Monday, December 19, 2016

Book promotion

     If you’re a self-published author and have exhausted the usual options for promotion—the Amazon free trial and timed discounts, announcements on social media, requesting plugs from online reviewers and bloggers, e-mailing family and friends, and doing talks and signings for stores and civic groups—all of which can be productive, here are three additional sales boosters you might also try:

     1.   Libraries can be a great market for you.  There are roughly 120,000 of them in America.  My local regional facility has thirteen of my books in circulation, for example.  To mine at least some of that buying power and large readership, I mailed 100 six-by-nine glossy postcards to library networks all over my state (one regional library may have half a dozen branches).  I designed the card myself, using photos of the book covers, brief descriptions of each book, and a paragraph addressed to the librarian noting how well the books have been reviewed, and that the stories take place within the state.  I had them printed at Staples for minimal cost.  You might also offer to speak to a group at any library within reasonable reach.

     2.   Some motels, such as Country Inns and Suites, have their own lending libraries.  I sent 100 signed copies of my short story collection—which contains a good plug for my website and novels—to such hotels, concentrating on those near vacation spots and beaches, where vacationers are especially looking for leisure reads.

     3.   One of the things I do is move yachts for their owners.  Every marina has a small library where boaters can pick up a used book and drop one off in exchange, so I’ve left my signed debut novel in marinas from Key West to Newport, RI, but you can easily do a mailing of signed books to a list of marinas you find online.  My hope, of course, is that readers will try my donated books and thus be motivated to buy the rest of the books in the series.

     In each of these three cases, I’m targeting avid readers and making single books do the work of many in attracting new fans.

     Good fortune with your own promotions.


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