Posted by: nancyisanders | December 1, 2010

Marketing: Speaker Tables

I discovered that some authors connect with speakers and make arrangements for speakers to sell their books, too, along with the speaker’s own books at her book table.

This can be a very good marketing strategy for you to do with your own books. I want to do it with my own books, too.

The key starting point here is profit.

Speakers want to make a profit on the books they sell at their events. Otherwise, it’s not worth their time or energy to haul those books around or ship them to their events or track the sales and pay their taxes.

You want to make a profit on the books you sell to the speakers. Otherwise, it’s not worth your investment of your time or energy trying to market to this type of opportunity.

So where do you start? And how do you do it?

You start with your publisher. Then you get a calculator and do the math.

Start by contacting your publisher. Ask what kind of discounts they offer for orders of multiple quantities of your books. Some offer 20% discounts for small orders of 3 to 5 books and some can even offer 60% discounts or more for huge orders of thousands of books. Every publisher has its own policy of discounts they offer. Some might not offer any discounts at all.

First find out your publisher’s options if someone orders multiple quantities of your book. Go ahead and contact them today!

We’ll discuss how to do the math in an upcoming post. We’ll also talk about a publisher’s policy of accepting returns which also factors into this marketing strategy.

But for now, just contact your publisher and get the numbers. Double check whether they’re talking about net or gross so you can do some figuring and calculating on your own. Then check back in here, and we’ll start talking arithmetic.


  1. Hello Nancy:

    My publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing has been proactive in sharing these numbers with their authors even before their book is published, so YES this is very important info.

    This topic is critical and one that is coming into formation for me as of yesterday. A GAP member sent me information on the NAAAS (National Association of African American Studies) National Conference – Feb 14-19, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and I contacted them about having a display and/or ad in their program. When I made my inquiry I sent them my PDF media kit and yesterday I heard back from them with a positive response.

    So without me having to travel to Louisiana I will be getting my book in front of the attendees that includes teachers. I’m anxious to see if this translates into sales.

    Keep the ideas coming, I’m learning so much!

    Best wishes,

  2. Wow, Donna, this is so great that your publisher is already one step ahead of this! I’ve been chatting with my published writer friends about marketing lately and many of the publishers, even much bigger ones, don’t supply this info to their authors up front. This is a great step to take and congratulations on your connection! -Nancy

  3. Nancy,
    You are so amazing. Math is not my strong point but you seem to excel in this profit numbers area also. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

    • Hi Jan, I had to smile. Adding and subtracting aren’t my areas of strength either! But I’m learning to work through all this, too. -Nancy

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