Hand-Selling Books, a Master’s Approach

Martin Wilsey at Work

My friend and fellow author Martin Wilsey is a master at hand-selling his books. This is a picture of his him at his table at an event called Manassas Reads. Let’s examine for a moment why he’s so good at selling books at events like this one.

There are no other tables shown in this picture, but I’ll tell you what you’re likely to see. A bunch of authors sitting at tables, their books lying flat in front of them. If they’re indie-published authors, most of them are displaying books with second or third-rate covers and, the worst crime of all, they’re unable to accept credit cards.

Now, contrast that with Marty. He’s got a book rack displaying his books very professionally. He’s got little stands so he can showcase individual books, typically his newest ones. He’s got a stand-up banner to attract people to his table. He’s got a tablecloth to make his table look nice. If you count, you’ll see that he’s got eight books for sale. And, just in case somebody needs yet another reason to go to his table, he’s got free candy.

His display clearly indicates that he can accept credit cards, for which he uses Square to take payments. He’s got business cards and bookmarks. He’s even got little cards with QR codes for free or cheap short stories on Amazon.

In short, he attracts people to his table. He makes it frictionless to buy from him. This is why he makes money at events.

It’s fun learning from a master…

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