How To Sell Books By The Box & Trunkload

How To Sell Books By The Box & Trunkload
Authors: If you are still selling books one at a time (but you’d rather sell books by the box), it may be time to implement a bulk book sales strategy to sell more books in larger quantities. 

What Does It Mean To Sell Books In Bulk? 

You can start by using our Raise a Dream BOGO (Buy One GIFT One) method where you encourage attendees at book signings to purchase two books. The purchaser takes one copy of the book home to read and the second copy is donated to a charity that you have preselected. It is great to have the charity present at the book signing to accept the donated books. 

We also recommend that you always discuss the arrangements with the bookstore first. Most stores are more than fine with the strategy as they see the potential to sell more books (without discounting the price) while also doing good for the community. 


Book Sale Strategies for Boxes & Truckloads

Now let’s look at how to sell books by the box. The first time I sold bulk quantities of my book On Toby’s Terms more than a decade ago, I approached service clubs to buy a box to donate to a local school. The first attempt resulted in a $2500 purchase (of many boxes… 12 to be exact). 

I used this same book marketing model at events I was speaking at. I worked with the event organizer to find sponsors to purchase the book for attendees. The organizer found four sponsors who collectively purchased 900 copies (300 copies each of my three books).

Tips For Authors On Implementing Bulk Sales

In our Your Book as a Business Foundations: 03 – Special Sales, Libraries, Bookstores and More module, I share several tips to help authors with bulk strategies: 

  • Each month, set a goal and work on selling at least one box of books in bulk.

  • Set time aside weekly to implement your bulk book sales strategy (and keep in mind it takes a lot more time and money to sell books only one at a time).

  • Think of organizations who would benefit from having your book. Then think about businesses who would want to support these organizations. For example, my book On Toby’s Terms is about my dog Toby. I approached vet clinics, dog walkers, dog spas and doggie daycares to purchase sets of ten books, then I donated the purchased books to the animal rescue we support.

  • Another approach is to find community partners who will purchase bulk quantities of your book (e.g. 10, 25 or more copies). Working with businesses you know, invite them to purchase bulk quantities. You can suggest options such as donating the books to their favourite charity, selling them within their business and donating the funds to charity, or gifting the copies to employees or customers. 

Be creative and think of book sales as being beyond one book. Keep track of your bulk sales so that you can approach brands and businesses in the future or with future books.

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