Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Sales: Targeting Education Sellers

I'm sharing another of the continuing Q&A a la Ann Landers feature from my #SharingwithWriters newsletter with you again. There is something satisfying about knowing I have helped an individual with a specific problem.  Subscribers are welcome to send their own question so why not subscribe. Send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to HoJoNews@aol.com.


Q&A A La Ann Landers

Getting Your Book Into Campus Libraries and More!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUESTION
Re university bookstores: I know that Random House had my book in their catalog targeting educational sellers. Is there more than that I can do? How would I 
1. identify them and
 2. approach them?

ANSWER
I'm going to use my husband's experience with his What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z as an example because he was so successful with it. 

He put together a form letter (which he tweaks)depending on who it's going to. He goes online and finds areas on campus that could use his book. That includes 
1. Libraries
 2. International Student Programs 
3. International Student Course Teachers 
4. Campus Bookstore Buyers  

He spends about 30 minutes a day sending the letter to the correct person when possible. Sometimes that's only 1 contact. Some days, when research goes well, it's three or four.  He's had some amazing successes like having his book chosen as gifts/recommendations by the university that hosts the Fulbright Scholars in the US each summer.  There is a cost to it beyond time. He offers a free book to those influencers who show an interest, but these most often don't result in single book sales, either.  The top sale we could trace to his letters (it's sometimes easier for self-published authors to trace sales to a specific effort) was 59 copies. 

One more secret. He keeps at it. 

An alternative for you that isn't as frugal and not as effective because the contact is not personal (but a lot less time-consuming!:

 IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) had a catalog that they send out to libraries, a separate one to university libraries and one to reviewers.  I've used that. It can be good...or not. Depending on the title. 

Be aware, that if you find an instructor who recommends your book or uses is at class reading, the bookstore often stocks the book automatically. But not always. It doesn’t hurt to mention that your book was ordered or that Professor X showed an interest in your book in a followup letter to the buyer.  






----- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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