Make the Most of the Year’s Biggest Shopping Season
After selling thousands of copies of their books directly to readers, experienced AuthorHouse authors have learned what works and what doesn’t. Use their tips during the holiday bookselling season—or any time of the year—to promote your book and connect with people.
1. Use Your Network
Let people know that your book is available. It’s one of the most important and easiest ways to get the ball rolling. To promote Cycles of Death, Lee Shearer developed e-mail lists of his professional and social contacts.
“The e-mail announcement was designed like a query letter with a quick-hook opening paragraph. I also attached a colorful order form,” Shearer said. Use Facebook, mail brochures, print your book’s cover image on your T-shirt. Get the people around you to start word-of- mouth marketing, which is crucial to an independent author’s success.
2. Make it an Event
Plan a launch party to keep your word-of-mouth marketing going. (This is also a great way to sell books.)
Keith Ogorek, senior vice president of marketing for Author Solutions, is an AuthorHouse author himself. To spread the word about his book, Eli the Stable Boy, he hosted a book signing and reading at his church.
Ask attendees to go online and review the book if they liked it. Positive reviews are a great way to secure your next selling opportunity.
3. Be an Expert
Nonfiction authors aren’t the only experts. As an author, you have an automatic talking point that may be of interest to schools, local clubs and more.
“Libraries and community cultural committees are often looking for local speakers who will bring a new topic of discussion,” said Shearer. “I took the approach of talking about my book, then shifting to the concept of aging people looking to find new interests in life.”
Cindy Shanks put hours of research into her children’s book Emily Walks the Sheep Trail, so she gives presentations everywhere from schools to senior centers. She agrees to speak for free as long as she is allowed to sell books at these events.
“Speak for free,” echoes Michael J. Maher, author of (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication. “If your book is good, they will want more.”
4. Think Outside the Bookstore
Brick-and-mortar chains such as Barnes & Noble are not the only places where books can be sold.
Shearer’s book is set during a cycling event, so he contacted bike shops, where his title is now for sale, accompanied by a colorful display. Gary Lane takes copies of his book Training the Gaited Horse to equine events and horse-riding trails, where he can sell them to his niche audience. Because her book is a popular wedding gift, The Kissing Pot author Linda Berg is connecting with wedding planners and possibly a local bridal showcase.
Wherever your target audience will be, your book should be there, too.
5. Order Books in Bulk
Authors who are serious about books success have two things in common: they are always prepared to talk about their book and they always have copies on hand.