Today, people are connected to one another like never before in history. Authors have opportunities their predecessors could never have imagined. I wonder what Mark Twain’s Facebook page would have looked like. Many writers take advantage of this with strong online platforms, active social media accounts, and countless blog tours. There is no denying the worldwide exposure gained by any of these strategies, but don’t forget everyone in your neighborhood is connected too. The only thing better than promoting your own work is getting others to do it for you.
Before you head out on the town to promote yourself and your titles, be ready to meet the public. A few simple tips will get you off to a strong start.
Dress The Part- You always want to remind people of the author on your book cover.
Be Prepared To Network- Carry business cards which include all of your online information, phone number, and a list of your titles. Have bookmarks set on your phone and other mobile devices, so you can quickly show people your website.
Be Prepared To Sell- Keep a few print copies of your work on-hand at all times. Be able to easily share e-book sales sites through your mobile devices.
Now, it’s time to find the best places to do your promotions. We all know neighborhood bookstores and libraries are a good start, but where do you go from there?
Are you already involved or passionate about a particular cause? A non-profit charity might be the perfect opportunity for you to find new readers. Reach out to the organizers of your favorite charity, and tell them you would like to raise funds for them. Choose a specific period of time, and offer them a portion of all proceeds from book sales during that time. So what is in this deal for the author? Simple;
1. Use of the Charity’s name and logo during the promotion period
2. Readers who may never have considered your title, may give it a chance in order to support their cause
[important]Join Regional Readers and Writers Groups[/important]
A simple internet search can help you find local book clubs, writer’s guilds, and publisher’s associations.These groups offer a range of benefits. First, due to their local nature their membership fees are less expensive than their national counterpart. In addition, they often offer a steep discount to useful services. However, their presence in the marketplace can be their biggest advantage. You will find these groups pitching their author’s titles at all of the major conferences.
Volunteering for local non-profits is a great way to network with others. Other volunteers, local businesses, and the general public are typically all on hand to support their favorite charities. These are the times it is important to have your business cards and books with you.
[error]Be Careful! Do not turn a day of volunteering at your local charity into a promotional event for yourself. Tact is vital. As you introduce yourself and get to know others, then mention you are an author. If they ask where they can find your book, then wait for an appropriate time and show them. If you aren’t able to make a sale without disruption, then makes sure your new potential readers all have your card. If possible, get their info as well. [/error]
[important]Join Local Business Groups[/important]
Indie publishing is a business like any other. The BBB, your local chamber of commerce, and the Small Business Administration are all useful places for any indie publisher. These organizations all offer assistance to small business owners. Take advantage of opportunities to meet other local business owners, get free business advice, and learn how to manage your company. Be sure to search for non-profits in your area that cater to new start-ups.
[important]Participate in Local Festivals and Activities[/important]
Set up your own ‘Meet The Author‘ booth at book fairs, festivals, fairs, and street fairs. Booth space can be relatively inexpensive and the exposure can be exactly what you need. Give people a minute to get to know you. Introduce them to your work, and be sure to sign that copy you just sold to your new friend. People tend to let their guard down at these events, afterall they came to have fun. So, you may get a better chance to reach them than at any other time.