Even though my books are not in a mortar and brick bookstore, I have successfully sold copies of my Christmas book in some unusual places of business. I decided to take a chance and asked our local IGA grocery store owners if I could put ten books in one of their check-out aisles. It helped I’ve known them for several years, and have shopped there on a weekly basis. The manager/co-owner agreed instantly. I did this about a month or so before Christmas. I placed the ten books in a red beaded basket right before the conveyor belt so the customers might see the books as they took their groceries out of their carts. I also included postcards with my website, book blurb and reviews. I hoped people would take the postcards home to learn more about my writing.
The first ten books sold in less than a week so the store owners asked for more books.
My sister-in-law has her own beauty shop so she took ten of my Christmas books. I also gave her a red basket, which she placed on a desk in her shop. She sold all of them for me, and didn’t want a portion of the money. She also sold my romances in her shop. It helps she loves to read!
Craft shows are another possibility for selling your books. I paid a $20 registration fee and had a table for my books at a craft show before Christmas. Be sure to stand by your table and engage people in conversation. Greeting each person who walks by will encourage more people to stop by your table to chat. Then, you can begin your book pitch. Giving autographs to people who purchase a copy of your book is something buyers appreciate. This will go a long way in building a fan base. I always give promo items to people, even if they don’t purchase a book after stopping by my display. I usually have bookmarks or postcards with my website, snippets from reviews, blurbs, and blog information listed. After they go home, hopefully the readers will visit your site to learn more about your writing, and will then be encouraged to purchase your book.
If you anticipate lots of traffic at the craft show or other place of business where you have your book displayed, take a friend or relative along to help pass out your promo items. Or, your helper can assist you by keeping the line moving so you aren’t losing customers by spending too much time with one person.
Check with your library to see if they might sponsor a writing event for local authors. Several of us gave short speeches about some aspect of our writing to a group, and answered questions from the audience. A book signing was held afterwards, which was successful for each author. The library did a great job promoting the event, and gave out goody bags to the attendees.
Consider doing a book signing at a small coffeehouse in your area. An author friend of mine has had success selling her books at several coffeehouses. You might even be able to do a reading from your book.
As you can see, selling your books in places other than regular bookstores can be profitable and fun.
Diane Craver has published through a variety of houses, including BookLocker.com, Samhain, Desert Breeze, Whimsical Publications, and Victory Tales Press. To learn more about Diane and her writing, visit her website & blog at: http://www.dianecraver.com and http://www.dianecraver.com/blog.
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