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
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.
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.
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.
- Diane Hestor – Run to Me
- Patricia Cunningham – SOS
- Helen Vanroojen – Rendezvous at Lock 6
- Mary Gudzenovs
- Natasha Ewendt – My Freshest Hell
Cassandra Hawke with