The Expert’s Guide to Automating Book Sales

(Updated 06-12-2015)

If you are the “Expert” Publishing Personality, then your book is about something that your unique life experience and/or training qualifies you to write. It’s also likely that your book will either help you launch a business/non-profit related to your expertise or that you are using your book to promote an existing business/non-profit.

A basic sales cycle will help you plan the experience your target audience will have while they learn more about you, your message, and the service or product your business or non-profit offers (from this point forward the word “organization” will be used to refer to both businesses and non-profits).

The Basic Book Sales Cycle for Experts

Offer #1: A perk on your website.

Your website will be the cornerstone of your author platform, and it will be the main place where you will store all the free information, downloads and event registration forms that will attract your target audience to you.

Your marketing plan can have several different types of outreach such as:

  • content marketing (offering valuable information for free on your website through tools like blog posts, infographics or other downloadble options)
  • personal actions (building connections with people and handing them your business card),
  • online or offline advertisement,
  • social media marketing,
  • publicity,
  • partnership activities (aka joint-venture), or 
  • events.

Simply choose the best outreach mix for your target audience, your message and you. Just make sure that no matter what you do that it somehow directs attention to your website.

Your book is an example of content marketing, and one way to use this approach with your book is to offer a free resource (like a downloadable workbook, checklist or guide) exclusively to your readers who collect the tool by visiting your website and using a password that is only known by those who hold a copy of your book.

You can still offer free resources to people who hold your business card, see one of your ads or follow you on a social media network, but this should be separate from what you offer exclusively to readers.

These types of offers might feature:

  • three free chapters from your book as a PDF file to persuade them to buy your book so they can read the rest,
  • one to three videos explaining information that your audience will value that also introduces a relevant product or service,
  • a directory, list of tips, template, checklist or guide that helps visitors put your message into action, or
  • registration for an upcoming conference call or webinar that you hold on a regularly scheduled basis (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly)that you offer about your message.

When your website visitors collect information from your website, you can collect their information with Mailchimp email marketing software  so you can follow-up with them in the remaining offers.

Offer #2: A free or low-priced service or product.

Now that you have contact information from the people who were interested enough in your message to download information from you or register for your event, you can offer them a free consultation, a free trial  or a low-priced service or product. Mailchimp is an amazing tool that can help you do this for free or for a very low start-up cost.

Great copywriting will be helpful at this point to help you seal the deal because your goal is to make it easy for them to say yes to the offer by clearly stating why they need what you are offering right now and how it will help them reach their goals more quickly or effectively.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to beat them over the head with asking for a sale, you lead by offering information, tips or solutions that they will find valuable and then introducing your service or product as an extended part of that solution.

Learn more about how to craft your message using Jeff Walker’s tried and proven Product Launch Formula.

Offer #3: A mid-priced service or product.

This offer will only be made to those who took advantage of the second offer. This offer can also be thought of as your “up sell” or “cross sell.” Mailchimp can help you automate this process so you only have to set it up once and it will automatically send out your offer to the people who meet the criteria you define.

You can continue to up sell or cross sell through as many products or services as you have to offer.

This process is a cycle because your automated system can loop through the cycle to repeat your offer every 90 days, 180 days, 365 days or at any frequency you set.

Final Thoughts

When you are an expert who is using your book to launch or promote an organization, you are essentially using your book as a business card. Unlike a traditional business card, your book is the ultimate business card because it shares a packaged version of your message in addition to your contact information.

Experts can easily turn their book into a career that makes a difference while generating cash flow by incorporating it into their overall marketing strategy with a basic book sales cycle.

You can learn more about building an effective sales cycle by using the Platform Planning Worksheet in Milestone #4 Resource Gallery of your free Author Info Kit.

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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