When thinking about special sales, we need to shift our mindset or paradigm of our book from the features of it to the benefits. In this transitional thinking, we self-publishing indie authors will go from thinking we have a published book to now realizing that we have valuable, useful content. We have content to sell instead of a book to sell. Once we get to this mindset of special sales, similar to the previously mentioned non-traditional markets, we have to begin thinking, “Who else?” and “Where else?”
Now we all should be in a place where we can think differently about our content and how we present it, as well as how some people will use it. Maybe the college classrooms, the corporation board rooms, and the association workshops need our content to be more accessible to them. Maybe they need it to be easier to consume. We could provide them a workbook that lays flat on a table. Instead of our textbook or even paperback book that they have to continuously exert effort to hold open to the correct page while they are writing.
Maybe we already have a workbook, but it doesn’t have the right spine that allows it to lay flat. You see, making it easier for our consumers to access our content is how we win in this game of special sales. Maybe a workbook isn’t what some prospects are looking for. Perhaps booklets, which allow them or their clients to consume small chunks of content at a single sitting, is more appropriate for their needs. Hey, sales are sales, right?
We need to stop thinking that we can only sell our knowledge and content in just our books alone. We need to begin thinking about who needs our content, and how can we sell it to them rather than just thinking about how to sell the book itself.
Traditionally speaking, everyone is looking for the newest shiniest object. So, in that respect, everyone is looking for the latest, hottest, and trendiest book. This is bad for most authors because it means that our books will have a short shelf-life. Most authors are forced to pump out their next book, while their older books fall by the wayside because they aren’t new and shiny anymore. However, with special sales, that doesn’t have to happen to us indie authoring authorpreneurs.
By no longer thinking of our books as just books, but rather as content that people need in different formats, we have a huge advantage over traditional thinking authors. We can take our older material and pump it out there in different ways that really appeal to people looking for our solutions. This isn’t something traditional thinking authors do. But, we Indie Authors get it.
This non-traditional route of special sales can also act like drip therapy, where we keep giving people little chucks of what they need. Many will pay for these small chunks of content. And eventually, some will even find their way to our books that these little nuggets of wisdom came from. A book sale later in the life of a book is better than no purchase. Most authors won’t get these kinds of sales because they don’t understand special sales. Our backlist is always alive because we still have its useful content to spread around in different ways to different people.
Here are a few unique ways of looking at special sales. How about giving a speech at a doctor’s office? We can have different versions of our content, including our medically-based book, available for sale in the cozy little conference room in our doctor’s office. We can do the same thing in a bakery if our books are somehow about baked food. How about doing the same thing at a high school wrestling tournament or track meet? It’s easy to do if our book is about those sports.
Another beautiful thing about special sales is that it is ideal for bulk sales. Let’s say a university does order your workbook that lays flat. They’re going to order way more than just one copy. They’ll bulk order thousands. What if they wanted your pamphlet or little booklet on how parents can help their graduate find a job? A university may order thousands of these products form you to send to the parents of all of their seniors.
There are a lot of government agencies, corporations, and associations that would prefer to bulk order thousands of books from us in one sale. It’s a waste of their time to buy one book at a time. Brian Jud, the international director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, knows all about the bulk sales process of special sales. Reach out to him if you want to talk to an old pro who has done this a lot of times.
Where else can your content be used? How about online courses that will make you a lot more money than just your book alone will?
Can you capitalize on the captive audience of people waiting in a bus station, train station, airport by having your book available at their bookstores? What about having your book available on the tables of the various sporting events taking place within the driving range of your home? What other kinds of situations are there where a lot of people gather together and are basically a captive audience prime for your book?
How about military bookstores for specials sales as part of your authorpreneurship business? How about making your book available for homeschoolers, unschoolers, or even athletic directors in public schools? How about having your book sitting on the bedside table in bed and breakfast places? What about the national park’s bookstores? How about enrichment programs like Character Counts? How about having a display of your book in hunting stores if your book is appropriate?
And of course, we can’t forget about putting out our books in other formats that are easier for our customers to consume. Sometimes it’s a pain to carry around a paperback book. But it’s very easy to have a book in their pocket on their phone. EBooks are a lot easier to buy than a traditional print book. They’re also a lot easier to lug around and read when one has a few minutes of downtime.
Furthermore, audiobooks are growing by leaps and bounds. We have to tap into this special sales market. People don’t read paperbacks while they’re jogging, riding a bike, working in the yard, or driving to work. But, they will purchase your book and consume it during these moments of their life if it’s an audiobook.
Again, stop thinking of your book as just a book. Think of it as content that people can use in different ways. Now we just have to figure out ways to put that convenience we’re supplying, in the form of special sales, in front of our prospects. But don’t sweat it. That’s just what we authorpreneurs do. It’s all part of what we do when we build a business around our books.
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