Part one of a six part series on selling your books to organizations. See the rest of this series and other articles by Shel Horowitz.
When an organization buys your book, in quantity, there are many advantages to you beyond the dollars in your pocket. Not that those dollars aren’t a good thing; they most certainly are. But the cash in your pocket may not be worth as much as the massive marketing benefit you can get from it:
- Third-party validation. When an organization buys your book, it’s the highest kind of endorsement. The movers and shakers of that organization are telling their members that your work contributes valuable knowledge in the field where they’re the recognized experts. Is that cool or what?
- Access to the organization’s members. Depending on how the group plans to use your book (we’ll talk about some of the possibilities in Part 2), it may tell its members about you through newsletters, web sites, member events that feature you as a speaker, presenter, consultant, or visiting celebrity. The group could even bring you in as a paid spokesperson!
- Ability to mention this relationship in your other marketing. If, for example, you’re approaching a journalist to pitch your heart-disease recovery book, or talking to a medical book club about carrying your title, don’t you think you’ll get more attention if you can say honestly that you’re partnering with the American Heart Association?
- Potentially, you could even get access to the organization’s other partners, including for-profit businesses that might also buy your book in quantity, sponsor appearances, etc.
- If the arrangement is made before you go to print, you can lower your print costs by increasing volume to supply the organization’s purchase.
For all these reasons, it’s worth coming to a deal. Unless it’s a very small purchase, don’t be afraid to discount. If you can do better than break even, that’s terrific. But if you at least cover your costs, the deal still works in your favor, long-term.
Part 2 of this series suggests several types of organizations that might work for you. Part 3 will look at ways organizations might use your books, part 4 on the types of books that can work (you may be pleasantly surprised), and part 5, how to approach the organizations. And as a bonus, part 6 will apply what you’ve learned to bulk purchases in the corporate sector.
Book publishing/marketing consultant and copywriter Shel Horowitz is the author of six marketing books. His three most recently published books, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, and Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World have all won awards. Visit http://www.frugalmarketing.com to order his books or learn about his services.