What can you expect from your bookselling activities? Do you have expectations? How often are your expectations actually met? When your expectations aren’t met, what do you do next—give up on that book promotion activity or try it again using different tactics? How’s it working for you?
Some authors decide which book promotion activities to pursue and which not to pursue based on what others say. For example, someone from your writers group says, “You can’t sell books at book signings, so don’t even bother.” Before buying into that statement, find out how many signings he has done, where, for what type of book, with what sort of advertising/promotion, etc.
Not only will this information help you to determine whether this author’s experience has true bearing on the event you might have planned, it might give you some ideas about what to and what not to do when organizing your signings.
Rather than a “signing,” why not throw a party, for example? The more members of your audience that you can attract, certainly the more books you will sell. So think about creating an event that would attract them or plan it where you know they will congregate—a motorcycle rally, a dog/horse show, the botanical gardens on opening day, a wine-tasting event, or the grand opening of a sporting goods store, cupcake bakery, children’s bookstore, etc.
Now that you have a published book to promote, are you using all of the skills you used while writing it—creativity, tenacity, discipline, determination PLUS all the marketing skills you can muster? You’re going to need all of your skills and abilities in order to successfully promote and sell copies of your book.
While book promotion is not an exact science, there are things you can (and should) consider that will make the experience more successful:
• Think outside the box. Try something new and different. Put a new twist on some of the traditional bookselling ideas. As the industry and technology changes, so do readers’ buying and reading habits.
• Consider your readers rather than your comfort zone. Hone the skills you need to put your book before your audience, in the way they will accept it. Go where they are or learn what it takes to attract them to your bookselling events.
• Visit the websites of authors with similar books and find out how they are marketing their books. Snoop at their media pages, activities/appearances page and their blog site.
• Be willing to get involved with online marketing as well as in person.
For specific ideas and help devising a book marketing plan, order your copy of Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author at amazon.com or http://www.matilijapress.com
Also available in bookstores downtown.