How to Sell Hundreds of Books a Day

Sales Pic

This is a marketing post, but it’s actually about false advertising. As such, I felt that this title may indeed be appropriate. 🙂

Just in case you really had your hopes up, you might not have understood correctly. This post probably isn’t going to show you how to sell hundreds of books a day. This post is about false advertising.

And just in case you’re trying to read what you want to hear: This post is NOT going to show you how to sell hundreds of books a day through false advertising. At best, it may convince you that if you try this, your book’s days will be numbered.

Now it’s probably clear to everybody. 🙂 Unfortunately, I suppose that 90% of the traffic won’t make it past this line. Well, there isn’t anyone to blame but myself.

That’s a shame, too, because the 90% who just left probably need to read the following sentence. If it sounds too good to true, like a get-rich-quick scheme, it probably is.

Well, maybe it doesn’t really matter. If they were searching a for get-rich-quick scheme, they probably weren’t going to take my advice.

The real point of this post is that false advertising isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes it’s subtle. Some people even do it to some extent without realizing it.

A common form of false advertising is over-hyping a product, event, or service so that it seems better than it really is.

Creating buzz is a useful marketing tactic. But it has the danger of promising too much. When it doesn’t live up to the hype, word spreads through reviews and conversations. Although hype can generate many initial sales, the total sales may be greatly reduced if excited customers don’t feel satisfied.

I’m not saying not to try to create buzz; just to be careful what you promise. You want people to look forward to it, but not to expect more than will be delivered.

Another form of false advertising is writing a blurb that makes a great sales pitch, where you get a little carried away with the sales part. For many online sales, the blurb is the only salesperson at the point of sale. So it’s important for the blurb to be effective at drawing interest from the target audience and inspiring sales. At the same time, an over-hyped blurb can lead to negative product reviews.

One more example of false advertising is packaging that targets a wider audience, but the wrong audience. This tactic is generally quite ineffective. Most people will just be frustrated when they realize the product isn’t for them, and the few who unknowingly make the purchase are likely to show their frustration through product reviews. Packaging is most effective when it targets the appropriate audience.

Okay, I lied. This post is all about how to sell hundreds of books per day. I just didn’t want the greedy people to take advantage of the secret, so I motivated them to not read all the way to the end of this post. Whereas if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you knew I wouldn’t mislead you. 🙂

It’s very simple, really:

  • Research the kinds of book ideas that become bestsellers, along with the type of storyline, characterization, and writing that they use to achieve this.
  • Have the talent, creativity, background, and do the necessary research to write such book.
  • Write a killer book where the storyline and writing appeal to a wide audience.
  • Perfect the book from cover to cover; get your book professionally edited and formatted.
  • Design a killer cover and write a killer blurb that attract your target audience.
  • Choose a short, catchy title that your target audience will love.
  • Write more books like this to create a hot series.
  • Research successful marketing and publicity strategies and study the marketing and publicity habits of top-selling authors who went from nobody to famous.
  • Apply what you learned about marketing and publicity brilliantly to become as famous as a celebrity.
  • Build a large following prior to publishing and spend months on effective pre-marketing.
  • Permanently discount the first book. At the right time, put the entire series on sale for one day only and promote the daylights out of this sale, with and without paid advertisements; but only do this very rarely so nobody waits for it.
  • Find an experienced publicist whom you can verify turned nobodies into bestselling authors, get this person’s attention and interest in your book, hire this person at any cost (and an experienced attorney to iron out the contract), and get this person to advise you before you even start writing your first book (you’ll be directed to get help every step along the way, from the writing to contacting a recommended agent).
  • Exhibit extraordinary self-motivated diligence, develop key connections and relationships, and be very patient.
  • Streak naked through a major, widely televised sporting event with your book cover quite visibly tattooed on your chest (shave first, if needed), but first be very sure that the networks will actually show you while you do this (which may require hefty bribes and threats), but do so slowly and calmly, facing the cameras, so everyone gets a good, long look. When you’re sitting in jail, please remember that I advised you NOT to do this. (I said I’d show you how to sell a hundred books a day, but I didn’t say I’d advise you to actually try it.)
  • And, of course, just get lucky.

See, there’s nothing to it! 🙂

(And the 90% who left early weren’t going to do all this work anyway, so it doesn’t matter that the only false advertising was convincing them to leave.)

Now for some legal verbiage: Results are not guaranteed. Results described may not be typical. Sales of a hundred books a day may only last for one day, give or take (most likely take) a day. Offer void in the Milky Way galaxy and anywhere else prohibited by law.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)