Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10 Reasons Why Authors can Help Publishers Sell More Book in Tough Times

In our tough economy, publishers are facing financial pressure on all sides. Book sales are declining. Bookstores are closing. Marketing budgets are dwindling. Staff is being laid-off. What’s a publisher to do in such dark times? Fortunately, there’s still a light shining in the tunnel. This glimmer of hope is authors. Here are 10 reasons why training your authors to sell more books can open brighter possibilities for your publishing house:

1. Training authors to drive readers into bookstores is less expensive and less risky than paying bookstores costly co-op dollars to get shelf placement.

2. Teaching authors to get media interviews on their own is less expensive than using high-priced PR firms or in-house publicists. It also frees limited staff for other duties, which saves even more money.

3. When authors learn better marketing skills, the benefit can last a lifetime and enhance the sales of many future books. But, the benefit of co-op dollars and media tours only lasts for a few months.

4. Publishers can lay-off internal personnel, but you can’t lay-off authors. Why not put them to good use within the company?

5. Authors who act as salespeople for the publisher work on a “commission-only” basis with low risk. They only get paid (a small royalty) when they produce revenue (sell more books).

6. Authors are more likely to stay loyal to the publisher who invests to help him or her succeed. One of my A-level clients recently left his long-time publisher, because they ignored his desire for a deeper marketing partnership. He chose another publisher that offered to help grow his platform.

7. Training authors to market their books better offers the publisher a 6:1 return on investment. Why? For every extra book sold (paperback), the author makes a $1 royalty. Yet, the publisher makes over $6 in sales revenue – what a deal! Where else can you find a similar financial opportunity?

8. Every Fortune 500 company spends time and money to properly train their salespeople. If publishers agree that authors make the best salespeople for their books, shouldn’t proper training be provided?

9. Apathetic, old-school authors who expect publishers to do all the marketing are quickly disappearing. Besides, why keep employees who aren’t willing to pull their own weight? Times have changed, and a modern breed of authors who want to help promote their books is the new standard.

10. Authors at every level can produce substantial book sales for their publisher. For instance, here are some recent results from my clients:
A-Level Best-seller: Sold over $13,000 of books at one speaking engagement.
B-Level Mid-list: Helped promote her new book into 6 printings in less than a year.
C-Level First-timer: Sold over 500 books in the first 30 days and lined up 60 speaking events.

When authors receive professional training to market their books, the publisher makes more money. Even modest improvements can produce significant results. Do the math, and you’ll find that if authors help just 50 titles sell an extra 3,000 copies each, the publisher makes over $1,000,000 in new sales. And, there’s no additional cost other than the small investment to provide instruction. When publishers implement this low-risk, low-cost solution, they gain an important asset to overcome these trying times.

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