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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Selling your novel at vendor events...

When it comes time to self-promote, you have to be crafty, think outside the box.  Sure you can promote on all available sites on the internet, join up on all writing sites and promote like mad on Facebook, Twitter, etc., but if you want to reach the masses, really "reach" the masses you have to get yourself involved in every kind of event that is out there and promote yourself and your book.
Sure Barnes and Nobles is great, but hard because, as they stated to me, I'm just a local author, no one knows me and book signings at their "big and impressive store" just wouldn't cut it, it would flop.   Appalled at how I was treated, and knowing full well that my book was available on their website for their nook, I thought are they serious?
Indie Book Stores are the way to go.  I've had the best luck with them and they just don't treat you as a "local author" a nobody in the eyes of any big chain book store, but they treat you as someone who has done something quite extraordinary and from my experiences with them, I felt as though I had known them all my life.
I was invited to be a guest at an event at Cemeno's in Joliet.  I  know the Cemeno family very well and I was excited that I was asked.  The event was Ladies Night Out and the proceeds were to go to the TLC Animal Shelter.  The host was absolutely thrilled that I had accepted and when I arrived Thursday night she was tickled pink and said how great it was that I had come and that it felt like meeting a celebrity.  Well, my reaction to my new found "celebrity" persona made me blush, because I don 't see myself as that, just a person who wrote a book and got it published!  A big accomplishment in my eyes seeing how I never seem to finish what I start.
The night was a huge success!  Cemeno's being extremely popular place to be any night of the week, was packed full of people and this event was to last until 9pm.  It didn't die down until 8:30pm and I had sold 10 books in the process.  I couldn't have been more happy, but you know, had I not stood up when anyone came close to my table and there were 25 vendors there that night, if I had just sat there and smiled, said "hi" I would not have sold a single book.  Oh sure my table was set up nicely and displayed with the latest artwork depicting my book, rather eye catching as to draw them over to see what my book was about, but what "clicked" is...talk.   Standing up, introducing myself as the author and giving them a short synopsis of what my book was about, letting them know the spine tingling parts that would sure to catch their interest...and it did!
Also, having the article about my book ranking third in the Top Ten best sellers list, framed and on the table by my books helped also.
Like I said, if you want to be successful in promoting yourself, your book, you have to think of all the ways you can do it.
What has helped me is creating posters, having them printed up at Office Max (they are reasonable), making book markers with a discounted price or for a free eBook, but only give them to those who buy otherwise, you'll not sell your book that you've got set on the table, ready to sign.  Have printed up business cards with your author website, link to where they can get your book and email address and pass those out like crazy, call your local paper, radio station when  you are about to do an event.  I believe that helped me out tremendously when I had my book signing at the Book Mouse.  I beat out Stephen King who sold only 6 books at that bookstore...I sold 21 books.
So, just have fun, selling your book doesn't mean only at book stores, think about vendor events, Art in the Park or County Fairs, etc. wherever and whenever just get yourself out in the public eye.

2 comments:

  1. Very cool post, Sue! I was just talking to Cindy Keen Reynders about some expanded possibilities this morning. Overlook nothing!

    Blaze

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  2. Thanks Blaze! But it's true you have to think outside of the norm and be personable with those you meet. It all helps in the long run.

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