Don’t Say This

August 2005
by Jen Linck

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A few phrases that sales reps
hear all the time make them cringe. If you use them, you’re probably sending a
signal that selling your book will be a challenge. So bite back the urge to
proclaim:

“This book sells itself!”

If only it were true. The books
that sell themselves say “John Grisham,” “Harry Potter,” or “Danielle Steele”
on the cover. OK, yes, there are quite a few authors whose books will sell at
some level without promotion—but we still see them promoted, don’t we?
Even the large houses know that they can’t take anything for granted. And the
key is that these are famous authors (or characters, like everyone’s favorite
boy wizard), but none of them got to where they are without serious efforts by
their publishers. Please know that no matter how brilliant a book is, most
buyers won’t be reading it. What they care about is the publisher’s ability to
promote.

“There’s no other book
like it!”

There’s always another book like
it. To be fair, someone had to be the first to write a book about the Internet,
low-carb dieting, or Michael Jackson, but it’s unlikely that the first book on
the topic did well. And, yes, you may be approaching the topic in a way that no
one has before—that’s expected. (For example, the South Beach Diet is
just a new approac

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