Articles tagged "Events"

Easy Ways to Sell Books at Events

Easy ways for you to sell your self-published book at events.Most independent authors are used to selling their books online. Sites like, Amazon, and other retailers are typically the place where you’ll get most of your sales. If you put in a little hustle, you can also get your books on the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores.

But what if you want to sell your books yourself? It takes some work, but that’s something you’re used to if you’re publishing on your own, right? Especially if you’re writing and publishing as a business rather than a hobby, selling your own books can open up a lot of networking and sales avenues; just listing on Amazon and leaving it be simply don’t offer the same opportunities.

If you find yourself at a lot of conferences, seminars, book signings, or other events, you might be leaving a lot of books on the table – literally – by not being proactive with your selling strategy. Here are a few ways you can be hands-on with your sales.

Sell Online
“But I already sell online! Isn’t that what Lulu and Amazon are for?”

You’re right, but the ease of selling through an online retailer comes with the inherent drawbacks of being locked into their platforms and rules. Maybe you want to sell your book somewhere you can have complete control – running your own discounts, bundling books, adding non-book products, and more.

Luckily, selling online has never been easier to do. Squarespace, Shopify, Big Cartel, and Gumroad are just a few of the platforms that let you set up your very own ecommerce site in minutes. Add images, product descriptions, and prices, and you’ve got yourself a full-fledged storefront that anyone in the world can find at their fingertips.

The best part is, it still works great for people at events. Maybe they don’t want to carry around a book for the rest of a conference or have to find a way to pack it into their bag for their flight home. Or maybe they want to take advantage of those special deals that you’re able to do when you’re selling on your own, like a bundle that includes one of your previous book.

Plus, there’s a lot to be said about having a professional-looking site with its own store. People know to take you and your business seriously because they can see that you’re taking yourself seriously.

Sell In-person
Conferences and other events are great places to sell your books. After all, you’ve already engaged your audience with a talk that showcased your expertise, and there’s nothing better than a book to let them go more in-depth and keep you at the top of their minds.

But even if you have a stack of books and a line of willing buyers, how do you move those books? Do you cross your fingers that everyone will have cash on them? Do you direct them to the Internet and hope they don’t forget before they have a chance to check out your site?

The answer is easy, because today’s tech allows anyone with a credit card to become your customer. Products like Square, Shopify, and PayPal Here let you plug a credit card reader right into your phone or tablet and accept plastic like a pro. You can also use Stripe or PayPal for electronic payments.

Selling in-person has a ton of benefits. You’re meeting your audience face-to-face, which goes a long way in building relationships and networks. You’re also giving them instant access to your book; instead of waiting around for it to be shipped, they can start flipping through it right away and strike up conversations with other readers.

And hey, maybe you’ll even get asked to sign a few copies. There’s no easier way to get started down the path of a celebrity!

What To Watch Out For
Selling books through a third party is easy. Take Lulu, for instance: you set up your book and we take care of the listing, the checkout process, the payment transaction, and making sure your book gets to your customer. If you’re selling on your own, these are all things you’ll need to take into account yourself.

Which platform are you going to use? Are there fees involved with accepting payments? How are you going to ship your packages out? How many copies of your book are you going to keep in stock? Will you accept returns?

That’s the tradeoff between selling on your own and letting someone else do it for you. When you have control of everything, you have to control everything. That isn’t to say one is better than the other; you just need to know what you’re getting yourself into and how much time you’re willing and able to put into your business. Just remember to keep your options open, and strike when the opportunity presents itself!

Have you had success striking out on your own and selling your books? Let us know your best tips and tools in the comments!

Lulu Takes Manhattan! – Sponsors Self Publishing Book Expo

November 7th Lulu sponsored and attended the first annual Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE) at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers.  While the event drew a modest crowd, SPBE offered a great chance for Lulu to speak with the community both one on one and through our various workshops and executive-led panels.  All of the Lulu staff involved were proud to be a part of something that inspires creativity while informing authors of all their options.  Even our CEO Bob Young made it out to the event to discuss Lulu’s exciting transition into open-publishing!

Lulu had a great presence at SPBE.  We had a sizable booth space, and passed out reusable tote bags.  At one point, people in the hotel lobby asked where they could get one of the “cool orange bags”.  We had a contest and gave away some bose in-ear headphones and a Primer Publishing Pack.  From 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Lulu staff manned the booth to field questions, educate people on the Lulu process, and offer demonstrations.  Nick and Harish gave a well-attended panel on how social networking will change self-publishing.  I think everyone learned a lot from the experience on both ends.


For me, the event reinforced why I work at Lulu.  At its core, Lulu is about sharing ideas and spreading knowledge.  We understand that you’ve worked really hard to get your content out there and you want to get it in front of as many people as possible.  Things like Lulu’s non-exclusivity and extensive distribution options are things that should go hand-in-hand with self-publishing.  When I explained all the things we currently do and plan on doing to help make an author’s self-published book more visible, people’s jaws honestly dropped! It was a great feeling, and I look forward to more opportunities to interact with customers face-to-face.

We got some great ideas in New York while introducing people to the idea of open-publishing.  Lulu hopes to continue to be a part of events like SPBE that give us the opportunity to just talk with people.  If you have suggestions of events or community gatherings you think Lulu should be a part of, please don’t hesitate to send them in!