Increasing Sales without Expanding Inventory

How can a new, one-book author-publisher reach quantity of scale? How can he or she increase sales?

One way is to carry other books on the same subject, but you do not want to pay for them and a 40% discount is not enough. Instead, look for other books that compliment your book. Think: “If a person were to buy my book, shouldn’t they also buy this similar book?” Hopefully they realize it is cheaper to buy several books on a subject than to make a mistake.

Contact other (small) author-publishers (there are 86,000 to choose from) and offer to exchange a few cartons of books. Now you each have two offerings—at no additional investment. You traded your books for their books. Add the new title to your website, etc.

For example, I wrote The Expert Witness Handbook. Rosalie Hamilton wrote the Expert Witness Marketing Handbook. They are complimentary; they do not compete. Rosalie and I exchange several cartons of books at a time.

Now here is a larger advantage: you can afford to wholesale the other title; you can give 40% or more off for quantity orders. One customer buys quantities of each book from us for their conference. You can give them a full discount on both books because each title cost you just the printing price. Think about that and consider carton exchanges. It is easier to trade cartons of books than to write another book.

Dan Poynter, the Voice of Self-Publishing, has written more than 100 books since 1969 including Writing Nonfiction and The Self-Publishing Manual. Dan is a past vice-president of the Publishers Marketing Association.