The up-sell is a classic technique.  We’ve all probably done it at one point or another, and fallen for it more times than we like to admit.  Why do you think stores have all that crap crowded in around the check out?  That’s your last chance to be up-sold on mints and gum and magazines and lip balm and beef jerky – the list goes on and on.

Take today, for example.  I had to run a couple of errands for work and decided to go around lunchtime; one to a print shop, the other to a trophy/award shop.  When I left the print shop, I noticed a Jiffy Lube sitting across the street looking pretty empty and I was about due, so I decided to run in and see if I could get quick oil change.  Well, I didn’t realize that my brake light was out and, yes, that really is a filthy looking air filter and no, I didn’t know that they make a new, synthetic oil for cars like mine with high mileage to help them keep up their performance (112,000 miles on my car)…

Before it was all said and done, I racked up a $100 oil change because everything they pointed out to me was incredibly reasonable and made total sense in that moment.  Except the serpentine belt.  I passed on that because it was $100 itself and I remember having it changed out not too long ago no matter what this guy said.

But the point is that the up-sell happens everywhere we go.  Want fries with that?

Even in writing, authors up-sell readers and publishers.

When was the last time an author wrote a book and said, “Well!  Now that that’s over with, I can get back to [insert occupation here]!”  Heck no!  We write one book, but we try to sell it as the first in a three part arc, then use that to sell a second trilogy, and so on and so on.  When I go into the book store now, I look for authors who have more than one book and especially look to see if they have a series.  If I like a character or a world or a story, I don’t want it to end when the book ends, I want to read more.

Heck, Tom Clancy took Jack Ryan all the way through the presidency of the United States and then went BACK to when he was young and added another tale (Red Rabbit-I think)!

The up-sell happens.  Even when we aren’t aware of it.