5 Tips and Tricks to Sell Your Books: Tip #3

5 Tips to sell your books at your local market. Tip #4: Be Busy

You are at the market. You have the perfect space. Great signage. People are stopping and looking.

Now what?

Now it is time to sell. And you freeze. Or you oversell!

Tip #3: The Sell

Some people are born salesmen; I am not. So what do you do?

Let’s start with what you do not do:

  • Do not just sit there. You are a person, not a statue!
  • Do not barrage them with information. If you talk fast and are too helpful, it drives people away. (Yes, you can be too helpful)


Now, what should you do:

  • Take a breath. Calm yourself and smile. This is important to do as well between pitching book sales to give the potential buyer a moment to peruse.
  • Pitch one book at a time. You might ask questions to help narrow down what the potential buyer might be looking for, but never take away the chance for the person to discover that “treasure.”
  • Know your material. If you are selling books by other authors, make sure you know a bit about them and their books.
  • Watch what the people do. If they pick up a book, be sure to give them a moment and then tell them what makes that book unique. One PALS member is an expert in that. When someone touches one of her books, she instantly tells the potential buyer the cute little story behind the story and then ends with “…I would be happy to autograph that for you!” (Note: do not overdo it. Don’t repeat that with every book the same potential customer picks up)
  • Sell yourself. Make a connection to the buyer or their kids. One member will show the kids pages from her book and ask them questions. It is not about the sale, it is about you and the book. But amazingly, it can turn into a sale because people like to see their kids happy.


Selling is an art form. Some people are naturally better than others. Find someone who is good at it and watch them. Listen to not only what they say, but how they say it. Practice your pitch. Remember to take a breath and be genuine. If you got someone to stop, they are interested.

And if you have ever worked a market or a fair, you know there is down or slow times. This may be traffic or just your booth.

Next week I will present Tip #4: Be Busy

Author: matthewlasley

I am a school teacher and an author. I like to write picture books, middle grade, science fiction and short stories. I live in Alaska and I love history, so those two things often influence my creative writing.

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