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.
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.
- 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.
- Mobile Promotion
I have placed a sign on the back of my car. Wherever I go my marketing message goes with me.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll deliver.