Sell Your Book

Plan The Marketing Strategy For Your Book

Now that you have reached the end of the arduous process of writing your book, it is still no time to rush getting your work on bookshelves. In fact, effectively marketing your book for a successful sales period requires just as much effort and time as any other step during your self-publishing journey.

While the extra hours may test your patience, following the infographic below from The Write One Blog will help you successfully market your book.

Book Marketing Timeline

The Science and Art of Pricing Your Book - Part 2

By Karen Hodges Miller

One of the primary reasons I suggest authors develop a public speaking program is the direct sales that can be generated from attendees at the back of the room.  The upside is that such sales earn the author the greatest return per book. The downside is the limited number of people who can be reached directly. It therefore makes great sense to have a variety of methods to enable people to buy your book.


Most book publishers have a book royalty system set up for books  that they sell for you. These royalties  can vary greatly from publisher to publisher. Although the percent royalty may appear small when compared to direct selling, when comparing it's important to consider the printing, shipping, storage and processing cost you no longer would incur.

Wholesale Pricing

Bookstores must buy your book at a wholesale price in order to make money. The problem for many small publishers and individual authors is that bookstores want wholesale prices (40% discounts or more) when they may only be purchasing a dozen or so of your books at a time. Producing small quantities of books makes it more difficult to provide wholesale discounts to these book sellers.

Realizing a smaller profit from wholesale pricing may appear to be poor strategy. However, also consider would you have made these sales without the bookstore? While the profit may be small, it may still be worth it from a credibility and public relations point of view.


It is a tradition in the book industry that books are returnable. This means that bookstores are essentially selling on contingency. For this reason, it is important to read sales agreements carefully. Are you selling on contingency or consignment? For how many months can a buyer return books? Working with bookstores and other retailers can be an excellent way to increase your market reach. Be sure, however, to evaluate how returns can impact the pricing of your book.


Writing a book can increase your credibility and visibility. It can bring you clients for your business and recognition for you. If you look at your book as a marketing tool, breaking even or getting a small profit may be acceptable. If your goals include some of these intangibles, then they also need to be considered when pricing your book.

 [This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]

The Science and Art of Pricing Your Book - Part 1

By Karen Hodges Miller

It has been said that pricing a book is both a science and an art. And to many authors, it can be a daunting challenge. Price too high - no one will buy it. Price too low - you make no money. Here are some tips that might help you when it comes to pricing your book.

Cost vs. Profit

When thinking of cost, there are a number of items to consider - things like editing, cover design, proofreading and printing, just to name a few. These are all fixed costs. Add these numbers up and divide by the number of books you expect to sell. Your answer is a break-even sell price for your book. Your profit will then be based on how much over the break-even you price your book.

But there are other costs to consider. 

If you are selling your books directly, you'll have additional cost such as packing materials, shipping cost and the time it takes to package and ship.

One way to get around direct shipping and handling costs is to use a printer who also offers storage and shipping services. There will be a cost for this service, but the convenience factor may make it worthwhile to look into these services.

A book distribution service that warehouses you books and ships them out when ordered is another alternative. Because there is a cost associated with this service, you'll need to determine how many books you must sell through this distributor to make it affordable.

Market Research

Before you decide on the final price of your book, do a little research. Head to the nearest bookstore and find a shelf with books in your genre - particularly those that are closest in size and type of information to your book. How will your price compare with these books? If you discover the competitive pricing to be between $10 and $15, pricing your book at $19.99 might be a mistake.

There are a number of other factors you need to consider when pricing your book. In Part 2, we'll look at direct sales, royalties, wholesale pricing and returns, and the impact they can have on pricing.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]


Some Important Steps to Take Before You Launch Your Book

By Karen Hodges Miller

If you are planning to sell your book, how you launch it becomes critically important. Here are some ideas you should think about prior to your launch.

1. Plan to have your books arrive about one month before your official launch date. That will give you time to take care of all the final details for your launch events.

2. Do you have your book listed on a variety of bookselling websites? If not, now is the time to make sure these listings have been uploaded and are correct.

3. You need to write one basic press release about your book. This one release can then be edited slightly for different media and different events.

4. Send out review copies. It is quite possible that the first 50 or so copies of your book are going to be given away. Look over your media list and decide to whom you should send a full media kit, whom to send a copy of your book for review and who just needs a simple press release.

5. Host some events. Book signings, book launch parties, seminars, workshops - you should use all of them to promote your book. Invite business colleagues, referral partners and anyone who helped you with your book, such as an editor or graphic artist. If you are hosting a public event, make sure you send out as many flyers, press releases, email invitations or other types of advertising as you can in order to attract a large crowd.

6. Book reviews are an important marketing tool, and some of the best media to place reviews are blogs. Send bloggers your book and ask if they will review it.

7. Radio hosts love to interview authors. Just as with book reviews, you can find radio shows to fit almost any niche market you can think of - many of which would be suitable for your book and you. 

There are many things you can do prior to your book launch, at the time of launch and after you have launched you book. Proper planning, execution and follow-thru can help make your events successful.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]

How Soon Should You Begin Your Book Promotion?

By Karen Hodges Miller

It doesn't matter whether you are using a traditional publisher or handling it all yourself, the person most responsible for selling your book is you. So, what is most important is you need to be developing your marketing plan before you has received your finished books. Here are some things you can do to jump-start your book marketing efforts.

Develop a book marketing plan. Too many authors run helter-skelter when marketing their books. They start a blog, write for a few weeks, then lose interest and quit writing. They send press releases to media outlets without learning who they should contact or doing any follow-up. They do one workshop, get great feedback but never send out more request to speak to other organizations. Don't fall into these traps. Step number one should be developing a book marketing plan to use as a guide on a go-forward basis.

Get some professional photos made. You really do need at least one well-done professional photograph of yourself. Spend the money, and get a good photograph made - something that you can use in your press kits and on flyers advertising your speaking engagements. A photo can also be used on the back cover of your book.

Put together a media kit. Create something that you can mail out to the media, be sent by email and downloaded from your website. The goal of your media kit should be to make it as easy as possible for the media to write about you.

Create promotional materials. Have your graphic designer make a bookmark, business card and postcard to match your book cover.  Have quantities printed and be ready to hand them out whenever and wherever possible.

Plan for your book launch. The time to start planning your book launch is several months before your publication date. The media will need anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to schedule articles and interviews. Depending upon what you are planning, you may need to find a location and send out invitations. You can also contact local bookstores regarding possible book signings.

And finally, what help do you need? Once you have developed your overall marketing plan, examine each of the elements. Identify what you can do yourself, and what you should hire out to other professionals.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]

How to Develop a List of Book Buying Prospects

by Karen Hodges Miller

Developing a solid list of book buying prospects should be an integral part of your book marketing strategy. Here are four basic ways to create your prospect list.

1. Build an in-house list. The best list is one you personally develop over time, keeping track of clients, people you meet at networking functions, associates you work with and other personal contacts. You may also want to do some research online or at a library and compile lists of contacts from trade journals, business directories and other resources.

2. Speaking engagements and tradeshows. If you are asked to speak before an organization or group, be sure to request and obtain a copy of the attendees. The audience, after all, has made an effort to come out to see you, so you should assume that they are interested in learning more about you, your book and other services you may offer.

3. Join an association. Another way to develop a prospect list is by joining trade associations. Some groups make their membership directories available only to members; others offer them for sale; while still others have their membership lists available for free online. Each can become a valuable resource to you.

4. Purchase a list. If you choose to go this route, make sure you use a list broker who is knowledgeable, helpful and who listens to your needs. You'll find that lists are available for almost every market niche and in every price range.

Whereever your list comes from, it won't help you unless you put it to work. Then follow up with appropriate phone calls, personal emails or e-newsletters.

 [This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]