I thought I was at the “Lady and the Champs” conference for speakers, but I might as well have been at the David Koop “How to Sell Books at a Conference” conference.
David’s one of my favorite PR LEADERS and he was racking up sales of his book, even though he was a participant, not a presenting speaker, at the conference.
I asked David to share his tips for selling and serving.
How do you sell so many books?
I am asked that question more and more often. First and foremost, I drafted and put into place a multi-faceted marketing plan. As time went on, I updated the plan based on where I was in the life cycle of the book and took into consideration the results, or lack thereof, on each of the components in my plan.
My book hit the Bestseller list because I crafted an effective plan and I work it every day no matter where I am. If you have written a book, you know about Amazon Bestseller campaigns. That is not what I am talking about; that is a scheme to artificially push a book to the top of their sales list for an hour or a day just to have it fall back down to its real level.
My book has been on the Bestseller list for two entirely different months and for the entire Calendar year 2011 (even though it was only out for 7 1/2 months of the year) based on real purchases by real people, day after day after day and so on.
One of the key components of my success is that I am always selling my book no matter where I am. Our society makes that very easy, one of the first questions asked when meeting someone new is, “What do you do?” (Thank you Jesus, a soft ball right over the plate, why wouldn’t you swing?) “I am the Author of a Bestselling book” is my standard reply.
“Really what is it about?” Usually comes next. At that point I always hand them a copy of my book. That’s right, I never go anywhere without them. I suggest that they read the back cover of my book, which usually gets them to make some positive comment. “Wow I would like to read that someday, I have a brother who needs this book,” or one of many variations of a buy sign. To which I always reply, “Well I can personally autograph this copy for you at a special price, cash, check or credit cards all work just fine.”
Every meal at conferences I eat with a different group. The cover of my book is depicted on the front of my card that I pass around to introduce myself. People are always intrigued and I normally sell several books. The back of my card has directions on how to get more information on my book and a discount code for ordering your copy off my website if you failed to purchase during our meal.
There is a small pocket in the folder that the waitress brings your bill in. You know the one that you put your credit card in. Well once my bill is paid, I remove my credit card and replace it with one of my book cards – every time!
Every break, I again find new attendees to meet and I sell more books. Traveling to and from each conference, I ask virtually everyone I meet, “Do you like to read?” Ticket agents, shuttle drivers, gate agents, flight attendants, pilots, hotel personnel while checking in. “Do you like to read?” as I hand them my card I share, “Well this is a book that I wrote that made the Bestseller list.”
The bottom line is if you don’t ask you won’t sell. I am not rude about it; I am not pushy. I just answer their questions and share what it is that I do. Well that’s mostly true, I am an Author. But what I really do is sell. Everywhere, every time, I do not miss an opportunity.
As I attend different conferences I see people who don’t take full advantage of their every opportunity to promote and sell themselves. Just recently, I was at a marketing conference. During a Q&A session, I saw/heard person after person get up and say; “Hi my name is Bob and my question is…” Or they would just skip their first name altogether and go straight to their question. When I am called upon, I share my name, David Koop, but I don’t stop there. “Hi my name is David Koop; I am a Bestselling author, keynote speaker and a Certified World Class Speaking Coach.” This is about marketing, why wouldn’t you? I have even been pointed out on many occasions by the speakers for doing it.“See that’s how it’s done” they say. When it is appropriate I also share my URL.
In addition to the 20 books I sold at that conference, I also booked three new coaching clients by using that simple technique. This is just one small part of the many ways that I market my book. In addition to all of the larger, far more productive ways that I sell my book, I get to add these ideas which add an extra $10,000 each to my yearly total. It all adds up, large and small. Remember you are going to be there anyway, why not spread your message and profit from it too?
If you need help marketing your book, I am happy to help. Just email me. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David A. Koop,
Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker and Certified World Class Speaking Coach
“Cancer It’s a Good Thing I Got It! The Life Story of a Very Lucky Man”