How to Sell Books
This past weekend Jen and I travelled to Richmond, VA for an all day Christian music festival where we would be selling books in the “Author’s Tent.” We were one among sixteen tables where authors were selling and signing their books. It was hot (heat index hovering around 105) and the turnout for the festival was no where near what was expected. Selling books was going to be a chore.
I watched many of the other authors sit behind their tables and do little to engage people as they passed through the tent. At the end of the day, few books were sold. More than one author walked away with less than five sales.
Jen and I took a different approach. We stood most of the day, engaged people as they passed our table, talked to them, joked with them, told them about my books, the stories behind the stories, which one we each liked best, and why they would like them as well.
And we sold books. Twenty-three of them. Not a staggering number but considering the conditions of the day and what we were up against we were both happy with the outcome.
And I learned a valuable lesson as well. Not one person came into that author’s tent with the intent to buy a Mike Dellosso book but we convinced twenty-three people that they would enjoy one.
Those sales didn’t come easy, we worked hard for each one and I sincerely hope the buyers will be happy with their purchase, enjoy the story, think about the message behind the story, and maybe, just maybe I’ll have earned the respect and loyalty of another reader.
Selling books is like anything else: it’s the people, stupid. People are what matter. If you believe in the story you’ve written (or read) and truly believe it will benefit someone else, that enthusiasm will connect the two of you and a bond will be formed.