Sales Strategies

Selling Strategies for Authors

Selling Strategies for Authors
Image credit: Portra | Getty Images

Your content may be brilliant, but if no one reads it, it will not make an impact on the world or on your bottom line.

There are three times in your life when you should focus on marketing your book. In publishing, this is known as growing a platform. Those times are:

  • Before you publish, especially if you are seeking a notable publisher who will give you money for the honor of publishing your thoughts
  • While the book is in production from the moment the writing begins onward
  • After it is published and at least 120 days post-release, your wholehearted focus should be on selling copies and using the book to grab as many of your 15 minutes of fame as you can possibly get

The key to all of these is to build a platform. A "platform" is a large, growing group of people who love you, your work or the way you talk about your topic. If your book was already published or self-published more than 120 days ago, it is not too late to get it selling, it just will take more effort. 

As a literary agent who specializes in nonfiction books, mostly business books, I've seen a lot of strategies. The advice that follows comes from the +15,000 deals I've sold for authors so far in my life, and the 17 New York Times best sellers I've been instrumental in creating. 

Here are the elements of a platform. Some authors have a greater aptitude for one platform-building technique or another, but the important thing is to dive in and make something happen - as soon as you finish reading this post!

Radio - either become a guest, a contributor or a host yourself - or start a podcast

Print -  good: write articles - Better: get interviewed by any publication that will take you - BEST: get interviewed by top magazines that serve the same people as those you want as readers and/or customers

Television - become a guest or a host - or start and heavily promote a branded YouTube channel

Speaking - ideally paid, but free speaking, seminars or workshops works for some, depending on your topic and your strategy (To find out how to do this profitably, click here).

Special Sales - get a company to promote your book to their stakeholders, give you money to be their spokesperson, buy 1,000 copies outright to give to all their customers, etc.  (To find out how you can get in on this, click here).

Social Media - Smart authors recognize this is a whole lot more than the occasional Tweet.  One of our best-selling authors Dodinsky has a shocking 6 million followers - and he started with ...one.

These are the main components of platform building. These undergird your success as an author, yes, but in the meantime open up many new revenue streams and key relationships.  If you've ever heard the phrase "It works if you work it", you have been acquainted with the core elements of success...at anything. 

Selling copies of your book, no matter how old it is, how or when it was published - or preparing the groundwork for your phenomenal success in the future - begins with the decision to do so.  To get the nitty-gritty on some great platform building strategies that you can start using right away, click here to attend my free upcoming webinar "Sell More Copies of Your Book".  All you have to do to succeed is to get started.