In the previous articles of this series, we discussed what strategy you should use in getting your book on the shelves of Costco and other specialty stores, and tips for pitching your book or whether a certain store and your book are a good match. This process has a sweet spot – the pitch you give to the store manager. Now we share some simple techniques that will greatly increase your chance to succeed at the pitching, and land a deal!
Tip 1: One Page Layout (Your Book Sell Sheet): No matter how rich you plan your pitch to be, and what tools you want to use to present it, if any, in the end, always have a good-looking, clean, book sell sheet you can hand over, with the most necessary info: reviews, endorsements, key selling points – think of it as a CV for your book! Check out my blog post on creating book sell sheets.
Tip 2: Clarify Your Terms: Simply make sure you figure out all the numbers before a sit-down with the manager. Being open minded does help, but you will need to start somewhere. Decisions made in the heat of the moment do not add up later. It is paramount to set your bottom line beforehand – prepare to give them around 50% of your book sales. The exposure is worth it.
Tip 3: Think Ahead and Book Some Quiet Time: Naturally when you go and visit someone, you ask them when they have the time first, but there are certain rules in retail you should keep in mind. Avoid Saturdays and weekends in general, and if possible, don’t go pitching anytime after Black Friday. They might offer to schedule you for a time like this, but this is really not a good time to sit down with a busy manager (even if they believe it will be okay). Cautiously find out if there is a better time, or if they are sure you can have an undisrupted and focused talk.
If you use these simple book marketing tips to enhance your pitch, you greatly raise your chances of your book making it to the shelves where you want to see them on sale the most!