FAQ

The Association of Publishers for Special Sales (formerly SPAN) is the only organization with the mission to help its members increase their revenue and profits to non-bookstores buyers. Learn more about APSS here

The APSS Book Selling University is an attempt to create an awareness of special sales, the importance of quality, the steps that should be taken to achieve greater revenue and establish consistent standards to which published items should be produced.

APSS Book Selling University will address these issues by developing and offering a series of instructional webinars for authors and publishers. Upon completion, the “students” will be certified for their areas of expertise (publishing and/or marketing).

Change our image from the book-publishing industry to the book-selling industry
• Create awareness of the opportunity for increased revenue and profits from sales to non-bookstore buyers
• Set industry standards for quality of publishing and marketing books
• Help authors and publishers succeed by knowing and performing to “Best Practices” standards
• Help people create and run a profitable publishing business
• Empower authors to become more involved with the success of their books
• Create an Honoring Excellence award to recognize authors, publishers, consultants, businesses and organizations that consistently offer and deliver exceptional products and services
• Expand awareness of APSS, build membership and create a new revenue stream

With the advent of digital printing, print-on-demand publishing and ebooks, book publishing is now available for millions of unpublished authors as well as for authors who wish to self-publish. As a general observation, this ease of entry through multiple options has served to cause confusion and reduce the level of quality. The purpose of Book Selling University is to raise the generally accepted level of content and production quality by providing consistent and excellent information to people in three groups:

• Book publishers who want to expand their sales opportunities to non-bookstore buyers
• Published authors who could sell more books if they knew more about the marketing options available, as well as how to use them.
• People who want to establish a publishing business, or grow an existing publishing firm.

Book Selling University will make it possible for interested people to learn more about the advantages and possibilities of book publishing by offering these services:

• Online courses delivered as pre-recorded webinars, allowing students to access the information at their convenience.

• Student may receive supplemental material in the form of a pdf document, prepared by the instructor and downloaded for each course.

The term special sales is commonly used to describe sales opportunities outside of bookstores. Also referred to as non-bookstore (or non-traditional) marketing, it can be a profitable source of new revenue.

The best way to exploit this opportunity is to divide it into two segments and sell to buyers in each according to their traditional ways of purchasing. One is the retail segment where you reach buyers using a network of middlemen. The other segment is comprised of direct sales to non-retailers that use books as marketing tools to sell more of their products or help their employees, members or students.

1) Selling to retailers. You are already familiar with this sector. You find distributors or wholesalers to get your books into retail outlets where they are sold off the shelf to consumers. Payments are made in two or three months and unsold books are returned. Retailers display products that 1) will build store traffic, 2) maximize profitability per square foot and 3) generate more inventory turns. Prove that your title can do those things better than competitors’ titles and you can get your books on retailers’ shelves. Examples are discount stores and warehouse clubs, airport stores, supermarkets and pharmacies, museums, zoos and national parks, gift shops and specialty stores

2. Non-retail sales. Corporations, associations, foundations, government agencies and the armed services buy books directly from publishers for use as premiums, incentives, sales promotions, for educational purposes, and sometimes for resale. The factor differentiating this segment from the retail sector is that you sell directly to buyers in these organizations. Sales are typically made in large quantities, returns are rare and payment is received more quickly.

Special-sales marketing is not a separate way of doing business. It is not even a new way of doing business. It is an integral part of overall marketing strategy. Simply divide non-bookstore marketing into its two component parts and you may find hundreds, if not thousands of prospective customers for your books.

You will…
• Learn how to sell more books in large, non-returnable quantities
• Make more money selling your books
• Find more people who can buy your books
• Price your books for maximum profits
• Pinpoint social media
• Make your publicity more effective and efficient
• Find the best distribution partners for retail stores, libraries

There are courses in all phases of book marketing (online and offline) including planning, product development, distribution, pricing (for retail and non-retail sales), promotion and sales techniques for non-bookstore marketing. See a list of all courses and instructors here.

The instructors where chosen for their experience and expertise on their subject matter. In several instances, the course is offered by several different instructors, each offering a different perspective on the topic. See a list of all courses and instructors here.

The price for each 60-minute course is $29.95 for APSS members and $39.95 for non-members.
The price for each 45-minute course is $19.95 for APSS members and $29.95 for non-members.
The price for each 30-minute course is $14.95 for APSS members and $19.95 for non-members.
Any ten courses may be purchased for $250 (APSS members)/$350 (non-members), with 50% paid at registration and 50% paid after taking 5 courses

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