Seven Tips for Selling Books Overseas

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August 2011
by Johanna Vondeling

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Seven Tips for Selling Books Overseas

by Johanna Vondeling

On a recent trip to Singapore, I met with our partners at McGraw-Hill Asia, which distributes our English-language print editions in that part of the world. I was pleased to see that Berrett-Koehler books were amply represented on Singapore bookstore shelves, and delighted to get advice from our partners about what publishers and authors can do to help their books sell overseas, advice I’ve heard from other distribution partners in Europe, Australia, and Africa as well.

Here are their pointers for the top six things you can do to influence international sales, plus a seventh leading to another, equally helpful source:

1. Travel overseas. The single most powerful impact you can get comes when you visit in person. Just as in the United States, immersive speaking events build community and drive sales. And foreign media are much more likely to cover your book if you’re coming to town.

2. Make sure the book includes international examples. Since overseas book markets are just as crowded as the U.S. market, if stores abroad are faced with choosing between a book that has local applications and one that’s just U.S.-centric, they’ll go local every time.

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