Part three of a six part series on selling your books to organizations. See the rest of this series and other articles by Shel Horowitz.
It’s absolutely vital to understand how an organization will benefit from your book before you make the initial contact–because you must answer that question in your proposal letter. This brief adaptation from Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers provides some possible answers:
The key question to ask yourself is this:
How does this organization genuinely benefit from using my book?
There are many possible answers; finding the correct answer may be the key that will turn your prospect into a buyer. Usually, the correct answer will involve drilling down with “so what” questions, until you find ways to either increase sales of the organization‘s products and services and/or increase the organization’s status in the minds of its customers, prospects, employees, vendors—and in some cases (especially to counterbalance negative publicity) the general public. Among many possibilities, the organization might want to:
- Show people how to use the organization’s product or services in creative or expanded ways.
- Establish its own expertise and/or disseminate its ideas to a wider audience.
- Demonstrate a commitment to the community (as when a local bank sponsors a history of the town).
- Overcome bad press.
- Show off the organization in time for an important anniversary or milestone.
- Woo lucrative clients, investors/donors, or business-venture partners with interesting and useful gifts.
- Use the book for internal training.
- Convey a point of view about a hot-button issue of the day (for instance, a organization might give out copies of a book to legislators, regulators, or policy makers).
- Demonstrate that it is a caring and concerned organization willing to help.
One I don’t mention in the book is more important these days than ever before: create (or supplement) a revenue stream through product sales.
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.