Selling Online: Two Ways to Create Appealing Offers

August 2005
by Thomas Woll and Suzanne Lawlor

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In today’s bookselling world,
the 100-pound gorilla everyone focuses on is But it’s not just this
one vendor you need to be concerned about. It’s every other e-tailer and
bricks-and-mortar retailer as well. You need to ask yourself how you can best
work with these companies as customers that will sell your books, while also
asking yourself how you can best compete against them if you’re selling books
from your own Web site.

Many publishers decide not to
compete against key retailing customers in terms of price. This approach leads
them to sell their books on their own sites for the price on the cover. By
doing this, they feel, they are supporting their customers and positioning
themselves on an even keel with other vendors.

The weak point of the strategy can
be seen by going to or any other price-comparison Internet shopping
site. When I plugged in the title of my own book Publishing for Profit, I got a wide
range of prices, running from $14.95 to $24.95. If I offer that book on our
site at $24.95, my chances of selling many copies are slim to none, given the
competitive pricing.

What’s a publisher to do? There
are two approaches.

·      Create
offers with added value.
Sell the
book at full pri

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