Selling Your Books in Bulk

by | Sep 15, 2010 | Book Marketing Basics

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Have you ever dreamed of selling your book to a large corporation? A sale that would register several thousand copies of non-returnable product on the book sale meter? What’s that? You’ve never thought of it, you say? Well, never fear! It’s not too late to pursue this avenue, especially if you have a book ripe for a particular market.

Books on a bookshelf.
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Before you embark on this project, it’s important to understand the possibilities out there. Start being aware of incentive items you might see and understand how they are used. Many are offered as consumer gifts or incentives while others are used as training tools or morale boosters for employees.

Some examples of premium sales might be:

• Books offered at yearly company sales meetings

• Books offered to consumers at a discount (consumers are usually asked to send in product UPC’s to qualify for these specials)

• Books offered to new customers at financial institutions

• Books offered to new home buyers

• Books offered to new magazine subscribers

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To determine the market segment you want to go after, study your book first for obvious clues. If you’ve mentioned or recommended companies or products in your book, those will be the first tier you’ll want to go after. Next, think about the message of your book and how it aligns with particular companies within that industry. Company websites and ads will offer great clues when trying to match a company or organization up with your book.

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re going after the magazine subscriber bonus segment, you’ll have a bit more flexibility. Generally, if the book fits the reader demographic and aligns itself with the message of the magazine, it will be considered. For example, you might offer a home organization book to Good Housekeeping or a fitness book to Self or Redbook. Before you approach these magazines, read them for about three months so you get a good sense of what they’re about and who their audience is.

If you’re going after a particular market and are trying to locate companies within that industry, try doing a Boolean search in Google. Your search should look like this: “your industry and companies.” Another resource is This site will link you to companies nationally and internationally within your industry.

Next, don’t overlook companies in your own backyard. Think about industries, companies and organizations in your area that might work well for your book and begin going after them. Many times, local companies will welcome the opportunity to support hometown authors.

Once you’ve put your list together, you’ll want to contact them and pitch them the idea. Or, in some cases, our company will send them the book and proposal before we even make phone contact. Sometimes the companies you’ve targeted will be on the lookout for incentive items, other times this will be a new (and exciting) area for them. If you’re going after employee incentives, it’s interesting to note (and mention in your sales letter) that employee incentives increase individual performance by 27 percent and team performance by 45 percent.

Books Books
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Be open and creative with your pursuit of premium sales! Many times, companies will want to put their logo on the cover or include an extra page in the book with a letter from the President or CEO. Check with your printer or publisher on whether this is possible for you and what the additional costs will be before you start pursuing the premium sales arena.

So, how long does this process take? We’ve seen premium sales turn around in a week, while others take a year or more to complete. Oh, and the most important part… how many books can you plan to sell? Anywhere from one thousand to several thousand depending on the deal and the company. We’ve even got a deal in the works for a half a million copies of one book.

Discounts and negotiations vary. Often, we’ll negotiate volume discounts of 50 percent to 70 percent on bulk orders. Again, make sure you’ve got these figures ready when you pick up the phone to make your pitch.

With the right book, premium sales are not only a great way to gain exposure of your book, but in the end, they make great “cents.”

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  1. Diane Mariant

    To Whom it May Concern,
    In 2006 my husband and I wrote and published a book called, “Surviving Bipolar’s Fatal Grip – The Journey to Hell and Back.” We lost about 2000 copies when our distributor went bankrupt. We don’t know where they ended up. The rest of the books, about 6,000 are in our possession. We have not been as active in the bipolar market as we first were, and we are now interested in selling our books in bulk in order to recoup our losses. Is this something you can help us with? This is a self published book ISBN 9 780977 685905. We would be interested in selling at any reasonable offer. Thanks.
    Diane Mariant
    (408) 806-8667

  2. Yomeica

    I totally would love to send out bulk

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Excellent! Yomeica, I hope you give it a go. I would love to hear your experiences!

  3. derek matthews

    I am looking to have my book sold in places where people need inspiration.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Hi Derek, that’s a great area for a lot of authors. And there are some strategies that work well for inspirational titles. If you’d like to set up some coaching or talk about how we can work together, please send an email. We’d love to connect with you.

  4. Susan

    I am hoping to tap into the children’s book market for my books. Specifically books about animals.(zoos, animal sanctuaries, etc)

  5. Tasha Lowe

    Hi, my husband and I are illustrate and author kids books. We would love to sell in bulk but not sure how. We’ve been waiting on a buyer but nothing yet. Are you able to help us?


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