Why do some books sell while others languish?  

Well, we know of some obvious factors, such as price, product access, competition, and things like a catchy book title and an attention-getting cover, which can make a difference in whether a book gets purchased. But what about when you are face-to-face with a potential consumer? 

Why do they choose to buy or reject your book?  

The opportunities to hand-sell your book may come when you:


  • Network at an event or conference 

  • Speak in front of a group

  • Do a bookstore signing

  • Post a video on social media

  • Have a book displayed at a book fair or convention 

  • Talk to libraries, bookstore managers, and members of the news media 

“Buyers buy on emotion and justify with logic,” says John Asher in his book, The Neuroscience of Selling: Proven Sales Secrets to Win Over the Buyer’s Heart and Mind.  

Amongst his suggestions for success at selling anything are these:

  • Engage the potential buyer to learn what he or she is looking for.
  • Listen twice as often as you speak.

  • Begin every interaction with someone with a statement of impact and conclude as such.

  • Highlight your unique selling proposition, the one or more things that your book uniquely offers readers. 

  • Show images/videos — they sell better than wordy texts.

  • Tell stories that the others can relate to.

  • Offer a potential solution to satisfy their need or want.

  • Be likable: smile, be thoughtful, confident, respectful, positive, resourceful, enthusiastic, and polite. 

  • Interject your customer’s name into the conversation.

  • Help them feel they can trust you.

  • Sell to someone like you — same gender, age, ethnicity, etc- people buy from people like them. 

  • Echo your buyer to sound like you are similar to them. 

  • Be complimentary — but don’t pour it on too thickly.

  • Encourage the customer to talk first — and more than you. You’ll learn what to say to win them over.

  • Make a good first impression — or they’ll tune you out. 

  • Know that people pay attention most to how you look. Then they listen to how you sound. Only 7% judge you by what you actually say. 

  • Present information in the order and manner one wants — if they request certain things.
  • Provide reasons why they should read/buy your book. Rationalize the purchase.
  • Be consistent in what you say — and continually ask questions that elicit positive answers from the buyer so that he or she stays in a good state of mind.  

Now, go sell some books! 

Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum