Pitch book through Back of Room sales

One of the best way to sell your books is through Back of Room sales. This occurs when you give a presentation and have copies of your book(s) for sale on a table nearby – usually at the back or side of the room or just outside it.

Back of Room sales work because those attending your presentation are interested in your book’s topic. They are naturally ready to purchase your book. If you’ve done a good job during the presentation, then you’ve got them even more excited about the topic, increasing the odds of a sale.

A book signing or book reading is a form of a Back of Room sales. But think about what might attract more attendees to your reading and instead give a presentation at a seminar or workshop about a topic covered in your book.

For example, I write hiking guidebooks. While interesting to read if you’re a backpacker who wants to hike the region covered in the book, the trail entries otherwise are a dry read and not ideal for a standard book reading. However, if I give a presentation about “The 10 Best Hiking Trails in Denver” and offer my own passionate summaries of the trails and include pictures of the scenery on a large screen, I’ll attract more attention.

You can use this approach to extend the shelf life of your book. For example, I can do a presentation in September about “Denver’s Best Autumn Leaf Trails,” one before Valentine’s Day about “Denver’s Most Romantic Trails,” then one in spring about “Denver’s Best Wildflower Trails,” all culling information from one trail guidebook.

Set up and promote the presentation the same way that you would a book signing/reading. However, you’re not limited to bookstores. Presentations can be given almost anywhere, such as the local library, coffee houses with stages, or at conventions.

Be sure to make your table where the books are available is attractive. A single-colored tablecloth is a good idea, as is a poster about yourself or your books. In addition, if handling the sales yourself, make sure you bring enough money in different denominations to make change. You also may want to have business cards or freebies (such as bookmarks) related to your book that those attending the event can pick up.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.