Wouldn’t You Rather Sell Books by the Truckload? with Cathy Fyock and Lois Creamer*

One of the best ways to sell books and increase the revenue you obtain from any speaking engagement is to sell your book in bulk when you book the speech.

Let’s say that XYZ organization has just booked you for their upcoming conference. As you are gathering the details for the engagement and before you finalize the deal, ask one of these powerful questions:

  • “Do you think it make sense if your attendees had a way to continue learning after the event?”
  • “Do you think it would make sense for everyone in the audience to be able to walk away with companion book to this program?”
  • “Would you be adding more value if each attendee walked away with my book to reinforce the learning?”
  • Would you be able to attract more attendees by offering a book to each person?
  • “Do you think it would make sense for your group to be able to walk away with more information than I’ll have time to share today?”

“Would you be adding more value if each attendee walked away with my book to reinforce the learning?”


These questions are magical, in that they position you and your book as a powerful value-add.

And, if you’ve been able to arrange a publishing deal that allows you to buy books at cost, you can even offer the decision-maker a nice discount to have attendees walking away with a book in their hands. For example, if you buy your books at $5 each and they sell for $20, you can offer pricing at $15 or $18 per book and realize a nice profit on top of your speaking fee (or in lieu of your fee if you’re just starting out). Or, you might offer a discounted speaking fee but charge full-price for the books (some organizations have a “materials” budget but have a small “speaker” budget). The opportunities are endless.

Speaker/Author Shep Hyken offered customized covers and title pages to his clients. He has printed runs of the book with the customer’s logo on the front saying, “Special edition for the XYZ Company,” and for associations, “Special edition provided by the XYZ Association for its members.

Cara Silletto, Speaker/Author, Staying Power, has this to add about book pre-sales:

We’ve built book sales into our event sales process and emphasize it as a value-add option before closing any contract. We offer bulk discounts and the option to ship the books direct to the client ahead of time so they can be included in attendee bags or set out on the day of the event. And there are key incentives for both corporate and association clients to use this option.

For corporate event planners, purchasing the book for their group helps get attendees on the same page and keeps the momentum going even after the event is over. With associations, we encourage the win-win scenario of getting a vendor to sponsor the book purchase which increases the vendor’s visibility and makes the association look good for improving the takeaway value of the conference for attendees.

Although you may still need to use the book table for most of your clients, you only have to presell to a couple of events before you’ll see significant growth in overall book sales.

Activity: Identify your clients who would value and use your book in bulk. Make calls to your top clients and discuss this option.


This post is excerpted from the new book by Cathy Fyock and Lois Creamer, The Speaker Author: Sell More Books and Book More Speeches. The book is now available for pre-sale on Amazon.

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