Business writer Cherise Castle-Blugh tell us how pre-selling your book can increase your sales
PRE-SELLING A NEW BOOK
One of the worst things that can happen to an author, is to write a book that no one buys or reads. Just the thought of this happening really breaks our spirit, and some downtrodden writers might choose to never even bother to write again.
Of course, no one plans to write a book that doesn’t sell. But by neglecting to plan how they’re going to sell their books, authors inadvertently risk writing a book that generates very few, if any, sales once published. With no marketing plan, they’ll find that despite all of their efforts, no one buys their book and all their hard work and research was in vain.
Pre selling can solve this, and writers can choose to add this as part of their marketing plan. This might take some time though if you're an entirely new author. However, if you've already written a good book or two, then you'll have an eager group of followers who can't wait for the release of your next book. They are already peaked from your previous content.
Pre selling helps to create an eager and fully interactive audience. People start talking and the buzz for your book increases as the release dates draw nearer. By releasing little bits of information, authors make their readers anticipate what is to come and they await your new book with bated breath. Pre selling will allow the author time to build momentum for the big release. It's about creating hype and demand for your book or your products, and preparing the market for what you have to offer.
I've met authors, including myself at one time, who didn't want to jinx their book by talking about it before it was ready. I totally get that. But you can manage a bit of wiggle room for marketing. And while it's easier not to talk about something, it's critical to do so, because without talking, no one knows.
Pre Selling is a great way to gauge interest, and make sales before you launch your grand novel. This method of creating awareness, allows you to get a headstart on promoting/marketing for your book. Your readers will be ready when you finally release.
When pre selling your book, make sure to let potential buyers know that the book is not yet available for purchase. You can do this by editing text and buttons on your sales page. Repeat phrases like “Releasing Soon” and “Launching on [date]” so it is clear to your audience that the book you are pre selling, is not available for immediate access. Some authors also effectively use mock up teasers and book trailers to pull their audience closer and arouse their curiosity.
A great benefit of pre selling, is that it creates scarcity. In business, we learn that creating scarcity increases a product’s desirability, thus prompting customers to rush to purchase, even if the product isn't ready yet.
Pre Selling an item can also validate the viability of a product and provide 'social proof'. If lots of people are talking about your book and buying it, it gives credibility to you and your work.
Authors will also be able to forcast a level of demand when they pre sell their books. Undeniably so, the urgency to purchase the book will start to dwindle once the book is actually released and in stores, but using pre-selling as a validation technique, you will be able to work out, just how much you should print/produce. In addition to the above, (and this is great for the times authors feel like giving up), when you know that people who have paid you are waiting for your book, you are more likely to follow through with your writing and publication plans.
Pre selling will also bring in some much needed revenue that can be used to pay for the books.
Any revenue at this time is a massive benefit and sanity saver, as I'm sure all authors will agree.
Don’t forget to listen attentively to your audience’s feedback when you pre sell. This is important in case you need to adjust your writing plans as you seek to make improvements before your official release and begin promoting to a much wider audience.
A word of caution on pre selling:
If you sell your book/product before you actually create and release it, be prepared to actually create/release it in the time frame that you promised your customers. If you don’t give them what was promised, it won’t take long for the complaints and refund requests to start pouring in. Some authors have tactfully and humbly apologized for changes in release dates and this can work well when you build a relationship with your audience. So make sure to give your editors, publishers and yourself, enough time to be fully ready for your big release before you begin to pre sell.
The Timely Entrepreneur
contributed by Cherise Castle-Blugh