While there are plenty of ways to make money writing books, selling your books in bulk can really help you to rake in more money while also gaining greater exposure for your work.
If you’re a new author, bulk orders probably aren’t something that will pour in on their own. But with a little creativity and strategic thinking, you can persuade companies, universities, and other businesses to buy your books in massive quantities.
How to Sell Books in Bulk
With the right strategies, you might find yourself fulfilling orders for hundreds—perhaps thousands—of copies of your book.
Here are some tips on where to start your search and how to close great deals that will get your book into even more hands.
If you’re self-publishing and looking to get your book into book stores, you’ll need a book distributor on your side. However, distributors will expect to get your books (in bulk) at a discount of 50% to 65% off the retail price.
In addition, most major bookstores require that your books be returnable (in any condition) for a full refund if they fail to sell.
But while getting a big distributor to buy your books in bulk can help land you on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and other giants, it’s not your only option.
Alternatives to Big Distributors
If you’re looking for an alternative to major distributors, you might try some of the methods below to land bigger orders and get more exposure for your work.
Large corporations often distribute freebies at their events and trade shows, like mugs or pens. Convince them to give away your book!
Companies often distribute books to their employees or customers as training or motivational materials, as long as the subject matter is relevant to their work.
You might choose to co-brand your book with a non-profit. They can add their logo to your cover, and their corporate sponsor can purchase copies of your book to distribute to partners and members.
Large retailers might like to give away your books as a gift with purchase. For example, if you wrote a book related to wellness, ask your local pharmacy if they’d consider featuring your book in their store.
Specialty retailers (think coffee shops, gas stations, or gift shops) can either sell your books or give them away with purchases.
College professors usually choose the required texts for their class’s curriculum. If you can persuade them that your book is a good learning tool for their course, it might soon be featured in college libraries across the country (not to mention the spike in individual sales you’ll get from students who want their own copy to study).
You’ll need to keep in mind that whenever you’re selling books in bulk, a discount is usually expected by purchasers.
Have a number in mind and be ready to negotiate when you approach any of the businesses above. You might also want to negotiate certain terms (like no returns/refunds).
How to Target Buyers
If you’re wondering just who you should pitch your book to, here are a few things you should consider:
- Companies you mentioned. If you recommend or mention any companies or products in your book, you’ll definitely want to reach out to them.
- Your topic. If your book is about finance, for example, you could hit up your bank’s local branch—they might be happy to give away a copy of your book to new customers. Or, if you wrote a book about diet and fitness, you could pitch to fitness centers or vitamin shops.
- Your industry. Do your research about companies within your industry (if your book pertains to a certain field) and make a list of the ones you want to pitch to.
Even More Ways to Sell
Getting companies and other organizations to send you bulk orders is just one way to make more money selling your books—but the possibilities are endless!
From selling in person at conventions to becoming an Amazon Kindle bestseller, growing your sales and your readership is only a matter of creativity, strategic thinking, and, of course, hard work.
Be sure to check out more of our marketing tips for authors to help you prepare for success as an author.
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