Feb. 15, 2023

How to Best Sell Your Books So You Can Make Money - BM357

How to Best Sell Your Books So You Can Make Money - BM357

Want to sell your books so you can make money?

Everyone has their own motivations for buying books, so if you want to be successful with yours it's essential that you understand what people are looking for and how they'll use what you have to offer.

Listen as Brian Jud, a publishing trailblazer, and bestselling author of Beyond the Bookstore and How to Make Real Money Selling Books Without Worrying About Returns shares unconventional strategies to sell books in bulk.

Want to sell your books so you can make money?

Everyone has their own motivations for buying books, so if you want to be successful with yours it's essential that you understand what people are looking for and how they'll use what you have to offer.

Listen as Brian Jud, a publishing trailblazer, and bestselling author of Beyond the Bookstore and How to Make Real Money Selling Books Without Worrying About Returns shares unconventional strategies to sell books in bulk.
In this powerful episode, you will discover...

  • How to look beyond traditional bookstores and explore fresh, out-of-the-box marketing ideas 
  • How to maximize your profits by selling books in bulk to corporate buyers with non-returnable sales
  • How to take advantage of multiple avenues for connecting with new readers and expanding your reach using professional associations, and tradeshows

And much, much more...

Here's how to connect with Brian and book your free 15-minute consult

Click here to schedule your 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan


Susan Friedmann 00:00:00

 Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. 


Today, my special guest is an industry expert, Brian Jud. Brian is a book marketing consultant and powerhouse in the publishing industry. Not only does he lead the Premium book company and serve as Executive Director of the association of Publishers for Special Sales, he's also written numerous books of his own, including his bestsellers and two of my personal favorites, beyond the Bookstore and how to Make Real Money Selling Books Without Worrying About Returns. Plus, he contributes editorials to numerous monthly newsletters. 


Brian, it's a pleasure to welcome you back to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.


Brian Jud 00:01:00

My pleasure, Susan. Thanks very much for inviting me. I'm looking forward to it.


Susan Friedmann 00:01:04

Brian, a load of water has passed under the bridge since you and I spoke over six years ago. Can you believe it? When I interviewed you? We're in our 7th year now, and you were one of my first guests, so it's a pleasure to have you back.


Brian Jud 00:01:22

Thank you very much.


Susan Friedmann 00:01:23

The book markets has changed in so many ways, and so let's zero in and talk about the industry and how specifically nonfiction authors can do a whole lot more than rely on Amazon and bookstores to sell their books. The big question is how to tap into markets where they can make some real money selling books. Where should we begin, Brian?


Brian Jud 00:01:54

Well, probably just somewhat of a definition of what non bookstore marketing is. I'll say it's everything outside of bookstores, but that doesn't say what it is. It just says what it's not. I break it down into two segments, Susan. One is retail, and one is non retail. Retail could be to airport stores or supermarkets or gift shops or discount stores or warehouse clubs. And the other side is non retail, which is the corporations, associations, schools, military, government, buyers, they're totally distinct. They're mutually exclusive in the way that they're approached and the way that they're profitable or not profitable. I think in the retail side, I should say not profitable, but less profitable. In the retail side. I think that just that distinction of what the definition is is a good place to start that at least let people know that we can talk about both of these, if that's on your agenda. We can talk about the retail and the non retail, the ways in which you can reach these. In either case, the first step is to define your target reader. Who's your target audience? My first question to my clients is who's your target reader? Everybody can benefit from this. How are you going to reach them? Well, I don't know yet, but I will.


Susan Friedmann 00:03:06

It's so funny. I love the fact that you say that because I asked exactly the same question as basically who is your book for? What do you want the book to do for you? So there are a couple of really poignant questions, and you're right, knowing that target reader is going to be the first step in finding where are some of the best places that you can actually sell this book, and, as you say, make money with it.


Brian Jud 00:03:33

It's so important because people buy books for different reasons, and you need to find out why that they will buy that and make the equation, or equate it to arm and hammer. Baking soda may sound weird, but think about how is that used? It's used as a deodorant, used as a toothpaste, it's used in recipes, and everybody uses it in a different way. It's the same with your book. If you talk to a retailer, they're not really necessarily care about your book. What they want is store traffic and they want profit per square foot and they want inventory turns. If you're selling a book to a librarian, they don't care about that. They care about how will I help my patrons? Or if you're going to the media, they don't care about profit per square foot. They want a good show for their audience. It's like an arm and hammer. You have to think about each of these target segments, buys for a different reason, and you have to be able to when you're contacting them, you have to talk about how your marketing will help them. So you're talking to a retailer, the book is secondary. In almost every case, the book is secondary. What promotion are you doing? How will you drive people to my store? How will having your book on the shelf be more profitable to me than having some other book on the shelf? People, when they do send their book to a distributor or to a retailer or to a potential buyer, they talk about how great their book is. So what everyone listening to that radio station WIIFM, what's in it for me? And if you can talk about how your promotion will drive people to these retailers, or that your skills and media will help you communicate to the audience to give them a good show about the benefits to them, in almost every case when you're selling your book, the book is the least likely item on the topic. It's more about what the book does. And that's, I think, the important thing. And people just lose that they're so involved with the book. They've been working on it for the last two or three years. That's right, it's a baby.


Susan Friedmann 00:05:29

No, I absolutely agree with you. Now, one market that you talked about that I know is becoming quite a hot market, and that is libraries. Let's spend a few moments talking about that being an area where our nonfiction authors and of course our fiction, but mainly our nonfiction, because that's a big target market for this show. How can we even penetrate that marketplace? How would we go about that?


Brian Jud 00:05:54

I look at it a little bit differently than most people do. I think that every sale has to be looked at in a creative way of how you can do something more profitably, a little bit differently from everybody else. So when I work with my clients, I don't show them how to sell one book to one library or another book to another library. I'm into larger quality sales, particularly non returnable sales. All library sales are non returnable. They're still selling one at a time. So what we do is we'll go to a company and get them to insert their corporate name or a brand name in the book, where if you say, my characters running into a BMW, we might be fiction. But if they talk about some in your not fiction, some product, and you mentioned a generic product, give it a brand name and then go to that company and get them to buy X Thousand Rose books, and they will donate them to libraries. It's a form of advertising for them. So they're looking at this book as a way to get their brand name to 10,000 people. So they'll buy these books and just give them to the libraries. But you've made that one sale of X Thousand books by making that one change in the copy from the generic to the brand name, and you've got the 10,000 book of non returnable sale. So I tried to work with my clients to make that change instead of thinking of selling one book at a time. If you want to sell 10,000 books through Amazon, you have to get 12,000 people to buy them because you get 20% return. But if you want to sell 10,000 books to a corporate buyer, you sell 10,000 books to one person. It's much more profitable. It may take longer, but it's something that it will be more profitably for the long run. They'll pay the shipping for it. Also, if you're selling to libraries, you're sending the books even if you're working through, like, a baker and tailor or through a filet or through a library wholesaler, you're paying the shipping to them. But in this case, the buyer pays the shipping. So you sell X Thousand books non returnable, they pay the shipping, and they pay in 30 days.


Susan Friedmann 00:07:53

That's nice. That's really lovely. I'm with you with that. I mean, I say to my clients, we're not into selling books in onesies and two nies. I want you to think of it in bulk. I sold 500,000 copies to one company in that exact same way. It's like, yes. And they put their name on the book. And so it became their book, my material, their book. And they loved that. They gave it out to their clients. They gave it out at trade shows. Yes. I mean, that's a super way of doing it, but I've never thought of it in terms of being the company donating to the library as opposed to you actually selling two libraries, like there's central Purchasing or something like that. The idea of having a company's name in your book, do you have to get permission from that company to do that? What's the logistics or the legal side of it?


Brian Jud 00:08:53

I always do that. Get the permission. We work with cookbooks and we'll change the generic from ketchup to Heinz ketchup or put half a cup of ketchup in. A few changes, put half a cup of Heinz ketchup in. We'll go to them, first of all, get their permission to do that. But second of all, that opens up the door to get them to buy it. If you call up and say, I want to talk to you about buying my book, they'll hang up on you. But if you talk to them, I want to talk about ways I can get spread your brand name to 10,000 or 500,000 people, then you got their attention. It's much better to go to them to get their permission to let them know what you're doing, then also gets them involved with it too, so they could pay for it. They may pay for the new printing. So it's something that it's always better to have that permission than go back later and ask for forgiveness because yes, then you get the lawyers involved.


Susan Friedmann 00:09:44

Exactly. Let's talk about that strategy, which is a brilliant strategy. I love it. The book is already published and now we come up with this idea of a strategy. How could we then use that same strategy? However, the book is now, as I said, it's out there on the streets. Is there a way to sort of almost like backpedal that strategy?


Brian Jud 00:10:07

You don't have to change the context at all or content at all, except for that one word. In the example of the cookbook, you could have the Heinz ketchup or you have a different kind of olive oil or different kind of whatever the product may be, and change it to each individual company so that's in retrospect, after the book is published, if you want to do it before it's published, that's fine too. But then you want to stay away from exclusives unless they pay enough for it. But just changing the generic to a brand name is easy to do at any stage, whether it's pre pub or post pub. If you go to a company and they don't want to change the name to BMW, well, you change it to Lexus, and then go to Lexus or change it to Ford. Go to Ford. It's like I make the analogy to a burglar. The burglar has an objective of getting in the house. If the front door doesn't work, then you go to the garage door that doesn't work. You go to a rear window that doesn't work, you go down the chimney. But whatever it is, you have different ways of getting to it. So you want to be able to find out, here's my objective and how can I get into these different places in different ways to reach that objective. And that can be done at any stage of the publication process, pre or postpone.


Susan Friedmann 00:11:14

So let's go deeper into this strategy because it's a brilliant one. And I know that our listeners are going to say, well, how do we do this? How do we approach in A company, how do we even get them interested in this idea? Which is dynamite, as we know, but where do we start with a company? So let's say we like the idea of a BMW. What would be the process?


Brian Jud 00:11:39

There are two initial points of entry. Thinking back to the burglary, thinking about this year, you think initial points of entry. If you have a book on stress management or productivity, then you might want to go to HR. So you go to a society of human resource managers, go to their website and list all their members. Then you have a prospect list right there. I rank them at A, B and C categories. A is my top prospect, the one that's going to buy the 500,000 books. And B prospect might be someone that a little bit smaller, but they could buy someone a C prospect or someone probably not interested in it, but require a lot of work and a lot of time. So what I do actually is I start off with my C prospects and I'll call them and I'll find out the questions that come up, find out the objections that come up, find out the terminology I need to use, and just get more familiar with talking with people and then work my way up. Because you don't want to start off with your A prospects because you only get one shot at them.


Susan Friedmann 00:12:34

Yeah. So that you'll see one, you're saying this is almost like your research. You're doing your research on the C company.


Brian Jud 00:12:42



Susan Friedmann 00:12:42

Now what? I found something I talk about, and I use the Hertz Avis model where there was a great ad, you might be familiar with it, where Avis always talks about trying harder because Hertz is sort of like the top of the chain, the Cadillac, and Avis is trying harder to be a hurt. And I think those are almost like the B companies who want to be A companies and sometimes they might be more open to the idea. What's your thoughts on that?


Brian Jud 00:13:14

Yeah, I think that's 100% correct. The competitor is being much more aggressive. It wants to be more aggressive against the market leader. If you can give them the wherewithal how to make that leap from number two to number one, as Avis is trying to do, that if you show them a unique way of doing that, a way that cannot be. Duplicated so that you can get them to make that change in your book to it, so as you're talking about avis and then get them to buy it, they'll be able to give it out as gifts to maybe put it in the glove compartment. That when people rent an Avis car, they get the free copy of your book. It just says a thank you for renting from Avis. So it's something, it has their brand, their logo on the COVID Obviously they're getting the credit for it, but it's a way for them to get their name around. And it's a built in list of people because they've already rented from Avis, so they're interested in it. Or maybe they couldn't get a Hertz cars, they rent from Avis and now they get a free book for doing so. So it's a reward for them, so they feel good about abuse. And maybe next time I'll get another book or a different book, which you can do that if you're a publisher and you have a variety of these similar books or non fiction books. Get Avis to buy ten different titles and buy 10,000 of each title and then so they can rotate them so people won't get the same book every time they jump in a car. But if you can give the company a reason why they will benefit that you will get their attention when you make that first call. So that if you call, say, I've got a great book to sell you, you want to hear about it? No, I've got a great book that could increase your sales by 50%. Actually, it's proven to do that other companies I just need about five minutes of your time to explain this idea to you. Can we talk now or should I give you a call back tomorrow? Yeah, okay, maybe you got my attention. Let's talk now. I've got five minutes.


Susan Friedmann 00:14:56

Would this be marketing? Would this be public relations? What department would you start with? With this idea?


Brian Jud 00:15:03

It depends which is my favorite answer for any of your questions? That depends on the content. It could be HR, it could be your entry point, it could be PR, it could be marketing. Depends on the book. A different example to explain this, perhaps a little bit better. Associations could be any association. Go to the Encyclopedia Association, 120,000 listed there, sort them by your content, your topic. And what we do, we'll go to the membership chair and get that person to buy X thousand books. And that person's job is to increase membership. So when people join the association, they renew their membership. They get a free copy of your book. Just thank you for joining, thanks for renewing. Then we'll go to the newsletter editor. That person is looking for content, so we allow them to excerpt 600 words per issue. And they love the idea because they're always looking for fresh content that's applicable to their target. They're not going to pay you for it. And we anticipate that it's not necessary to pay us for it. But how about if you give us a free ad in each newsletter as a barter arrangement? We'll give you this content, you give us a free ad. Oh, sure, we can do that. Doesn't cost us anything. Then you go to the bookstore manager and get your book in their bookstores. They'll buy non returnable, 50% off. Then the newsletter editor could say, well, if you like this content, go to our bookstore and you buy the complete book. Then you go to a meeting planner and get that person to if you're a speaker, then you can find out if you'd be a speaker at their upcoming event. And we worked out programs with the associations where we use the book as an early bird special. They want people to sign up two months before the event. You sign up to this event, then you can get this free copy of this book. So it's something that is all these different points of entry. It could be PR for that also.


Susan Friedmann 00:16:44

Brilliant. Yes. Some very special ideas that I love that you can go to all those different departments with different ideas of how they can use your book. Also, I talk to my authors about using them as trade show giveaways. A company might want to do that at a trade show instead of giving out. They always love to give something out, and they're all giving pens, pencils caps, T shirts. Well, let's give something different. Of course, in the pharma industry, they want educational material. They don't like you giving other things away. So this fits into that really beautifully.


Brian Jud 00:17:25

Have an example of a trade show and a way of selling benefits instead of the features that if you go to call in a company and talk about their trade shows or something, then the company will say, okay, tell me about your book. And the author will say, well, it's a six x nine. It's 320 pages. It's got some great reviews. Look at all these testimonials. Four color photographs throughout. And the best part about it, it's only 1495. And you buy 10,000 books today. I'll give you 50% off. How many do you want? None. But if you turn it around and the buyer says, tell me about your book, I'll be happy to. But may I ask you a question first? Oh, sure. Have you ever used books as a promotional item? No, we haven't. What do you use? We use coffee mugs. What do you use those for? Well, at trade shows, when people come to our exhibit, we give them a free coffee mug for doing that. Wow, that's great. Don't other exhibitors have coffee mugs? Yes, but ours has our logo on it. You have to store them, right? Oh, yeah. And you ship into all the different shows? Certainly. Yeah, we do. And do they ever break? Oh, sure, they're ceramic they break. How many normally buy? We usually buy 5000 at a time. Oh, good. Okay. So now you know all their pain points, their budget. They buy 5000 at a time. The coffee mug is about $3 each. Their budget is $15,000. They don't have a unique giveaway. They have to store them, they have to pay for shipping, for storage, and they break in transit. So then you talk about how you can get set up your ebooks and where you can give people a one time use code and they can go to a website which we set up for them, and download any book they want for free. So they don't have to carry a coffee mug on with them. I've done go to trade shows the night before you're packing up and getting ready to go home. And I've got ten coffee mugs, which 01:00 a.m. I going to take with me, which 09:00 a.m. I going to leave for housekeeping. But here they've got this unique product. There's no storage, there's no shipping. It's something that it's not going to go to break or they use that for their trade show giveaway. And people love that because they get a free book. It's an ebook they download, they don't have to pack in a briefcase. So then set an example of how you can get into the trade show business with these people. The other you mentioned, pharma, and it's right that they had the pharmaceutical sales reps used to give away pens and pads and all that. It has to be educational now to work with one pharmaceutical company that has products for chemotherapy, radiation therapy. They bought a book about eating well through cancer, a book about how to eat nutritiously when you're going through these procedures, how to maintain your nutrition. So these recipes about how to keep up with that. So they bought 50,000 of those on their initial order and they gave them to the doctors, and doctors gave them to their patients. So it's something that they obviously had their name throughout and their logo undercover. But the doctors got the books for free and they gave them away to their patients. So it was an educational product and something that created goodwill between the company and the doctors. That's an example of how you can get the large quantity order based upon the target need. The first thing you really need to do, you come up with that need and you have the elevator pitch in one sentence I help who want get. I help who's your target reader who want what problem they want to solve get the solution. So in one sentence, if you're leaving a voicemail message, these people just, I help who want get. When can I call you? Or call me at this number. And it's a way to get attention, a way to communicate the fact that you can solve their problems and the way that you can let them know that you have this solution available to them.


Susan Friedmann 00:20:51

That's absolutely brilliant. And thank you for giving us the wording as well, because I know that many authors say to me, well, what should I say? Who should I call? What should I say? And you've really honed in on that. This has been invaluable. Brian, if our listeners want to find out more about you, how can they do that?


Brian Jud 00:21:11

Probably the easiest way is email Brian Jud. And Jud is one DsBrianjud@bookmarketing.com bookmarketing.com is getting to the website also. But I go through my emails probably too frequently every day and respond most likely the same day.


Susan Friedmann 00:21:30

And the fact that you got bookmarketing.com, that was brilliant too.


Brian Jud 00:21:34

Actually, I also reserved Brian Jud J-U-D-D because most people automatically they spell the two DS. So I reserve that. So it still gets me even if they misspell it.


Susan Friedmann 00:21:45

Very good. Again, those little tips, little hacks that we need to know about that make all the difference. And I believe you've got a free gift for our listeners as well.


Brian Jud 00:21:57

I do. People would like to have a free 15 minutes consult. We can do that. We can set up a phone call or a zoom call. They can pose a question, how do I sell my books to schools? I would say, well, we talk about that for 15 minutes. I have about a one night sales pitch, if it's appropriate, and we can take it from there or not take it from there, but I will spend the bulk of the time answering the individual's questions.


Susan Friedmann 00:22:21

Perfect, because that's another great market, is schools, and I've got authors who are targeting that market, so it would be good for them to connect with you on that. So, Brian, as you know, we always leave our listeners with a golden nugget. What is your golden nugget?


Brian Jud 00:22:40

I would say that the book marketing is as simple as pie. If you look at pie as an acronym, a plan, implement and evaluate. So you start off with that plan. What are you going to do? Who's your target reader? How are you going to reach them? Do you have the right product? Do you have the right pricing for it? How am I going to promote it and distribute it? So you have that plan and then you implement the plan. You start doing things, but it's based on a strategy. But then you evaluate what's working, what's not working and what's working. You do more of what's not working. You either fix it or get rid of it. Do something and try something else. And you go back it's a circle and keep going back and back to your plan and revising it. I look at the plan as a verb, not a noun. So it's something that's on a regular basis, you're continuously doing it because you're trying something, you're doing something new. Then you evaluate it. Is it working out? How can I make it better. And the more that you can just keep that virtuous cycle going, then I think be much more successful coming up with new ideas. And the implementation is being a little bit creative of coming up with how can I be different from somebody else solving the buyer's problems? So I think just that you look at book marketing as simple as pie could be hopefully a nugget to help people think more about how they can be more strategic in their marketing.


Susan Friedmann 00:23:53

Oh, very much so. I always love the way that you say that plan is a verb and not a noun, because, yes, it makes it softer, because plans, sometimes we get scared of that word, but as a noun, you're going to plan something, it's much softer and you feel as if you can do it. So that's brilliant. Thank you. I knew that this would be amazing, and it was. You didn't let me down. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. 

And by the way, listeners, if your book isn't selling the way you wanted or expected to, let you and I jump on a quick call together to brainstorm ways to ramp up those sales. Because you've invested a whole lot of time, money and energy. Energy. And it's time you got the return you were hoping for. So go to Brainstormwithsuzen.com to schedule your free call. And in the meantime, I hope this powerful interview sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Until next week, here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.

Here's how to connect with Brian and book your free 15-minute consult

 Click here to schedule your 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan