Sunday, November 9, 2008

RichWriter Book Promotion Article: Mail Order Book Sales

The power of a self-addressed stamped envelope.  Let me tell you.  This technique really works.  People oftentimes do not want to wait for to send them a book.  They'd much rather drive half a day, go to a bookstore, and get it now.  The interesting thing is, if you tell them that you will mail them a copy of the book and they can pay you when they get the book, they'll love that.


So what you need to do is start creating really a database of e-mail addresses, and for those who haven't bought your book on, you will let them know that you'd love to send them a copy of the book.  Let them know for sure that it's not a free book but rather that they can pay for it when they receive the book.  You really want to start creating out a database of addresses draw up and list, so that you would have a huge database of people that you can send the book to.


Now, you want to make sure of course the cost of the book is very, very cheap, so that you can afford to send the book out to as many people as possible.  It's a technique that a lot of magazines use.  Now, you don't want to promise to give the book away and then charge them.  That's really tick people up.  Tell, them you'll send them a copy of the book and they can donate the money.  Suggest a donation price, of course and let them know that it's a discounted price.  For example, maybe normally the book will sell on retail for $15, but you're going to give it to them and use the word "give it to them" for $10.  If they don't like it, they can send the book back, and nine out of 10, going to keep the book.  And at least 80% of the time, 70‑80% of the time, they're going to mail you the money.  You don't want to [Inaudible 01:29] into buying the book at all.  You don't want to push them; you don't want to nag them because it doesn't work.  Also, when you send them a copy of the book, you want to send a personable note in it, and autograph the book personally to them.  You really want them to feel food about getting the book.


Now, in order to keep the cost down and in order to send the books out, you want to really send the book media rate, rather than first class because this is going to keep the cost down dramatically and usually in half.  Some people call it book rate; most of people call it media rate.  You really are supposed to have just the book in the envelope and no other piece of paper.  But, if you become friendly with the postal workers who by the way who will also buy copies of your book, then they often let you slide and really a lot of times they don't ask you what's in the envelope.  They assume it's going to be a book.  But what you want to include in the envelope is not only a copy of your book - a self-addressed stamp envelope that's going to be addressed to you from them.  So, what they're going to do is that when they get the book, they're going to stick a check or money order or cash in the envelope.  So any envelope you want to have, some kind of dark color piece of paper so that people stick cash in it, and they feel comfortable knowing that nobody is going to be looking through the envelope and steal the cash.  When you receive the money, you may send an e-mail to them to let them know that, yes you did receive it, thank you so much.


You also want to give them something a little bit extra like a bookmark or some kind of treat.  Don't tell them ahead of time that you're going to be adding this to the book, but give it to them as a surprise.  They're going to be really, really happy about that.  The thing about a media rate is yes it takes a couple of days longer than first class, but a couple of days will end you up saving at least a dollar a book in mailing cost.  The cost of self-addressed stamped envelope is of course just, you know the stamp itself.


When you get the envelopes back, remember to hold on to the envelopes.  Don't throw them away because you want to keep them because these addresses you have, you're going to want to utilize this database and start keeping these addresses and these names in an excel file, so that the next book in the series or the next book that you write, you can go back to these same people and let them know that the newest book is out, and good chances are, they're going to want to buy the book.


If for whatever reason, you send a copy of the book, and you haven't heard from them in two weeks and they still haven't sent to you the money, then send them an e-mail, just ask them that they receive the book, let them know that you did have to buy the book from the printers so it wasn't free, but be gentle about it.  Don't push them.  And after about a couple of followups, friendly followups, they still haven't sent you the money, they come over to all kinds of excuses why they haven't sent it or they've got around to it, let it go.  It's not worth the fight.  It's not worth the bad image you might portray if you push them or nag them or burn any type of bridge why you're asking them to send it.  What's interesting is that even though there are certain people may not send you the book for whatever reason, other people are going to donate you more money than the cost of the book just to help you out, so order to be supportive.  And that's really going to balance out anybody who might flake out and not send you any money.  Really start collecting these people's e-mail addresses whenever you talk to them because you want to have control of the information.  You want to have control over contacting them.  Don't just hand out your business card to them because they may never ever contact you.  They may say they're going to buy the book, but they may not, but you want to be keep in touch with them.  Whenever someone reads a book, ask them what they thought about it.  And if they give you a great review, ask them to post that review on


By following these techniques, you can creat cash flow and build an audience for future books.