|Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud|
For authors, few things compare to holding your first published book. When the day finally arrives, you squeal, post hundreds of photos of you and your books on Facebook, and organize numerous give-aways, until shipping fees devour your marketing funds—which were nonexistent. Then you wonder… what am I to do with all these books, anyway?
Contrary to what some may think, author copies aren’t provided for the writer’s enjoyment. Or to be given as early Christmas presents. I believe publishers hope their authors use those books for promotional purposes.
Why not use them to get into local libraries and bookstores? I imagine many of you are thinking; isn’t that marketing’s job. Perhaps, but with all the books released each year, there’s no guarantee your marketing team will be able to actually get yours on the shelves, no matter how hard they try. Your novel is but one of millions, after all. However, by actively becoming involved in the marketing process, you increase your chances.
Though I’m still a newbie, here are some things that helped me get my books into local stores and libraries.
Let’s face it; selling yourself and your work to strangers is scary. Bringing a friend along for moral support helps reduce the angst. Making the endeavor as fun as possible—hence, starting with a relaxing and relational activity such as drinking coffee—can help as well. Not only will this reduce your anxiety, it will also help you remain conversational. This in turn will set the librarian and bookstore owner at ease, encouraging them to respond favorably.
2. I met with the one who makes book-carrying decisions
Having a face-to-face conversation with the owner or head librarian is much more effective than simply dropping off a book and letter. The former makes it personal and helps the decision maker put a face to the novel; the latter mimics spam. No one likes to be spammed. However, attempting to pitch your book to a head librarian during their busiest times is the equivalent of an incessant telemarketer. In sales, timing and mood is important. Therefore, call ahead and schedule a time to meet with the decision maker.
3. I was persistent
As you can see from the picture on the left, I was a tad reluctant to go into a particular Christian bookstore. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the store or the owners. Rather, I was convinced they didn’t like me. I’d already contacted the owner by phone and email on a few occasions, with no response. I assumed this meant he didn’t like my work or me. Probably both. (Yes, I’m melodramatic.)
But remember tip number one? The best of friends encourage us to overcome our insecurities, even if that means dragging us into the terror zone. Which my friend, Susan Aken, did. It turned out, the store owner didn’t hate me at all. He was merely busy, and because of my persistence, he agreed to carry my book and host a signing in December.
4. I took time to decompress at the end of the day
Always start and end your day having fun—and drinking huge amounts of coffee—which will liven up even the most discouraging of days (especially if your coffee is laden with chocolate). Life is hard enough. Shake it off, enjoy the journey, and buffer everything with laughter.
5. Follow up
Bookstore owners and librarians are busy, and in their busyness, may forget about your book entirely. It’s always a good idea to follow up with a phone call, asking if they’ve had a chance to review your book and have any questions.
For other newbies like me, did your pulse spike when you read this post? If so, what are some things you can do to feel more comfortable approaching librarians and book store owners? For those with more experience, what tips would you add?
|Beyond I Do-CBD.com|
Jennifer is giving away one copy of Beyond I Do. Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing.
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently discounted in e-book format for under $3!
You can find it at :
Barnes and Noble
She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries. When not writing, Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.