Sell solutions even if you’re not selling books

The retail news for bookstores this holiday season has been dismal. Only Amazon is posting good retail sales – and I suspect they did a lot of heavy discounting in order to make those numbers.

So here you are. An author with boxes of books for sale and no eager buyers in sight. What do you do?

Forget about selling the book for now. Sell the solution to your readers’ problems instead.

The truth of the matter is, except for your Mom, nobody really cares that you wrote a book. What they care about is that you have solutions to a problem that’s bothering them. Maybe it’s a way to lose that last 10 pounds. Or get out of debt forever. Or win the girl or guy of your dreams. That’s what people want to buy.

And they don’t necessarily want to buy a book to get that information. People might prefer to buy a series of podcasts. Or a video. Or an ebook that they can read on their smart phone. If your book isn’t available in those kinds of formats, you may be leaving money on the table. Oh, sure, they might buy your book as well. But don’t you think you might be able to charge more – and get more – for a class that includes your book and maybe a workbook?