Offline Independent Book Sales

by John C. Connell

Try local bookstores for elling your paperback. (Photo by MorBCN Flickr Creative Commons

Try local bookstores for selling your paperback. (Photo by MorBCN Flickr Creative Commons


Besides Amazon and Smashwords, how and where do you sell your books? Parish or Catholic bookstore? Local retail outlets? Direct at your events? Card table in the front yard?

Here are 5 tips to help you to sell more content!

 1. Speak!

Deliver your message in person, and always have copies with you to offer. In person you can easily test different price points, create discounted bundles (once you have multiple titles) and/or provide bonus giveaways. Sign everything. The will audience appreciate it.

2. Local bookstores

Catholic and other local bookstores are often good advocates for area and independent authors. Standard discounts for bookstores is 40% off of your book’s retail price. If you can live with that, great. My personal opinion (as of this writing) is that your book’s presence at a Parish, Catholic or Retreat Center bookstore can certainly help “your brand”, but without very public events and/or a lot of advertising dollars, they will only produce occasional or supplemental sales to your direct and/or online efforts. Go into it with the right expectations.

3. Other retailers

50% off of retail price is a standard discount level for other types of retailers like gift shops, grocery stores, and restaurants. Don’t dismiss these options. Put your thinking cap on and keep a running list of possible connections you could make with other businesses. You may be surprised where you can create some visibility for yourself.

4. Corporate sponsorships

Corporate sponsorships are another avenue for the ambitious! Look for business people to help sponsor (pay for) bundles of books for you to give away or offer at dramatic discounts. The Chicken Soup for the Soul writers sold many of their millions of books with this strategy.

5. Translations and alternative editions.

You got English covered, but what about Spanish? Consider getting your work translated to grow your audience. Also what about audio? What about breaking your book up into a series of chapter installments? What about YouTube or Vimeo videos? Lot’s of people want your content but have a hard time finding quality reading time. Listening, skimming small portions via email, or watching may work better for them.


John C. Connell wrote the non-fiction titles: Catholics Mean Business & Catholics Have Courage, and the Novella – Eyewitness!

As a practicing Catholic concerned with building bridges, not walls, with people from all walks of life, speaker, business grad from the school of hard knocks and book lover, he uses his outlook and experience to reach, encourage, motivate and nurture the soul at work.  His readers are his mission. Find him here.


Tell us what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s