Creating Book Sales

I recently had an independent author ask me what Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) does to help “create sales” for authors. My response was that CSPA does not create sales; rather, the organization provides opportunities for its members to create sales.


Understanding how sales are created is important. Advertising in and of itself does not create sales. Marketing activities in and of themselves do not create sales. Both are simply vehicles by which sales can be created.

Sales are created by two things:

1. Meeting a need.
When you provide someone a solution to a problem they have, you can create a sale.

2. Creating a connection.
Sales are based on relationships. People need to trust that you have the answer to their problem to make a purchase.

It’s all about communication. You, the author or publisher, must communicate to your audience that you care about them and that you have what they need. In advertising and marketing, this is largely communicated through the written word. What you write in your marketing and advertising materials is essential in creating a connection and showing your audience that your book can meet their need.

Since Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) does not write marketing or advertising copy for our members, we cannot create sales. All we do is provide our members the vehicles through which they can get their message out to Christian book buyers.

For example, one marketing vehicle CSPA offers its members is BookCrash, a books for bloggers review program. Members of CSPA can provide Christian bloggers a free copy of their book in exchange for a review by the blogger on her blog and on one retail site. A review by a blogger does not create sales. It can, but that creating a sale depends on a number of factors including: the type of review the blogger has written, how much influence the blogger has with her readers, and whether she recommends that others purchase the book.

Even though CSPA does not create sales for our members, there are many benefits to belonging to a publishing association. These include:

  • Professional affiliations boost your professional image.
  • Membership provides you information on how to stay up-to-date and relevant as an author, publisher, and book promoter.
  • Organization benefits include affordable marketing opportunities and other cost-savings on services related to printing and promoting books.

If you want someone to “create sales” for you, then spend the thousands of dollars required to hire a publicist to help you create sales. If, instead, you are looking for more opportunities to create sales for your books at an affordable price, join a publishers association.

You can sign up to become a member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) today. The fee is just $90 for the 2016 calendar year.

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