Are you like me and prefer to give away your books rather than try to sell them? I know, its tough because as an author, you are really talking up and selling yourself. Get over it. You have to think of yourself as a business. You are an author.
Sandra here today to talk about some innovative ways to self-promote your wonderful novels.
|Some RV parks have one day a month we can sell things from our campsites.|
With the new paradigm in the industry, it is just as important for authors of traditional publishers to market themselves as it is for indie published authors. Self-promotion platforms are expected because frankly, traditional publishers are exploring the why and how to get their books known just as much as the indie published authors. With thousands of books available now on the Internet, how do you get your gem recognized? That is the million-dollar question. Today I will share nine ways I’ve used in the past. Please take a look and if you’ve tried something else, please share with us what you’ve tried and we’ll have a lovely repertoire to use when our next book comes out.
- 1. Autograph party. This is very effective in your hometown when your first novel debuts. Local bookstores love featuring the home-town success. If you aren’t published yet, you can assure a successful autograph party by supporting your local bookstores now. Shop local and get to know the managers and workers in the bookstore. Tell them you are writing your novel and have them search for the type of books you are writing. This will make them feel like they are part of your success. No bookstore in your town? Then try the grocery store or drug store where books are sold. When I debuted my first novel, I was visiting my mom at Lake Tahoe and we arranged for an autograph party in Ralph’s grocery store. It was a hoot. The local paper featured my party and authors from the area came to meet me. I formed some lasting friendships and even found a wonderful critique partner in the process. Debby does a great job of hosting autograph parties in her area and offers the proceeds to a charity. This works really well to get people out there.
|Many friends came to my debut autograph party hosted by the Christian bookstore in Tempe.|
- 2. Press Kits. As mentioned above, the local newspaper featured my debut novel and autograph parties. They don’t usually feature autograph parties, but they love the news of a debut release. So if it’s your first book, take advantage of that interest. In fact, prepare your press kit now even if you aren’t published yet so it will be ready when you get the call. Press kits can also be sent to the local news media when your novel features or hinges around a news event. Tara Taylor Quinn uses this technique and received local press when her novel revolved around domestic violence. She is a supporter of the Domestic Violence Hotline and those ties interested the media and they interviewed her, which gave her publicity for her series. A good press kit includes a professional photo of you. Short author bio. Contact information. If a debut novel or new novel out have a photo of the book cover. Blurb about the book and quotes from reviewers if you have them. Many authors have a press kit page on their website with all of this information on it.
- 3. Social Media There are many articles in the archives of Seekerville with hints and suggestions of how to make use of the social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. This is the media you’re going to reach the most people for the least amount of money. Whether you are published or not, start using these media so when you have something to report like the release of a book, you will have an established audience.
- 4. Blogs. Blogs are a wonderful way to develop a base of followers who can act as a support team to get the word out there about you and your books. Blogs do take a lot of time. The Seekers found it works well to have a group share a blog. We started our blog before we were published which is good advice because you can go through the learning process without a big audience. And by the time you have debut novel coming out, you have a venue to announce your news. We saw that yesterday in Tina’s review of “The Call” parties here on Seekerville. And our Weekend Edition is a great place to announce the releases coming up. There are many blogs of reviewers and it is wonderful to have a blog tour when your book releases. This gets the word out there and provides wonderful reviews as well.
- 5. Teach Writing Classes. Teaching writing classes gives you exposure to a new audience who will enjoy your class and become possible readers. Many groups are looking for classes and to volunteer to teach a writing class will give you a new audience. Be sure and ask your students to pass your name along. When I teach a class I bring copies of books to sell. I also give away a book each session. Great advertising. Places to teach include: Church, Parks and Recreation, Senior Living Resorts and or homes, Libraries, Women’s groups, RWA or ACFW conferences, local writing events, Book Fairs, etc.
|Hosted a table talk at the Desert Rose RWA meeting. Taught about business licenses.|
- 6. Library Workshops In my community, the public library hosts writing workshops and the public is invited to take workshop classes from local authors. Local authors are invited to submit class proposals and when selected, they are assigned classrooms in the library and are also allowed to sell their books. I’ve also been to library Author Days, where local authors are featured and they are allowed to sell and autograph their books. The events I’ve attended, the authors were assigned tables throughout the library and the public were allowed to visit and buy books.
|Presentation at the Tempe Public Library when they featured local authors. (I was actually home LOL)|
- 7. Speaking Engagements. I list on the local RWA website as a speaker and can be invited by local community groups to speak. At most of these events, authors are encouraged to bring books to sell after the speech. The same organizations listed above for teaching classes can be contacted for public speaking. One of my favorite venues is to be invited to a Book Club that has read one of my books. ( Waving at you Maridel who invited me to her book club) That is always fun to hear what readers get out of their reading experience. It is often so different from what you expect
|Signing at RWA conference|
- 8. Craft Fairs: We travel a lot and many of the parks we stay in have craft fairs. Since writing is a craft and I sell the books I wrote, I qualify to sell at the craft fairs. Community parks often have craft fairs, and many organizations feature craft fairs during the year. These are great places to sell your books and talk to readers. Be aware that you may be required to have a business license. Most fairs sell the books for you and you give them a percentage. I just figure that into the price. Saves having to buy so many licenses.
|Selling at the craft fair in Verde Valley TT RV Park|
9. Book Fairs: Many states and cities have book fairs. I always participate in the Tucson Festival of Books. In the archives are a couple of posts about my experiences. Over 100,000 people are coming to buy books and meet authors. This is a wonderful venue to get your name out there.
|LeAnne Bristow met me at the Tucson Festival of Books|
So authors: Here are nine ideas I’ve tried. Whenever I’ve done any of these, my sales go up. When I do nothing, my sales do nothing. So we really need to be pro-active if we want to make a go of it in this business.
I have made gorgeous flyers to hand out at all of these events. You want your name known and remembered. Often readers don’t buy the books, but they take the flyers and buy ebooks when they get home. Check out this post from the archive for information on the flyers. Scroll toward the end of the post and it will show you the flyers I hand out.
Please add in the comments other ways you’ve use to promote and be eligible for a lovely prize.
Readers, you can be the biggest help and asset we have. What always works is a grass roots recommendation from a friend. Usually you know what kind of books your family and friends like to read. And if you come across a book you think they would like. PLEASE TELL THEM ABOUT IT. Please share ways you’ve helped support an author and also be eligible for the special surprise.
Authors and readers alike, please remember that an autographed book makes a terrific gift. With the holidays coming up, you will want to have a supply of gifts to hand out. Often a book costs less than a card and look how much more rewarding?
|Glynna Kaye and I gift autographed books. She gave me her latest Love Inspired. And I gave her my newly printed novella. We had such a fun time together.|
Look for your local authors and go meet them, buy their books and help support this industry we love so well.
Now for that special gift and surprise . With trick or treat coming up and knowing how much you all love chocolate, I’m gifting this lovely blown glass candy kiss. The gift is a glass candy kiss, but I have a huge bag of candy kisses to snack on today. All the different varieties. My favs are the almond filled kisses.
I also put my two novellas that were out with the Seeker collection into print copies which do make lovely stocking stuffers or gifts for a teacher or friend. Winner will get autographed copies of those two books. They are available now on Amazon.com in case you need to shop early for Christmas.
Debbie fell in love with surfer, David Martin. Against her parent’s wishes, she married her first love. Would the help of an angel and the influence of the Christmas season bring forgiveness and redemption?
Elena Delgado loves her father’s new business partner, Stephen Edwards, and wants marriage and a family. As they work together, will Stephen notice her? Or is he still in love with the fiancée who left him?
Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and during the hot summers, she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motor home where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audiobooks at Audible.
You can read more posts by Sandra here.