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What Makes One Book Outsell Another?

Judy Cullins, Guest Author

Wouldn't you rather write a book that sells well than be stuck with unsold inventory? When you plan ahead with the 10 tips below, you will sell thousands rather than hundreds of your unique and important information or inspirational products.

1.  Write non-fiction first. These books are 90% of total book sales. After non-fiction success, you can use your profits to partially finance a fiction project.

2.  Write short books to start. Short books in any format, like eBooks, booklets, guides or special reports are faster, easier, and cheaper to write than full-length books of 200-300 pages. They can be as short as five pages (special reports), to eBooks that can be 5 - 100 pages (even longer).

3.  Market to a book-buying audience. Women buy far more books than men, about 75%. If your message benefits women, you'll do well in sales. If your book solves a problem it will sell more. It's best to see the need and fill it rather than have an idea-then look for an audience.

4.  Choose your cover and title with care. Image is almost everything. You have four seconds to impress your potential buyer. Be clear, use metaphor and make sure your title elicits a picture or an emotion. Keep your title short, preferably 5 - 7 words. What solutions and results does your book promise?

5.  Expand your book into a series. Think of the huge success of the Chicken Soup Series. They have one cover for all the titles.The latest count is 68 million. Think of spin-off products that relate to your book. Some people prefer to learn by listening to a cassette. You may also want to serialize your eBook, sending one part or chapter a week through an autoresponder.

These formats actually help you sell more books. Other spin-offs include coaching, consulting, speaking, seminars, columns, or videos.

6.  Impress your potential buyer within eight seconds with your back cover copy. The biggest mistake authors make is putting their title on the back cover. Since it's already on the front cover, you need to instead, put your sparkling headline at the top. For example, "Imagine 1000's Buying Your Book Next Month!" It must hook your readers, stir up their emotions, and hit their desire.

In 75 words or less, include the benefits your book offers. How to get more money, heart-centered relationships, more fame, more health. Less stress and time spend in a project. Include from 3 - 5 bullet points of benefits, what specifics your book promises its readers.

Finally, testimonials are the number one way to turn your potential buyer into a "take-out-their-credit-card-buyer." For information on how to get testimonials ask a book coach.

7.  Create your written marketing plan before you finish chapter one. This plan covers your first year's launch period and lifetime plan. You'll want to market at least two years. Inexperienced authors wait until publication and lose a great deal of sales.

Your plan could include how many books you want to sell, your 30 second tell and sell, book reviews, news releases, the Online articles to market your book, the book signings, talks, electronic newsletters, and a book Web site. Without a written plan, an author creates vague results.

8.  Put as much time into marketing as you did the writing of your book. Your goal is to have people read and learn from your unique message. Why plant a garden if you don't harvest it? John Kremer, book marketing guru, and author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, says to do five things each day. Five calls, five press releases, five Online contacts or a combination of tasks. The book coach says spend 6 - 9 hours a week on Online promotion.

9.  Include Online marketing to sell more books. While you can sell your books on other sites, such as, you will eventually want your own. You will make much less with Amazon and you have to pay for shipping too. An author without a Web site is like a person without a name. As an entrepreneur, your site needs to attract visitors and sell your products and service. Here you include testimonials, benefit driven headlines, and your sales letter to get your visitor to become a customer.

10.  Start promoting your book several ways. If press releases, book signings, and back of the room sales dim, include Online promotion such as writing and submitting how-to articles to top eZINES and web sites. When you use his virtual marketing machine - the Internet - you will keep your book dream alive - getting it into the hands of thousands of readers rather than a few.

Start marketing your book right now, even if you don't have a Web site. Research by reading articles, contacting professional book and Web coaches, or take a teleclass to find out how to learn non-techie ways to start your lifetime book promotion journey. Master book marketing like you would eat an elephant - one bite at a time! Watch your sales grow!


Copyright © - Judy Cullins. - Reprinted with permission. Judy is an author, publisher, and book coach. She helps writers manifest their book dreams. 24 clients published since 1999! "Write Your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!" - Send an e-mail to The Book Coach Says... For 2 free eReports


  If you would like to talk one-on-one with Larry James about issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a private coaching session by telephone. Go to Author & Speaker Coaching for specific details and fees.

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