6 Non-Bookstore Markets Every Author Should Consider

Brian Jud is one of my favorite book marketing experts because he has built his reputation on helping people do exactly what is 2007 book title says-“Beyond the Bookstore: How to Sell More Books Profitably to Non-Bookstore Markets.”

While everyone else is fighting to get into bookstores, Jud teaches us how to take advantage of the markets they leave behind. The following six markets may not be ideal for every book, but they should at least be considered.

  1. Book clubs, Catalogs & Newsletters

Unfortunately, book clubs, catalogs and newsletters are often overlooked by authors who are building their marketing plan. Book clubs sell books at a discount to avid readers. That discount may cut into your profits, but if you find a book club that has thousands of members of your target audience-all of whom obviously have an inclination towards buying books-chances are that you can make more money by selling a lot of books to a concentrated group of buyers than by selling a few books to a large group of people in other markets.

Catalogs and newsletters are great markets to consider because they have a very specific topic and their subscribers are already paying money-in most cases-to access that information. If your book topic matches the topic of a catalog or newsletter with thousands of subscribers, you should definitely look into writing an article for the publication (content marketing strategy) or paying for an ad in the publication (advertising strategy).

Learn more about how to get the attention of book clubs, catalogs, and newsletters in the genre-specific marketing plan featured on CreateSpace’s “Marketing Central” that matches your book. Brian Jud wrote each of the guides.

2. Libraries

The books that fill the shelves of your local library have to come from somewhere. So why don’t you help them out by marketing your book to them? If you want to market your books to libraries, you will need to register your book with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC before your book is published and made available to the public. When you register your book, you will receive a code that used to be known as a LCCN, but is now referred to as a PCN.

Learn how to get your LCCN on your own for free. If you prefer to have help and you plan to publish through CreateSpace, you can always use their service.

Having the code does not guarantee that libraries will buy your book, but it does guarantee that you qualify. Learn more about how to get the attention of libraries in the genre-specific marketing plan featured on CreateSpace’s “Marketing Central” that matches your book.

3. Academic Institutions

College bookstores sell more than just textbooks. Sometimes the college instructors will use “regular” books as classroom textbooks if they believe the content adds value to their course. If college-aged students are part of your target audience, don’t overlook the opportunity to let them use their left-over financial aid to buy your book!

Learn more about how to get the attention of academic institutions in the genre-specific marketing plan featured on CreateSpace’s “Marketing Central” that matches your book. Brian Jud wrote each of the guides.

4. Non-Profit and Corporate Buyers

Non-profit organizations and corporations often buy books to give to employees as training material, to give away to employees as gifts, or even to give to clients as gifts. This is an opportunity that most of us have never heard about, but that should not stop you from taking advantage of it.

For as little as $250, you can hire 5,000 sales representatives to sell your book. The fee allows you to be included in a catalog that the sales representatives promote to non-profit organizations, corporations, schools and government agencies for a 60% commission. Visit their website to learn more.

5. Niche Market Partners

A niche market is a small market with a specialized interest. Niche marketers understand that if they try to please everyone, they will end up selling to no one. If they cater to their niche, they have a better chance of selling to everyone within that niche. Find the people and organizations that have direct access to the people you want to reach and sell your book through them or with them.

Some of these partners may include airports, grocery stores, gift shops, funeral homes or even flower shops.

For ideas on how to find and connect with niche market partners, find the genre-specific marketing plan that matches your book.

6. Niche Market Direct Sales

Direct sales are all about you selling directly to your target audience. You can design a website that uses the keywords your target audience might use to research their problem. If you use the right keywords, they will find you when they do their research and buy directly from you. You can take as many public speaking gigs as you can and sell your books “at the back of the room” after you speak. Intentionally go to places where your target audience hangs out and keep books on hand for sale.

You are only limited by your creativity.

Final Thought: 

You do not need to try to sell your book to these markets at the same time. You can prioritize your markets by pursuing the market that you are most likely to be successful in reaching first, and then moving onto another one. When you do prioritize your list, keep in mind that some markets need more preparation than others (like libraries), so you will want to plan your time accordingly.

It is also wise to look into specific distribution requirements for your target audience before you publish your book to make sure that your work will qualify to be promoted in that market.

Question: Which specific non-bookstore markets where authors can promote their books? 



Image by: By Joe Crawford from Moorpark, California, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Danielle Fetherson

Danielle helps aspiring authors become published authors. She believes that everyone has at least one book on the inside of them that can make a positive impact on someone else's life. If you have been thinking about writing a book, learn how to start your book today with the free resources at DanielleFetherson.com.


  1. Excellent, pragmatic information! Thank you again.