How to Sell your Book without Selling your Book

You wrote a book, and it’s published.  Feels so good, doesn’t it? That first time is the greatest, so you party it up.  You drink good wine, eat a fabulous meal, smile so big your cheeks begin to ache. Then you check your rank on Amazon, realize you’ve sold some, and life feels complete.  “I’m published, and people are buying my book!” Ahhhhh…

This feeling is fleeting for most.  The hard fact is that once family and friends have purchased your opus, you must rely on word of mouth and any and all promotion opportunities available to you.

Blog tours are fun, and signings at your local library might net a few sales.  You could go to a trade conference and hawk a few copies.  But, in the end, it is word of mouth that makes for long-term sales.  You’ve got to get people talking about your story.


Talk about your book, your characters, your process, if asked, but don’t tell people to buy it.  Let them ask you how to get a copy.  Then have at the ready that invaluable writer’s tool: a business card with buy links and cover art.

Case in point: I spent a month and a half working out at a gym before I told one person I had written a romance.  It took her a few more days before she asked about purchasing it.  I gave her my pretty little business card, and she bought it that night. The next day when I entered the gym, she hooted and hollered about the read.  She couldn’t put it down.  She loved the story.  She asked me for more cards, which I gladly supplied, and she passed them out to other gym members.  Then the owner asked me to post my cards on the bulletin board.  They disappeared at a fast clip.  And my sales went up.  I didn’t ask one person to buy it.  But when one person did, it started an avalanche of interest.

The same thing happened at my dentist’s office.  After a few visits, the hygienist found out I was a writer with a published novel. She expressed interest in reading it.  I asked her if she’d like a card. “It has my web site address on it, and there, you can read an excerpt for free.”  She took a card, and she wound up purchasing my novel. She read it then passed on the information to other clients.  Tick, tick, tick, sales escalated.

Tomorrow I’m going back to my hair stylist.  She’s a wonderful gal, and we yack like a couple of Mynah birds.  I bet the subject of my recent activities will arise, and I’ll tell her about my newest novel. I bet she’ll ask for the title. I’ll tell her I have a new business card with the cover image. “Would you like one?”  I’ll thank her profusely for taking it.  If she likes the book, the next time I come in, she’ll talk about it, and more people will hear.  More people will buy.  And all I had to do was be myself, be prepared, and be grateful. 
My best tip: don’t over sell.  Refrain from telling people anything they don’t ask. If I’d have walked in to my gym day one and said, “Guess what? I’m a published author,” they’d have smiled politely and dismissed me as a braggart. 

No sales. Sad writer.

Instead, be coy and hold that secret flame in your eyes--the gleam that says, “I’ve accomplished something so cool.” And wait.  People will ask sooner or later; and when they uncover your secret, it’ll feel like their success, too.

You’ll sell.  Happy writer!

Guest post by Ann Montclair.

I was born in Los Angeles, California, where my parents and grown daughter now reside. I currently live in the Finger Lakes region of New York with my sexy hero, our handsome son, and a pile of lazy dogs and ferocious cats. I enjoy a plethora of hobbies including but not limited to attending concerts, hiking and cycling, cooking, and gardening. I love to dance, to dress up, and I'll go just about anywhere a good time can be had.

I've built a satisfying career as an English professor at a small, rural community college, and now I'm also writing and publishing romance. I've finished and sold a few contemporary titles, and I'm working on perfecting a Tudor historical, and penning a modern day romantic suspense.
I plan to spend the rest of my life reading and writing in my little cabin in the woods.

My biggest wish is that each of my readers will be inspired to believe in and find their own happily-ever-after.


Ann will be awarding three $10 Musa Publishing GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
So I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. Hi Ann. Great post and some really good info. Love both of your books, The Billionaire's Bauble and One Wet Summer. Waiting anxiously for your next release.

    1. Thanks, Janna! I appreciate you dropping by and commenting!

  2. Good luck with your promotions and blog tour!

  3. Loved your first book The Billionaire's Bauble and can't wait to delve into your new release.

    Best of luck

    1. Just keep saying it. :) Love and gratitude to you, B.J.!

  4. The Tudor period seems so HOT right now with The Tudors series. That should help your Tudor title!

    1. I pray you're right! :) I love all things Tudor. I came to it through Elizabethan literature. When I learned Henry VIII was father to the Golden age, I was hooked.

  5. Wonderful post, Ann!!! I am so missing the card part. Gotta get on that today!!!

    1. It's a cool tool and fairly cheap. I used vistaprint. Thanks, Arley.


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