Repost: How to sell lots and lots of your books

Speak Without Interruption, a blog worth following, recently had an interesting article about how to sell lots and lots of your books. This article briefly discussed how to use the Internet to sell your books by providing samples on your website and elsewhere.

I wanted to add that this is a major thrust of Amazon’s marketing, where they have the “Look inside this book!” option that lets you thumb your way through the TOC, the index, and a few pages to give you the flavor of what you’re getting. Not every book has this, but I’d wager that a majority of books in print do because it’s a smart way to go.

My upcoming book, being a book for a specific audience (still can’t say at this moment), will have a sample chapter available in PDF format from a number of venues (again, I can’t say specifically yet) that interested readers can download and review. If the book looks like it’s worth it at that point, they can buy it. I’m probably going to peddle it through Amazon, even though they take a 50% bite of the action, simply because it’s worth the exposure.

How to Be Famous in Your Profession–Summary

Being famous is really all about extending your reach. It’s great for hearing about that next job or finding someone with hard-to-get information. Fame even lets you get a free drink or lunch occasionally, but it’s not a substitute for having a life of your own. Relax and have fun with it.

Fame is not a zero-sum game. Everyone can be well-known if they want to be. Because of this, never make the mistake of assuming that because you’re famous you’re entitled to more than anyone else. And remember that it’s not enough to be famous just for being famous; you need to be famous because you actually have something that you do reasonably well. If you forget to do things for yourself, you will soon discover that you don’t have anything new to offer… and you’ll become a parody of what you once were.

Make connections between people

One of the values of being known by a number of people is that you can make connections between people and increase the networking. For example, as your own circle grows, people will often ask you questions like “How can I get started in this business?” or “Who do you recommend I talk to for a job?” Knowing a lot of people allows you to introduce people in your network to each other, making them happy and increasing your own prestige in the process.

Have some opinions

Having opinions is part of being human. You don’t have to tailor your opinions to what is popular, but you should be willing to discuss your point of view with other people. But be ready to disagree with people appropriately: Having opinions is part of what makes other people human, too. Your opinions are guaranteed to brush up against someone else’s opinions. It will broaden your horizons to hear that someone disagrees with you keenly on some fundamental issue (even if you’re sure in your heart that they’re a jerk for doing so ~grin~). Be professional in your disagreements and try to accept the people that disagree with you. Remember Hedtke’s Law: a person who doesn’t offend somebody couldn’t possibly interest anybody.

Publish articles

Articles get your name out to a wider range of people than doing public speaking. It’s also a different audience, too: the folks that hear you speak are the ones who, like you, like going to conferences. The people who read articles are going to be the ones who stay at home (and the ones who go to the conferences and enjoy learning everything they can about the profession).

Speak at events

Fame is largely a function of who knows you. Being a speaker at events is one excellent way of getting people to know who you are and what you think about things. Don’t forget to answer questions and talk to as many people afterwards as you can.

Remember peoples’ names

Everyone likes to think they’re special and they’ve made an impression on someone else. Try to remember as many names as you can. When you do the business card swap with people, be sure to make notes on business cards about who the person is, when you met, or what you talked about as a trigger to memory, too.

Tip: There are several slicko smart phone applications that let you snap a photo of the business card with the cell phone camera and file the information in a database.


Good listeners are hard to find and will make themselves welcome almost anywhere. Men in particular have a cultural tendency to interrupt. If you make a point of listening to whatever the other person in a conversation is saying until they’re all done and then replying, you will differentiate yourself from 99% of the rest of the world. (Hot tip for men: being a good listener will do you worlds of good in your relationships, too.)

Meet people

Fame is largely a function of who knows you. Get out and meet as many people in your profession as you can. As your network grows, you’ll discover that people know you that you don’t know and you don’t even know the people that they say they heard about you from. You don’t need to be the life of the party, but be interesting.

Attend things

Don’t sit home alone watching TV. Whenever possible, go to conferences. Go to meetings. Go to lunches and picnics. Participate in group activities. You don’t need to volunteer for hard jobs–indeed, that’s the harder way to be famous; besides, you’ll be asked plenty about volunteering as time goes by and your fame increases–but do pitch in for things.