I recently listened to the audiobook version of Rich Dad, Poor Dad by best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki. In the book, Robert tells the story of being interviewed by a newspaper reporter in Singapore. During the interview, the journalist told him that she wanted to become a best-selling author but that the few novels she had written had not garnered much attention.
Wanting to be helpful, Robert advised her to take a class on selling. The journalist became offended. She told Robert that she had a Masters Degree in English Literature and did not need to become a salesperson. Robert gently told her that he was a best-selling author, not a best-written author. He told her that his books did not reach the best-seller lists because they were well written, but because he knew how to sell.
Maybe you are like many authors I meet. You have written a book and now you just want to find a publisher to produce and sell it. You don’t want to have to take on the task of promoting and selling your book yourself. Or, maybe you are like this journalist; you have a distaste for “sales people” and don’t want to become one. Thinking about sales people conjures up an image of a less-than-honest used car salesman.
I think Robert Kiyosaki is right. Barring a supernatural move of God, authors must engage in the process of promoting, marketing, and selling their books to reach any significant sales level. Engaging in commerce is not an “unChristian” or “unGodly” thing. After all, Paul was a tent maker. He had to sell the tents he made to someone. Jesus was a carpenter before starting his ministry. He, too, had to sell his furniture to people. You and your book are no different.
Remember, your book meets a need. Maybe not a physical need like a tent or a table, but it meets a spiritual need. You are not so much selling your book, as the help or solution your book contains. Selling does not have to be pushy, annoying, or lack integrity. In fact, good sales people ask questions first, then listen before offering a solution. After all, a good sales person is a good problem solver.
If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to promoting and selling your book, I suggest you follow Richard Kiyosaki’s advice: educate yourself. There are many resources for you to educate yourself on how to promote, market, and sell your book.
If you are selling a Christian book, consider the following:
- Subscribe to this blog and read the posts.
- Read my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.
- Listen to online seminars. Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) has recorded sessions of our Publishers’ Institute seminars you can listen to.
- Become a member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) and receive on-going monthly information on marketing and promoting Christian books.
Information is power. Get the power you need to sell more books!
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