To Sell Books – Use Strategy, Not Tactics

Whether you’ve completed your book or you’re still writing, it’s important to develop a book promotion strategy. All book proposals should include this crucial element—and it’s often one of the most important sections of the proposal to many agents and publishers.

If you attempt to take the advice of most internet gurus you’ll drive yourself crazy. Recently, a client of mine who’s still working on her book took some classes in preparation to grow her business and also develop a platform for her book.

She spent thousands of dollars on these classes, but found little result for all the time she put in. This is someone who sold a very successful business so she could work short weeks and take off a week every month to enjoy life—and that worked well until recently. She didn’t want to spend 60 hours a week tweeting or on facebook.

And it’s not just social marketing classes that can require Wall Street hours with [often, not always] little results. I have a client who took a course on being your own internet radio host—a great strategy for some people – but for her it didn’t pay off because she never created her radio show. Such programs are often sold as the way you will sell your book, but really they are just one tactic…and maybe not the best one for you.

So, how do you figure out what’s right for you? First you get clear on your goals. Do you want to reach the masses or did you write your book to help you get high quality speaking engagements or attract ideal clients? If these are your goals, concentrate your efforts on those people you most want to reach for your primary goal. Where do they hang out, both online and offline? Who knows them? How can you best get your books into their hands?

For one client, I am suggesting he give away free books to CEOs. If he sells his program to one company, the investment pays for itself. But he needs to follow up those book giveaways with phone calls (from a seasoned sales person, or with an excellent script). I also want him to speak in front of small to mid-size business owners and CEOs. Social marketing can support that strategy, but social marketing is not a strategy in itself: it’s a tactic.

Also, ask yourself what you enjoy doing…speaking? Reading blogs? Networking virtually? Interviewing people? You may need to do some activities not on your preferred list, but start with your strengths and play them up. Most importantly, make it fun. If you enjoy it, you’ll stick with it and you’ll attract more success with your magnetic attitude.