I received the following question from an author last week:
Why would any author buy copies of their book instead of referring people to Amazon or another store?
His email went on to say that he knows we don’t usually recommend book signings at bookstores and he was curious why an author would need copies for any reason other than a bookstore signing.
Here was my response:
Book signings at bookstores usually don’t work (though sometimes they do). However, signings at special events often do. For example, author W.W. Brock frequently sells out when he has signings at gun shows, boat shows, and fishing shows. And, his books are novels. They are not non-fiction. You can read how he does it HERE.
Authors who give classes at libraries, and then sell copies to the people who paid to hear them talk, usually do very well, too (especially if they’ve included the price of the book in the cost of the class). Some authors give free talks at libraries, and then sell their books to attendees afterward. This, too, tends to get better results than cold bookstore signings where an author simply sits at a table, and hopes people walking by will strike up a conversation with them. Many authors offer autographed copies at a discount if people order directly from the author’s website. I, personally, don’t do that with my books because I detest packing/shipping but some authors don’t mind it at all.
Some authors offer to speak at events, and then sell their books at the back of the room afterward. Some of those are paid speaking gigs so the authors are paid to travel there and speak, and then they get to sell their books, too. Some event organizers include the cost of the author’s book in the attendance fee, and each attendee also receives a “free” copy as a hand-out. Those authors also do very well.
Some authors are actually business owners and they give away copies of their books to potential clients. One custom home builder did that recently through BookLocker. He published a book of advice on choosing different custom details for new homes. It’s not for sale anywhere. Only the author can purchase copies. He then hands/sends them to clients who are looking to pay someone thousands to design their new home. It’s an effective and inexpensive marketing tool for his business.
There are many legitimate and profitable reasons for an author to order copies to resell or give away. But, bookstore signings are usually not the best choice.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90…and beyond!
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