How to Use Author Copies

If you think book hardcopies are a thing of the past, think again! Not only are readers still gobbling up hardcopy books via print-on-demand, but authors and marketing pros need them more than ever. It’s always smart to take advantage of discounted pricing when you can, but it’s especially wise to stock up on author copies. Why, you might ask? There are several great reasons, besides the low price, why it pays to always have copies on hand. Here are our Top 3 ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ for using your author copies to your advantage:

  1. Why: Those die-hard hardcopy fans. Oh, how we love our eReaders! It is arguably the hottest trend in publishing these days. However, don’t underestimate the residual thirst for a good old-fashioned hardcover book. They still have their place among those of us who adore the feel, smell and raspy sound of freshly minted pages. Since folks who love the heft of a “real” book tend to pick up a copy in the most literal sense, you’ll be better equipped to take advantage of impulse buys if you have a hardcopy handy when the opportunity arises. How: Keep your trunk stocked. You’ll be surprised how often an opportunity to sell presents itself in a typical day. The Post Office, the doctor’s office, lunch with your buddies, family gatherings – there’s always something that puts you in proximity with readers (as in potential book buyers). Why hastily scribble a website or ISBN for them to (hopefully) look up when they get home, when you can offer them a copy right there and then? Keep a stack in your car trunk, diaper bag or briefcase so they’re always handy when the opportunity presents itself.
  2. Why: Because you can’t sign an ebook. One unique feature of a hardcopy is that you can instantly add value to it without any additional costs – with an autograph. Autographed hardcopies are often cherished by their owners. Whether or not the signature adds any resale value to the book, an autographed copy usually holds more sentimental value for the buyer. How: Sign ahead. When possible, sign your hardcopy in the presence of the buyer. However, if sales are really taking off, you can still offer the benefit of autographed copies. Sign several ahead of time in your spare time and keep them ready for buyers who may need that little extra nudge to purchase. Make an effort to sign every hardcopy you sell; just remember to keep a few “clean” copies for buyers who prefer a pristine product.
  3. Why: Bookshelves are calling. The past few years may have been rough on the large retail booksellers, but bookstores haven’t gone the way of the dodo just yet. Most cities still have several local, regional and national bookstores that would be nothing without actual books to place on their shelves. How: Make your case. The local, mom-and-pop bookstores are your best bet for snagging a coveted spot on the shelf. Start with the city you grew up in, or the city you currently call home, and reach out to the small, independent bookstores there. Let them know you’re a hometown guy/gal and that you’d be proud and honored to be part of their store’s offerings. Package a hardcopy of your book with a press kit and a small thank-you gift, as well as a personal note.

Take advantage of your bulk-buying power and stock up! If you heed and take advantage of selling and marketing opportunities as they arise, what you spend pre-purchasing your author copies will more than pay for itself in additional sales.


Now through February 28, receive THREE TIMES the author’s copies for FREE! Outskirts Press self-publishing authors are eligible to receive three times as many free author’s copies with their respective self-publishing package.

To receive the promotion, authors simply enter the promotion code 3XFEB14 when checking out of their shopping cart while purchasing the Diamond, Ruby or Pearl publishing package by February 28, 2014. Each of the eligible publishing packages includes a unique ISBN, standard interior formatting, a variety of professional cover styles, and distribution which includes availability through major online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For authors choosing the most popular “Diamond” publishing package, this promotion delivers 30 free paperback author copies when the book is published. Authors publishing full-color books with the popular “Pearl” package can receive 15 free paperback copies.

Click to order the Diamond Package
Click to order the Pearl Package

“I could not have been more pleased with every aspect of working with Outskirts Press. Now, I have to still my old bones (85) and sell, sell, sell!”

Frank W. Dressler, a retired association executive, has volunteered since 1995 with two international organizations in Russia, the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Romania and Bosnia and the Republic of Georgia, and through his church, in Zimbabwe, Nepal and the Republic of Georgia. He lives with his wife Winifred in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

Mr. K. and the Super is the emotionally moving, sometimes hilarious recollections of a newly married ex-GI, recently enrolled at Columbia, of his service as “super” of two New York City apartment buildings in the early 1950’s. The two buildings were a bubbling cauldron of emotions, ambitions and high jinks ruled by Mr. K, a Polish emigrant landlord actively conspiring to overthrow the communist regime of his homeland. Mr. K sought to control his domain with a lease whose “thou shalt not” clauses put the Ten Commandments to shame…but utterly failed to tame the assorted energies and desires of his more creative tenants. Their antics resulted in a fishing expedition that culminated in a memorable roof top fight of feral cats; and through their real or imagined sex lives, triggered a LIFE goes to a Party feature story in their building.
– Frank W. Dressler, author of Mr. K and the Super

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