Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thinking Outside the Box

I have a friend in my writers group who refers to me as "Mrs. Everywhere."  Contrary to what some may think the name implies (get your minds out of the gutter!), it's a moniker he gave me to represent the multitude of promotional events I participate in every year.  Many times during conversations when an event or venue is mentioned, I say I've either been there or will be there.  Keeping my name and face in front of my readers and potential readers is something I've always deemed important, and over the years, I've found the best way to do that is through using unique sales tactics.

For many writers, "selling books" means setting up space in a local book store for an afternoon and coercing all the patrons to buy your wares.  While book store signings are all well and good, there are numerous other ways to promote your work.  Here's a list of some you may not have considered:

1)  Set up a table at a local craft show.  People are there to buy, and often welcome something different from homemade candles or wood crafts.

2)  Libraries love to promote local authors.  Schedule a brief presentation about your book, and offer to donate a copy or two to the library as your thanks for the opportunity.

3)  Retirement and assisted living communities often welcome authors for a short presentation and reading for their residents.  Offer a discount to anyone who wants to purchase, and donate a copy to the facility's library, if they have one.

4)  Take part in a charitable event by donating a copy of your books for a raffle, or set up a table and give part of the day's profits to the cause.  Any charitable donation you make is tax deductible, so be sure to ask for a receipt.

5)  Do you live close to an airport?  Schedule a meeting with the manager of one of the gift shops and ask them to purchase copies of your books for resale.  What better way to endure a long flight than with a good book.

6)  Similar to the idea of tip #5, hospital gift shops may be interested in what you have to offer.  Both patients and visitors often pass the time by reading, and may welcome the availability of something other than a magazine.

7)  Offer a special on your social media page and watch the orders roll in!  People love getting a good bargain, and will also enjoy the perk of supporting a local artist.  Be sure to list all the details in your post and a link to your personal website, as well as the deadline for orders.

In what other creative ways have you promoted your books?  Please feel free to share in the comments.  Until next time, happy writing!