Are you an author who published your own book but not sure how to sell hundreds or even thousands of your book?
Don’t worry – Honorée Corder told the Medium.com the steps she
took to sell thousands of her own books that she self-published.
First and foremost, in order to sell thousands of copies of your book, you’ll first need to write
your book. Maybe you already have one, and that’s great! But if you’re still trying to brainstorm
what to publish, just start simple and think how you give your best presentation and turn that
into a book.
Honorée recounts the time when Mark Victor Hanson, co-author of The Chicken Soup for the
Soul series, suggested this: “Sit down at your computer, and type the presentation as though
you were giving it. That’s your book.”
Make it Look Pretty
People really do judge a book by its cover – and what’s inside, too. Having a great writer’s voice
oftentimes has nothing to do with grammar, so be sure to invest in an editor once you’re done.
Then research what type of book covers you find yourself drawn to and hire a professional
designer (and not your neighbor’s teenage son).
Get Your Friends to Buy It
One thing Honorée did to kick off her sales was to go through “her Rolodex and made a list of
everyone she thought would buy between ten and a hundred copies.” Don’t panic if you don’t
have a Rolodex anymore – your phone’s contact list or even Facebook friend should suffice.
Whichever you go through, simply glance through your associates and make a list of people you
think could use 10 or 100 copies of your book. Wrote a how to in marketing? Call your friend
who works in digital marketing. Jotted down your ideas on how to get active and lose weight?
Post in your exercise group. You get the idea.
Unless your profession is sales, it’s natural to feel a little uneasy about putting yourself out
there and ask people to buy your book. But here’s the lesson Honorée learned that can benefit
everyone no matter your industry:
“If you put all the time, money, and energy into writing a book and you believe that people
would benefit from your message, then get over your damn self and be ready to ask the
Use It to Advertise
Just like using your book to give your professionalism and experience authority, you should also
use your book similar to a business card. Hand it out to new acquaintances, or even create
custom back covers that could be used as calling cards for like-minded businesses.
After writing her The Successful Single Mom Book Series, Honorée quickly discovered that
divorce attorneys and therapists were handing out her book with their own business card
inside. One client even made this request:
“What I’d like to do is to modify the back cover of the book and make it about
my law firm. That way, I don’t have to keep leaving my business card in the book.
If I buy enough copies of your book — maybe 1,000 or 5,000 copies — would you
let me make a custom cover and put my information on the back?”
After all, you wrote your book to get the word out, so why not help those who want to help
spread your message?
Create a Fan Reader Group
Here’s the first lesson of marketing 101: Create loyal customers (or readers) who will come
back and buy (or read) from you again. Honerée would write thank you notes and quickly
respond to questions. That personal connection once impressed a reader so much, she read
and reviewed all of Honerée’s other books. Another “super fan” created the #cultofhonoree
and posted a picture of a mug with the hashtag on it on Instagram.
Have people sign up for your newsletter, and even write to only your top fans. People love
feeling like they’re a vital part of a community, so fan the flames of your book’s hype by making
your readers feel a part of your journey.
Leave in Bookstores
Can’t wait for the day your book is sold in bookstores? Well, simply don’t. One tactic Honerée
used to get her book out there was to leave copies in bookstores with her number on the back.
Then every now and then, a store would call.
“We can’t find a record of your book anywhere, but somebody brought it to the
counter and they want to buy it. What should we do?”
After instructing them to do whatever they see fit, including giving the book away,
many would then ask how to get more copies. Not a crazy plan after all.
Tell Your Readers What to Do Afterwards
By now, you may be familiar with the term “Call to Action.” But this term is not limited to digital
marketing or sales. No matter what your genre is, you’ll want to lay the path down for where
your readers should go or do next. Have them join a group, find you on your social media
channels, email you for more information, whatever helps them discover more about you and
Observe Successful Authors
If you’re still unsure what to do to become a successful author, then simply watch what they’re
doing and take notes. Honerée suggests doing the following: “Go study successful writers and
figure out what they’re doing! What do you need to say no to, what do you need to say yes to?
What are you saying when you talk to yourself? What are you looking for? Have them walk you
through the process of where they started and what are they doing today.”
And there you have it! By following these steps, you should be well on your way to author
stardom with your bestselling book.