Be prepared to talk to everyone about your book
You have invested a big chunk of your life in writing a book. Don’t stop now, the best is yet to come! As a published author, you get to talk about your book and have it change people’s lives. It will happen if you are up to the task.
Don’t snort at the idea! Almost every book has the power to effect change, whether fiction, non-fiction or a children’s book. All you have to do is get people to read your book!
One of the most certain way to get readers is by talking to them first. Let’s start with those who know you have written a book but haven’t bought it yet. You merely need to listen to the conversation around you and to respond appropriately when someone asks how the book is going.
You tell them what people are saying about it, or how it is helping people to cope with life, or how people are responding to it. Don’t talk about sales except as a bridge to getting them involved in spreading the word about the book.
If people don’t know about your book, you don’t sail in and interject Ijustwroteabookabouttheworkplace! It is far more effective if you wait until someone mentions a subject that is related to your book, at which point you say confidently, "I wrote a book about that recently…"
And you stop there!
If you say no more than that, chances are someone will turn to you and say, "What’s it called?"
Then you give them the title and pass them a customized business card like this:
If you happen to carry a few books with you, as I do, pass a copy to them so they can handle it. You will probably sell it if you just let them take their time.
You may think that personally selling copies of your book is too much like peddling soap or watches on the street, but that is because you have bought into the idea that success can only be achieved by having your book in Borders or Barnes & Noble. This is no longer the case.
I recently found a listing of well-known authors who self-published some or all of their works. An amazing number of these authors rose to fame and fortune selling books out of the backs of their cars and at every other opportunity. Go to John Kremer’s Self-Publishing Hall of Fame and scroll down to see the list. It is overwhelming!
I extracted sixteen unusual book selling strategies from John’s list to give you a more manageable set of examples. These may give you the nudge you need to consider self-publishing and selling your own books.
When you self-publish, you are already exploring alternatives to traditional publishing. Don’t stop exploring alternatives when the printing is done. Go for the gold…and for the satisfaction!
There are appropriate channels for selling a book, especially if your book appeals to a specific market segment. You just have to find places where these people congregate to buy things and present your products appropriately. If your book is about bike riding, get it into bike shops. If your book is about knitting, get it into yarn shops.
If there is no physical gathering place, you need to find those places on the internet where they gather and place ads or get your book reviewed or at least mentioned.
I have more to add but it must wait for the next few posts. I will be introducing you to John Kemmer, who is an expert on the subject of marketing books and some other people who may help get the word out about your books.