Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
We all care about how many copies our book sells, right? But who among us is thinking about sales velocity?
Velocity is created when an emphasis is put on garnering significant sales for the day the book releases rather than being concerned about how many copies the book ultimately sells.
Why does velocity matter? Because velocity:
- helps to create word of mouth and therefore generates more sales
- puts books on best-seller lists
- causes media to pay attention
Cathie Beck self-published her memoir, Cheap Cabernet, after trying to place her manuscript with a publisher for ten years. In Publishers Weekly, she explains how she leveraged the idea of velocity to jump start sales. “What if I treated it [self-publishing the book] like a small business and just did an exhaustive marketing campaign online, and I got everybody to buy the book one day on Amazon so sales rankings would go up, and I created buzz around that and put that buzz in front of agents and publishers?”
Her strategy worked. As a result of her Amazon sales efforts, she obtained an agent who then found a publisher for the book, presenting it as a “heat seeker” on Amazon to the editor.
Another author sends stickers to everyone on her mailing list, asking them to put the stickers on their calendars to remind then to buy the author’s newest book on the day of its release. The goal? Create velocity. Get on the best-seller list.
Still another author created velocity by asking a well-known writer for an endorsement of her debut novel. When the writer provided the endorsement, the writer suggested she ask some of her published friends to endorse the book as well. The enthusiasm among these women for the book was so great, that each of these authors “adopted” the debut novelist, and they formed a plan to promote the book among their individual readers via social media the day it released.
In turn, the media picked up on the frequent mentions of the novel and started to ask the author for interviews. The result? Velocity.
My point is that, in many ways, it’s easier to create velocity than it is to work to generate long-term sales. Velocity is something you can focus on. You think in terms of either generating as many sales through as many venues as possible on a given day, or you concentrate on one venue for a given day (such as Amazon). You, as the author, are very focused, and you give your readers a very focused way to respond.
It’s such a simple concept; yet it can have such a profound affect.
So, if you’re stymied as to how to generate sales, think velocity.
Have you ever used velocity?
What ways can you see using velocity?