//Getting the Most Bang for Your Book With Direct Selling

Getting the Most Bang for Your Book With Direct Selling

Direct sales book authorsTo benefit the most from book sales, you (as the author) will want to sell directly to your reader any chance you get. As an author, you’ll get the highest profit margin off your book when you sell it directly to your readers.

Now why is it that selling directly is the best way to go? Because when you can purchase copies of your book from your distributor at cost versus the retail price, there’s more of a 1:1 exchange with fewer middlemen clogging up the pipeline. Your reader gives you money, you give them your book. Your total profit is the difference between what you paid and what they paid you. However, if you had sent your reader to a bookstore or your publisher’s website to purchase your book, then the amount you make is a fraction of what remains after everyone else has been paid. Knowing about direct selling (and the truth about how royalties work) in advance of publishing, or even writing your manuscript, helps with your long-term strategy of how you’re going to leverage your book and make back some of that investment. That said, there are several things to consider to direct-sell well. Before I dive into it, I want to be sure I make this part clear: book sales are only one avenue to book revenue. I am not recommending you live and die by book sales alone. You want to leverage your book in a variety of ways that will hopefully grant opportunities with bigger revenue bucks involved. That said, you’ll need to get your book into the hands of those with the power to grant those opportunities. The more hands, the more visibility, and the greater your chances of finding (or being invited to) those opportunities.

So sell that book. Reap the rewards. And whenever possible, sell it directly. To prepare you to do that successfully, here are things to consider.

Storage. You’ll want to consider how many copies you’ll have on hand. If that’s boxes and boxes of books, where will you store them and how will you store them so they are unlikely to get damaged?

Payment. You’ll have to determine how you will take and process payment. Are you going to do cash-only? Do you have PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle already set up and linked to a bank account?

Taxes. Now that you’re selling a product or ‘good,’ have you determined what your state’s policy is on sales and use tax? Find out if you need to get a certificate to sell and what the tax filing requirements are for claiming the revenue from sales. And when you’re direct selling, be sure to include sales tax in your total purchase price.

Shipping. If you’re not at an event where you can just hand your book to your buyer, you’ll need to determine packaging materials and shipping costs. Be sure to include a shipping rate in addition to the price of your book and sales tax. If you’re not sure what shipping rate to use, go to your local post office and ask them about the cheapest option for mailing a book. They’ll likely tell you about the media mail rate which tends to be a flat rate option for sending books.

Tracking. Keep track of your direct sales so you can keep track of the book after it’s shipped but also so you know what you’ve sold and how much you’ll owe for sales and use tax.

Marketing. Be sure to identify that people can purchase your book directly from you and that this is your preferred way they purchase your book. That means you’ll have to tell them how to do that–whether that’s giving them your Venmo name or sending them to your website is entirely up to you, but make it clear and easy for them to purchase through you.

Look for opportunities. If your local indie bookstores, farmers markets, artist fairs, or libraries, are offering programs and events where local authors can participate, reach out. Sign up. Show up. Sell. If you’re on the speaking circuit, check with your conference or summit hosts (virtual or live) about whether you’re allowed to sell your book in the back of the room or at the end of your presentation by sharing a QR code.

Get creative and create opportunities. You don’t have to rely solely on other people’s programs and events to sell directly to your readers. Reach out to your library about a speaking event and bring copies of your book. Have your own office space or the ability to rent a space? Host a program that includes copies of your book. Develop bundles, boxes, or baskets that incorporate your book with other goodies as a fresh way to sell your book. Facilitate your own book club with your book and require participants to purchase a copy.

Now, you’re ready for direct selling and to get the most bang for your book.

By | 2024-02-28T15:11:49+00:00 February 28th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment