Given the numbers, it’s easy to see why most of today’s attention goes to selling your book online. But there are other retail channels where you can rack up excellent sales. When you go with a traditional printer and book fulfillment company, you can sell anywhere you choose. It’s a significant difference over print on demand that often limits you to a single website. Much depends on your genre and revenue goals, but learning more about book sales opportunities is always wise. You may be surprised by your book’s numbers, especially if you market it effectively.
Book distributors with proactive sales forces can also help if you get on their list. They have connections with many retailers and know where the volume sales opportunities exist. There are large chain bookstores and local independents for the core store set. But the boundaries extend far wider when considering the book aisle at big box stores. Their customer traffic is far beyond other stores, and a chunk of their customers may browse the books on offer. You might be surprised to learn how much they can contribute to sales, mainly because they have a tightly edited selection of titles on their shelves.
Book marketing programs to build interest among your target readers can also be worth the time and effort. People need to find out about your book to want to read it. Outreach to book clubs and libraries to make them aware also helps. When you go with on-demand printing, it means you’ll never reach libraries in most cases. Word of mouth, which now occurs online through social media as it does in person, remains one of the most powerful ways to promote your book. When someone buys and reads a copy, they’ll likely recommend it to family and friends. Therein lies a significant sales opportunity.
Some books have fast starts and sell the most around their launch. But others sell in a “slow drip” manner, racking up steady sales over one or several years. In the long run, the slow and steady sellers often become the most profitable titles. They command and hold shelf space in stores that know they will sell and earn dependable profits. Unlike others, it’s essential to look at your book individually and realize it will sell. Therefore, devising a marketing plan custom-tailored to your work and target readers matters most. You only sell when you reach people interested in your topic.