How to Select Books That Will Sell

November 2007
by Davida Breier

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How to Select Books That Will Sell

by Davida Breier

So, you think you’ve got a possible winner on your hands. While the embryonic title may well have scholarly, intellectual, or artistic merit, what about actual sales potential? Channeling a passion for books into a thriving business obviously requires considering the bottom line. Certain sales and marketing questions need to be asked before you take the plunge into print.

Focus First on the Audience

? Does your author clearly know who will read this book? If the author has written the book without thought beyond family and friends or for a niche so small you can carry it in your back pocket, you will be funding someone’s hobby. On the other hand, your author may be your greatest source for marketing advice and know exactly who the prospective readers are and—better yet—how to reach them. If your author says the book is for “everyone” or mentions “Oprah” it is probably time to find another author. One writer’s delusions are the publisher’s second mortgage.

? What is your plan for reaching the prospective audience? Can you handle this without your author? Make sure you have a plan B, just in case the author is not willing or able to market as expected.

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