What’s stopping you from selling more books?
In most cases, it’s not money.
Authors tend to think that only if they had more advertising dollars they could turn their book into a bestseller. The truth is it’s more often an author’s mindset than an author’s checkbook that gets those books rolling out the door.
Spend your money on making your book the best it can possibly be. This includes a great cover, powerful editing and revising, tweaking, rewriting, editing, and revising again and then, when your book is perfect from the opening page to the end, you can use the following simple ways to get your book into the hands of avid readers.
1. Create an email signature and use it for every email you send out. Simple emails are often overlooked when it comes to book marketing, but personal notes actually have more influence than you think. When you include a simple link to where your book can be purchased, this informs your family, friends and contacts without being pushy or invasive. It’s there at the end of your note, no big deal. Most of your friends and acquaintances probably already know that you have written a book, give them a chance to explore further without pressure.
2. Once a week tweet some news about your book on Twitter. It doesn’t have to be a “buy now and get one free” sort of thing. Simply leave a comment about how your book is doing, what a friend said about it, or “Great news! The Browser Bookstore is now carrying my book!” As with all tweets, keep it short, interesting, and friendly.
3. Print off a postcard on your printer and mail it to someone. You don’t have to buy special postcard stock. Simply get a piece of 8½ x 11 card stock or heavy construction paper that will print. Divide the page into four equal sections and write a bit about your book. Include something of interest about it—a quote, a testimonial, a review. Then, add a link to where it can be purchased. Find an address to send it to and apply a stamp. In fact, if you don’t want to use a computer, you can simply handwrite your message for an even more personal approach.
4. Create a flyer for your book and keep them with you as you go about town. You can post them on bulletin boards in grocery stores, senior centers, and activity centers, and leave one in a barber or beauty shop.
5. Change the phone message on your answering machine to include a line about your book. “Hi, you have reached Joni Author. I can’t come to the phone right now; please, leave a message. Check out my new book, The Storms of April, on mywebsite .com, and let me know what you think!”
6. Get another piece of paper and create some simple bookmarks. Homemade ones will attract more attention. You can use a stick figure if you are not much of an artist. Include basic information about your book and then pop one into a library book or even in a magazine in a doctor’s office or clinic.
7. Don’t forget that word of mouth begins with you! Tell people about your book. Carry your book with you and if someone comments about it—tell them it’s yours! Have something fun or interesting to say about it that will create interest.
8. Take a picture of your book and post it on Facebook. If you are not a Facebook user ask a friend to do it for you.
9. Post a notice on Craigslist. It’s free and you can include a picture, information about your book, and offer to autograph it if you want.
10. Sell it on eBay! Lots of booksellers and authors do this. It costs nothing to place an ad and you might be surprised and make a few sales. If nothing else, you are giving exposure to your book.
11. Join online author groups and include your book title in your bio. If allowed, add a picture of the book cover.
12. Join an author support group and when it’s your turn to talk it can be about “your” book of course! Fellow authors are quick to support one another and even if they don’t buy your book, they may give you great leads as to how to promote your book.
13. Offer to give a free talk at a local school, church group or organization looking for speakers. The more people you meet and greet, the more exposure your book gets. Talk about how your book came to be written, the struggles, the joys and anything else of interest. If permitted, you may be able to sell your book at the back of the room.
14. Contact your local college, high school, senior center, etc. and offer to teach a course on writing. You may or may not be paid for it, but the exposure of having your book mentioned in the curriculum catalog or on the events board is great free advertising!
15. If you have a blog you can periodically mention your book to your followers. But even if you don’t, you can always read other book blogs and leave a comment.
When it comes to book marketing, being creative can get surprising results. Once you start the wheels turning in your brain for ways to spread the word about your book, opportunities will appear as if by magic. Be bold, daring and go for it. Nothing happens unless you do something! And once you do a little something, bigger opportunities often open up.