Direct sales to customers online, at the back of the room after a speech, or as part of a seminar package, earn the author the greatest return per book. Here are some more figures to consider. As Amazon and other retailers take more and more of author profits, direct sales is something all writers must consider as a way to make a reasonable return on the time, effort and money it takes to write and publish a book.
Let’s say that it costs you $3.50 per book to print 100 books. The shipping and handling from the printer to your office is $40, or $.40 per book, making your total cost per book $3.90. If you sell each book for $10 (I’ve picked a nice even number for my illustration; most books do sell for more), your profit per book is $6.10, versus the dollar or so you will see as the typical Amazon royalty.
Selling directly to your readers makes the most profit per book but is also difficult. How many people can you reach directly? No matter how often you have speaking engagements, you can only see so many people in person during any given week. Adding a sales site to your author website can help you increase your sales and your profits. Having a variety of ways for people to buy your book increases how many books you sell.
Working With Wholesalers and Distributors
Another factor to consider when your book is being sold through a distributor is all the middlemen who need to make a little money on your book. First is the printer, then the distributor (your publisher, a book distribution company, or another source altogether). Next is the retailer who sells your book to the consumer. Finally at the end of the line is you, the author.
Other Types of Profit
Many people focus on making the Amazon bestseller list, or other bestseller lists as their main goal in publishing. But this is fleeting at best. You can make the bestseller list for a day, or a week, and yes, it will boost your sales, but if you don’t continue to market using the same methods you used to get yourself on that bestseller list, you will soon slip in the ranks.
What are your goals and objectives in publishing a book? Making a profit on the sales is just one possible objective. There are as many reasons to write a book as there are writers to write them.
Writing a book can increase your credibility and your visibility. It can bring you more clients or allow you to charge higher fees for your services. It can bring you recognition in your field and interviews on the radio and television. Finally, it can bring you personal satisfaction. Your goals need to be taken into consideration when you are deciding on your marketing strategy.
So how do you go about selling directly to readers?
- Add a sales page to your website.
- Run internet advertising and promotions that pull people to your website rather than Amazon.
- Get out and meet your public. Attend book festivals, do speaking engagements, do podcasts.
- Be prepared to offer discounts to book stores and boutiques who carry your book.
- Put out a newsletter regularly and offer special deals to your fans who subscribe.
- Advertise your website and ways to buy your books at the back of your eBooks.
These are just a few of the ideas you can use to start increasing your direct sales. Get in touch with us at Open Door Publications if you want to know more.