Promotion, Marketing and Random Actions to Sell my Book – Part 3

Promotion, Marketing and Random Actions to Sell My Book – Part 3

Think Locally, Act Personally


Flyer or bookmark drop

I have a heart condition and I must walk 30-40 minutes a day. I also have a dog that walks with me. Each day we visit a different street or a different suburb – as we walk we post bookmarks in letter boxes. We should all be getting out exercising so it could even be good for your health.

Remember though NO JUNK MAIL means no junk mail and despite what you might think about your bookmarks they are junk mail so don’t irritate people by placing one in their box.

Not sure of the results yet. Time will tell.


Other ideas for Bookmarks or Business cards

My local financial institution is community based. They have a small space for people to place business cards. I have put some there in a small inexpensive plastic holder. Several other businesses do something similar. Or you can ask if they will drop one in each bag they give to a customer. Some will, some won’t.

Quite a number of café’s and pubs have a bowl for business cards to put in and be drawn out for a competition. I always put a card in these.

Every time I send snail mail I send a card or a bookmark


Guerrilla Marketing

I leave bookmarks mostly, but sometimes business cards where ever I go – in waiting rooms perhaps with the magazines or at café, perhaps in the sugar holders. Just a couple so not to be annoying or a litter bug. Play nice with the public.

You can also put flyers under windscreen wipers of parked cars. You should get permission for the car park owner or your local council. But I have been naughty and done a dozen or so cars directly around mine just before I leave the car park. Take 10 minutes or so and you never know who you might reach. Again make sure they are secure so you don’t litter.


Book Signing Events

Signings are good. Try your local bookshop, the library or any shopping centre – just apply for permission.

Have a banner made to promote your presence.

Do a ‘meet the author’ at the local school or library depending on the genre you write. Even a retirement village. I recently sold my erotic romances to a 94, 76 and 73 year olds.

Try to join in with a local writing group if outside you home area. They might have something happening. again play nice with the locals you achieve more that way.

Ask the local paper if they would do an article. Often if you write the article and take the photo for them it is more likely to get in. Remember you need to have a hook that is relevant for the local readers – like an event or a donation to a charity.


Go to local trash and treasure, fetes or fairs.

My hometown has cruise ships visit. I work with a group of authors to run a stall. We also do one at the Christmas Fair. You might only sell a dozen or so books, but you can give out many more bookmarks.

Even if you don’t sell many books walk around and give out bookmarks or flyers with your details. In Australia we have agricultural shows and field days and rural women’s gatherings. Lots of people milling around so draw them in.

signing event in Lincoln


If you can have a launch – invite friends, family and other interested parties – try for a media person such as your local gossip columnist or book reviewer.

It can cost for food and drink, but make sure you put a limit on the booze cost. Ask at pubs and function center quite often they will let you have the venue for free and sometimes on their quiet days you might get food cheaper. you are not feeding them a ‘meal’ just nibble so work out your amounts before hand.

Your local Writers Center might do the venue for free – just ask.


See if you can get on radio – if not a commercial station try a not for profit one. They are often keen to have guest speakers.

start small build that reputation, get known as an interesting person to interview.

Make sure you have something to say – why you wrote you, choosing your title, your writing method. Set out the questions for the interviewee and write your answers this way you sound competent and interesting.


Again I use an Australian example. Libraries apparently buy 12% of all books sold in Australia.

I investigated and discovered that most libraries buy through a library vendor. You need to send your information to the vendor then promote to the libraries. Some libraries have independent budgets. It is time consuming collecting all the emails – unless you can find them all together, but then enter them in an excel file to do a mass email.

For inclusion in the SA Libraries selection list, you may like to contact the local library supplier ALS.  Contact details are:

12-14 Tooronga Avenue, Edwardstown, South Australia 5039

Local Call: 1300 136 490

Fax: 08 8276 5511


Most libraries run ‘Meet the Author’ nights and are very supportive of a local writer.

For those in different areas ask at your local library or check on the web.


Writers Festivals

Get involved in local writers festivals. Even if you only attend and do networking, hand out those bookmarks and business cards. But try and get more involved if you can – on a panel, judging writing competitions or opening something or just as a volunteer – be there, be seen, be heard, make contact.

Attend conferences – Australian Romance Writers have one every year

Join Writing or Reading Groups or Associations

Join a writing group – cross promote, network.

Sometimes other members will be doing signings or promotional gigs. See if you can join in or at least find out who their contact is in the media. Ask them for an intro

Join professional associations like the Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America, SA Romance Authors, The Australian Society of Authors, Romance Readers of Australia. Quite often they have newsletters and will promote to subscribers or have contacts like book reviewers or an author profile section to get yourself out there and seen.

Get memberships of professional journals – read and offer to contribute, use information to network.

Get involved with your local writing centre. Each state in Australia has one. They run workshops – perhaps you can attend one or even teach one or they run Writers in Residence program for emerging writers to be involved in the centre for a period of 3-6 months.

They also have contacts with publishers, manuscript assessment services and editors. They also have members they might allow you to promote to.


Form a Writers Co-Op

i work with several other published authors belonging to a writing group.

We help each other with motivation, support, sharing information.

We also work together to run our stalls spreading the time commitment and burden or work.

writers on stall


Cassandra Hawke with

Deathly Embrace 

Demolition of the Heart



Book Promotional Road Trip

 I’m back, folks – 1500 kms in 5 days


Adelaide to Port Lincoln – 750 kms270px-Port_Lincoln

First stop was Port Wakefield – distributed my bookmarks to the ladies in the Shell Service Station and Kipling’s Bakery. Sold 2 books.

port wakefield

The lure of the open road – relaxing. Singing (or should I say ‘slaughtering’ some Seekers songs, fortunately alone in my car.

Beginning of summer, farmers are reaping crops and hoping for a great year. Beautiful country. Just down the road is a wind farm – the huge generators twirling in the wind.


open road 3

Stopped at Redhill and they took some bookmarks to give to customers at the Road House – and they make a great coffee.

Love this replica Clydesdale horse.

redhill road house

Then on past Port Pirie – I didn’t go into town because it’s off the highway. I will do this one in February 2015. Then on to Port Augusta situated right aat the top of the gulf. They say this town is the gate way to the Flinders Ranges and it is also set in the dry arid beginnings of the red centre – the desert.

port augusta 1 up north through the arid landsopen road 4 aerial-shot-of-port-augusta annie snack bar

Me with Joanne, owner of Annie’s Snack Bar, 23 Loudon Road, Port Augusta. She bought books and supplied me with a delicious ham and salad sandwich for lunch.

On to Whyalla a steelworks city famous for the Australian Giant Cuttlefish  and then down to Cowell which has a fishing industry and a jade mine. The Road house there took bookmarks to give to customers.



finally Port Lincoln is in sight. Photo taken from Lion’s Picnic Ground just outside of town

signing event in Lincoln

Me, with fellow author Aileen, at our signing and sales event in Tasman Terrace Port Lincoln. See my new promotional banner. I was very pleased with it.  (Aileen writes young adult books).

I was joined at the event by members of Eyre Writers

writers on stall

Diane Hester, selling her thriller, ‘Run to Me’ by Random House. diane

Helen Van Rooijen selling her murder mystery,

‘Rendezvous at Lock 6’



  • Patricia Cunningham with ‘My Name Is SOS’ My-Name-Is-SOS
  • Natasha Ewendt, My Freshest Hell
  • my freshest hell
  • Linda Bick with her poetry and non fiction bookslinda bick
  • Isabel Storey , poetry (no picture available at time of posting)
  • Anthologies by Eyre Writers

It was a wonderful experience talking to my readers – locals of Port Lincoln for many years and old school mates and visitors for the day from around the world on the cruise ship docked in port.

I enjoyed it so much I am going to do it all again, but head east this time I think so watch this space for dates and more events with Cassandra.

Order Cassandra’s novels

Demolition of the Heart 

Deathly Embrace  

or at

Dymocks Bookstores around Australia for a print copy

Cassandra herself at


Promotion, Marketing and Random Actions to Sell my Book – Part 2

IMAG0367 (1)

Think Locally, Act Personally

Now some of this will apply to both e-book and print, but most of it is aimed at print books.

I am located in Australia so some examples are specific to here, but I expect them to be transferable to the rest of the world.

NB: this method it not going to sell thousands in a short time, but get your book out there and people reading them. WOM is one of the best promotional methods.

Negotiate with your publisher to get copies at an ‘author’ discount if you have a publisher. If not you are free to do as you please.

This type of promotion does mean you have to get of your backside and get out there.

It can be time consuming – use your time wisely some methods may work better than others. Always weigh up opportunity cost (what I have to put in to get X amount out – is it worth it). But remember marketing and promotion is about frequency (number of times you reach a person) X reach (how many people you reach). You are selling you – the author not just you book. Build that audience.

You can’t always measure that in $$$ either. You might only sell a couple of books, but how many now have your business card/bookmarks? Did you make a valuable networking contact, have you promoted yourself as an author – set tongues wagging or made a mark on someone’s mind?

Remember with promotion and marketing you have to reach someone at least 3 times before you can expect action.


 Direct Sales

I always carry 2 or 3 books in my handbag with a back up supply in my car. Wherever I go I talk about my books. You need to be proud of your books and passionate about them or you are going to have trouble selling them. I went to buy a skirt – sold 2, went to get a key cut – sold another 1. Went to lunch – sold 3, went to the doctor – sold 1 to receptionist.

I have been averaging 10 books a week by just taking them with me whenever I am out running around doing errands. (I am not even going out of my way – although at times the errands take a little longer to complete) Always collect their name (when you sign their copy is a good way) – and email if you can without being pushy – put them in an Excel spreadsheet – ready to approach them with the next book.


  1. Direct promotion

There are times, places and people that are not right for a direct sale i.e. if people are busy, or there is a long queue. So here I hand out a bookmark. They cost me approximate 11.8 cents AUD each. The salesperson behind the Post office counter, the waitress who serves you, or the staff on the candy bar at the movies. The list is never ending.


bookmarks for twitter

  1. Mobile Promotion

I have placed a sign on the back of my car. Wherever I go my marketing message goes with me.


  1. Email

I have a special signature on the bottom of my email with my blog address. I used to have small pictures of my book covers, but found sometimes it caused problems with people’s inboxes.


  1. Donations

I have donated a couple of books to charity raffles – in exchange for being in the newsletter as a donor or on the sponsor’s board. Gets you name out there as an author. I added a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates for good measure.


Brick and Mortar Bookstores

If you have print copies done through Ingram, Garner, Bertram or others with distribution ability.  Look at your big chain book stores. Here I am going to use an example for Australia because this is what I know. Variety stores – Australia – Kmart, Big W, Target.


Dymocks has around 60 stores across Australia. I called and spoke to the buyer of fiction books. Told her I was Australian and they were immediately happy to support me if they could purchase through one of their suppliers in this case Ingram. I got my publisher to give them details of my book – they would have taken it from me too. And I am on the buying list for all stores and they will promote me in their newsletter.

I collected their email addresses into an excel file and them wrote a media release and sent to every store. I am yet to approach the local stores personally.

Use the yellow pages to find local bookshops and news agencies – ask them to take your books on consignment .

Listen to other writers – find out who supports local writers – someone always does. Approach them personally. Send them the blurb and a cover picture. Either you keep them stocked or they might like to order direct. Remember contact details – be prompt in reply. Also provide payment details like EFT or PayPal.

meerkat meeting


Talk, talk, talk about your book…

More to come soon, but in the meantime buy either or both my books and relax with a good read. Available at Amazon or from me – if you live in Adelaide, South Australia drop me an email at and I’ll deliver.

Deathly Embrace 

Demolition of the Heart