to purchase their books from your outlets
Bookshops make books available, but rarely promote them.
- Internet marketing.
- Web presence
- Email lists, newsletters and ezines
- Email to personal friends and contacts
- Social sites, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Press Releases
- Newspapers and magazines
- Local suburban papers
- Radio and TV advertising and interviews
- Book Reviews
- Pre-Publication promotions
- Special offers
- Send review copies to magazines
- Write magazine articles on topic of your book
- Postal mailshots
- Postcards – for “snail mail”