How to Sell Your Books at Multiple Neighborhood Yard Sales! By Jennifer Lincoln

How to Sell Your Books at Multiple Neighborhood Yard Sales! By Jennifer Lincoln

As a self-published author, you may find yourself with some copies of your books just waiting to be sold. When purchasing a publishing package, it sometimes comes with a certain number of of copies. (Watch out for publishers that make this seem like a good deal…only to find out later that you were WAY overcharged for those copies as part of your setup fees!)

I bought the platinum package so I ended up with several cases of copies of my book. They were stacked in my basement, waiting to be sold. Every time I went downstairs to do laundry, they quietly reminded me that I had work to do to get rid of them and possibly make some money.

BookLocker does NOT do this trickery with its authors. BookLocker authors are never forced to buy copies of their books. They have never, and will never, perform the shady practice of “pay us this much money, and get x number of free copies!” Those copies are anything but free!

With my stacks of books I referenced above, I’ll never break even because I didn’t use BookLocker back then. But, at least I can try to give them a better home than my dark, dank basement.

After renting tables at craft fairs, and several other endeavors, my books sat quietly, staring at me, reminding me of my lost fortune. That is until one day, while preparing for my yard sale. Yes, I was finally cleaning out the attic and basement. You know, that job that is on everyone’s to-do list. It never occurred to me, until my sister asked what was in those boxes, and if they could be sold. The light bulb went on and I answered yes. Everything was for sale!

On the day of the yard sale, I set up my check-out area, and ensured I had a small pile of my books right next to my bank box. In addition to the stack of books, I made a little sign that read “Local Author Selling Books.’ It was the term Local Author that caught people’s eye. For some reason, it was like a magical term that prompted folks to ask questions. I sold the whole stack of my books, and replaced them twice. This was unbelievable! How could I not have thought of this earlier?

When the day was done, I had cleared out one of the cases of books from my basement. Now, my head started swimming with possibilities. Not too far from my house was another neighbor planning a yard sale. I had never previously met this neighbor but they had the same mindset. So, with the book in hand, I knocked on my neighbor’s door. I introduced myself, and briefly told the story of how I was able to sell a few books at my yard sale the previous day. Once again, the term Local Author seemed to raise interest. I could see by her face that I had piqued her interest. Now, I had to close the deal.

I handed the lovely lady a copy of my book for free. Then, I asked if she would mind if I set up a small table and chair with my books for sale in her yard while she was selling her goods. I assured her that I wouldn’t be a bother; I could be good company during the slow times. To my amazement, she agreed! And, that is just what I did.

I arrived early because I knew that was when most of the crowd came through. By the time I set up, I was answering all kinds of questions about being local and an author. I even doled out some free advice on self-publishing. Once again, I surprised myself by selling almost an entire case of books this time around.

The yard sale season was beginning and I had a plan. Yard sales seasons are in the spring and in the fall. Even if I hadn’t sold an entire case at my yard sale, it gave me the confidence to approach a neighbor who is now a big fan who had bought several of my other books.

I also lucked out when selling at that neighbor’s yard sale! While there, I met a young lady who belonged to a book club. She bought eight copies for her club to read next. I took her information, and notified her I started working on another book. I also gave out cards with the book’s information. So, who knows how many people purchased online from my advertising?

It may sound like a long shot but using space at my yard sale cost nothing. And, the neighbor didn’t charge me for my tiny table space. Why not give it a try? At the very least, it will motivate you to clear out your basement. And, isn’t that worth your time?


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4 Responses to "How to Sell Your Books at Multiple Neighborhood Yard Sales! By Jennifer Lincoln"

  1. Pingback: Writers and Publishers Network

  2. Marianna  June 16, 2023 at 11:25 am

    What a great idea! However, at every yard sale I’ve attended (100’s!) paperbacks usually went for 50 cents to a dollar. I guess it’s better than having boxfuls in the basement. Is there any info on what this local author charged?

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of  June 16, 2023 at 1:01 pm

      People will pay more for a new book (not used) at a garage sale that is being autographed by the author. 🙂

  3. Christy Lindsay  June 16, 2023 at 8:39 am

    This is completely brilliant. Thank you for sharing your success story! Many people have yard sales in my area, and there’s a huge community yard sale in a couple weeks. Thanks for the motivation, Jennifer!