Book Marketing, Author Publicity, Branding

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Sell 100 Books Now

When it comes to generating sales, authors like to see immediate results.  What is more immediate than directly selling 100 books?  Why did I pick the number 100?  Well, other than being a good round number, it's a way of gauging the impact of your marketing efforts.  Find what specifically works for you and keep repeating it, and before you know it you have sold hundreds, if not thousands, of books.

I asked my fellow marketing reps to brainstorm with me and come up with a list of things that have helped our authors sell significant quantities of books.  They may not all work for you, but I encourage you to try each one.

  • Contact a local book club about your book, ask them to read your book as one of their selections and attend their end of the month meeting to discuss the book with the club.  Be sure to ask them if their friends might be interested in using your book for their book club too!
  • Contact a local nursery/day care/school/magnet school about presenting your book to their students.  Be sure to watch for any venues that host a story time event, ask them to read your book at their next story time.
  • Sign up for a community event or a festival to promote and expose your book to the community.  Be sure to let people know what types of events you are available for.  Speaking?  Story times?  Signings?  Presentations?
  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and let them know they have an author in town.  Ask them about any upcoming events.
  • Contact the local rotary club (or similar organization) about being their next Guest Speaker.  Ask them to sell books after your presentation.
  • Have a fitness/healthy living book?  Contact your local running groups or race expos about setting up a small table at their next event.
  • Schedule a blog tour, click here for more details!
  • Contact the local independently owned movie theater about selling books in their lobby on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Make 5 phone calls to decision makers regarding scheduling a speaking event.
  • Watch for any community newsletter or event programs that might spotlight your book.  Most events have a program that is distributed to event attendees, ask them to mention your book in the next program.
  • Have you considered doing an event at your bank/financial institution?  I have many authors who have done this and they have been successful!
  • Mailing out a card?  Be sure to place a promotional item for your book inside!
  • List the link to your book in our bookstore or your website link in your e-mail signature.
  • Have you contacted the local museum?  Be sure to ask them if you can sell your books in their gift shop.
  • Brainstorm on the organizations in your community that your book is a great fit for!  Examples:  Alumni group, MOPS, Rotary Club, FCA, Girl Scouts, YMCA, Boy Scouts, etc.  Contact your local chapter about attending their next event.
  • Have you contacted the local independently owned gift shops in your area about a book signing event?  Examples:  Cupcake shops, boutiques, gelato shops, ice cream shops, donut shops, barber shops, florists, specialty shops.  Start with the locations that have the highest foot traffic for more exposure.  Send me a list of 5 locations that you would like for us to contact for you!  I need their address and phone number.
  • Have a book trailer or an upcoming event?  Post it on all of your networking sites.  Be sure to set up an “event” on Facebook to invite people to your signing.  
  • Personally pursue your own pastor for a church signing, and donate a portion of the proceeds to the church. 
  •  Do events at private homes (sort of like a Tupperware party).  From marketing representative Jim Miller:  " One of my authors was the perfecter of this. She had a friend host a garden party for her and 10 other ladies. She told them the story of how the book got published, answered questions, and then sold a book to each person there. Then she said, “Who would like to host something like this and invite friends that I don’t know?” All 10 said yes. She asked that question at every party and went from house to house for 6 months. She also got 3 church speaking engagements and a radio interview out of it."
  • Contact your local media and follow up on media contacts made by your publisher/publicist.  Sometimes personal contact by the author makes a difference in getting an interview or coverage for your book.  Use these media opportunities to promote your upcoming book signing events.  
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