So you hear about this great book that you simply gotta have. What do you do?
Most folks go online to Amazon and do a quick search. Payment is by credit card and the item is either shipped or made available for download. Simple and effective. Customer gets product and seller gets paid.
This seems like a very efficient system on the surface. But is it really?
Why did the consumer even want to buy this book? Was it something that Amazon did? Is the fact that they were able to find the book listed at Amazon have anything to do with promoting the merchandise?
I have an idea that building a demand for your work is the biggest chunk of a successful author’s marketing plan. It is far more important than developing distribution systems, because if there is no demand for the product, then there will be no sales. In fact, it could become a drag because of associated costs, such as inventory or membership or listing fees. Distribution arrangements must be managed, which takes valuable time. Further, you could be subject to restrictions that could compromise your flexibility when it comes to setting prices and selling in other venues.
I’m not saying that that you don’t need a way to distribute your products. But I am raising a few questions:
- Is a big worldwide distribution channel really necessary for your work?
- Does an author need to share revenue by way of sales commissions to a distributor?
- Are there other potentially more profitable ways to set up a supply chain?
True, dyed-in-the-wool DIYers thrill at the chance to produce something through their own ingenuity. To create a work of art is a beautiful thing. To be able to sell it is even better than beautiful! But sometimes production costs for small quantities of quality goods leaves no margin for profit when you go to sell it. That’s why it is important to examine every aspect of your plan to market your work.
Since profit equals the selling price minus the costs ( production + distribution), it would stand to reason that anything that can be done to reduce the cost will increase the profit. This goes for anything that influences these costs.
I will be covering some ideas about shaving the cost of producing and marketing books for writers and self-publishers in later posts. I invite feedback and suggestions. What are some of the best ways a fledgling author can promote and distribute their work.
I would like to leave you with some food for thought:
Search engines can find just about anything, including the distributor of your books… even if the only distributor is You!
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