Over 850 million books are purchased in the United States each year. According to Nielson, a global information, data, and measurement company, 47% of the American population purchases books. If you do the math, 151 million people bought these books. This means, on average, these book buyers purchase five to six books a year. Why do people buy books? There are four main reasons people buy any product, books included, and understanding why will help you build your author platform.
We are social creatures. As humans, we are influenced by others. The choices others make influence our own decisions, and it's no different when it comes to book sales either.
Expert salesman Zig Ziglar said, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Every sale has obstacles. You face these obstacles when marketing and promoting your book to entice people to buy it. Let's break these obstacles down and look at how to overcome each one so that you can sell more books.
As a whole, Americans shop a lot. We constantly buy and discard items. Scientists regularly study people’s buying behaviors in an attempt to better learn how people make purchasing decisions. Studies reveal that people’s purchases are determined by three factors: awareness, decision, and availability. You can capitalize on each of these components to sell more books.
Studies show that the clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitudes, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way we interact with others. Similarly, authors can and should dress themselves and their books for success and here's how.
I once spoke with a gentleman who had written and published a book on terrorism’s threat to our water supply. As we discussed avenues for marketing his book, this gentleman remarked that mostly academicians had purchased the book, which he found scary. Here was an individual who had the knowledge and the foresight to write a book on an important subject of concern to our country, and yet he did not recognize the position this placed him in. The first thing this gentleman needs to do in marketing his book is to accept the fact that, since he wrote the book, he is now the expert on the subject of how terrorism could affect our water supply.
One of the questions that I frequently encounter when I speak at writers conferences is: “I'm not tech savvy. Are there other ways to promote your book besides social media?” My answer is always: of course.
Every book is a startup business. A book needs a mission statement, a book marketing plan, and a budget. As an indie author, these are all your responsibility, making you an entrepreneur. Do you have the traits needed for becoming an indie publisher?
Social networking is powerful. One-third of the world uses social networks regularly. Studies show that 81% of shoppers use the Internet to help them make purchasing decisions. While physical book clubs and reading groups still exist, online communities for book lovers make it easy for readers to share the books they are reading and their thoughts about them with a much wider audience. Social networking sites for books allow readers to connect with other readers around books.
Often, new authors spend their time and energy on writing their book. All their efforts go into perfecting the manuscript. Many new authors don’t think about promoting or selling their book until after they've published it, but that's actually a step that needs to begin well before your book is available for purchase.