It’s Lit Help Tuesday!
Although there are no right or wrong answers for marketing self-published authors. Let’s face it, we can use all the help we can get. An often missed stop on the marketing train is stopping at your own community. We jump into bed with Amazon, Nook, Google, and many other online sites that offer nothing, but hundreds of thousands of competition. We voluntarily fork over x% just with the hopes of getting noticed by their millions of daily site views. When the sad fact remains that if we don’t already have a following or buzz, what makes our book any different than the next twenty appearing on in the recommended searches. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking online marketing. We all know that Social Media is the wave of the future. However, unless you are planning to spend countless hours engaging in twitter conversations, community groups, and marketing yourself on tons of book sites – there needs to be an alternative marketing method. Besides, if you are going to promote yourself anyway and drive even more traffic to their websites, why not put that money into your own pocket!
How many of you have neighbors who knows nothing about your book? Who doesn’t even know you are a writer or published author. Let’s walk a little further to the corner store – do they know you have written a book? The local gym, grocery store, book store, church, pharmacy etc. The answer is PROBABLY NOT! I know for me it isn’t. It wasn’t until the other day I was in the nail salon and happened to pull out a copy of mine to read something to a friend. Once I got off the phone, the owner came up to me and said hey “did you write this I see your picture on the back”? I said yes. I swear her face lit up with excitement. Not only did she agree to purchase a few copies for her store, but the remaining two ladies in there with me inquired about getting copies.
Putting yourself out in your community is a scary thing, I know. I felt the same way. I do not want any of these people in my business and its a little to close for comfort. I mean really, these are the same people you have to see all the time, and if for some reason they say “no, not interested” or have their opinions of not liking your book, you are stuck with the awkwardness when passing them by. Quite frankly, who cares – you are trying to sell your books. Whether they love it or hate it, two things will likely come out of this. 1) you have another sold book and 2) they are going to be talking about it whether good or bad. Even if its bad, that person is going to tell at least two or three of his friends who will in return purchase the book, just to be in the loop. The ones that absolutely love the book are going to be so overjoyed of getting a signed copy, and getting to say I personally know the author, because he/she lives in my neighborhood; that you would have sold another four or five copies without even opening your mouth. Your community will become your street team just on the strength of knowing you.
So, this weekend step away from your computer and meet your community! Don’t forget to tag me in your pics.
- Bring out a small table with your books, posters, promo materials and have free cupcakes or cookies as an incentive to get people over.
- The next time you are going to the cleaners, nail salon, etc. bring your book and give your 60 second pitch. (don’t forget to say I live in the neighborhood)
- Participate in community events; festivals, school outings, community organizations, etc.
- Sponsor a bake sale at your church and in return have your books their for sale. The same with school and book drives.
Missy B. Salick