Monday, May 7, 2012

Off-Line Marketing

By now, everyone should have online marketing down pat. Work Twitter, Facebook, and virtually every other social network out there on a regular basis and you're marketing. "Easy" as that, right?

What about marketing in person? How do you get started in that?

A friend recently told me what she and others in her vicinity have been doing. Each lives in a different town, buy they're all close to each other. They arrange group signings and other activities and market their books together, which proves the old maxim, "there's strength in numbers."

Belonging to a group of published authors opens doors not always available to a single, newly-published writer. Bookstores often consider hosting a panel of authors quicker than they do otherwise--and book signings aren't limited to bookstores. Having a booth at festivals works too. But I'll get back to that later.

A group could get a name for themselves by having a media kit ready and working local radio and television stations, running ads and articles in area newspapers, etc.

My friend really gave me some great ideas. Working together sounds like a terrific way to get yourself out there in person, and it sounds idyllic for the shy author.

If your friends don't live close together, next best thing to do is to exchange promotional material. I put my friends' bookmarks in every book I sell, and am fortunate enough to have some of my friends return the favor. Whenever you have bookmarks or postcards made, send several to your friends to send out to their contacts and increase your networking ability.

Back to the festivals: When Give the Lady a Ride debuted last year, I signed up for a couple of festivals for book signing opportunities. I'd seen one author try that at an earlier festival, and her booth was fairly quiet. What better way to stimulate traffic than to have a variety? I contacted some writer buddies and included their books in with my sale. I had traffic in my booth virtually all day--made some good sales, too.

That sparked the idea of The Canopy Bookstore. My husband and I take my books and those of other authors to area festivals, and have a blast meeting people, selling books, etc. I know what each book is about and can promote all of them. But since I'm the "author in person," mine tend to sell more at these events.

True, using these ideas won't make you famous across the nation, but they may garner you some local fans. With  strong, local fan base and a healthy internet following, your next book could be in prime shape!


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8 comments:

  1. I love that idea, Linda. It's something I've been working hard on up here in Wisconsin too, and it's sure a lot more fun if you can schedule a couple people at a time to sit together and give each other breaks.

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    1. I think it's more effective when a group works together. My friend invited me to join their group--they don't live too far away. I'm excited!

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  2. Great reminders! I know I tend to focus on online marketing to the exclusion of other aspects, so it's good to get a kick in the pants now and then.

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    1. Some folks (like you) do tons better on the internet than others (like me). Hitting the streets with a box of books in your trunk may not be your preferred activity. :D

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  3. These are great ideas, Linda. I think we sometimes forget that this type of marketing is still very VERY vital and needs our attention. In fact, in terms of actual sales that I can COUNT, I'd say off line marketing is still tops for me.Its hard to know if what you are doing online is really having an effect, but with direct sales, you know exactly how many books you've sold!

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  4. I'm with you, Tracy. I do far better in person than I do on the internet. Every time my publisher tells me my sales are good, she takes me by surprise!

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  5. I love your logo, Linda!

    Tracy, I agree. It's so hard to tell if our online marketing works.

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    1. Thanks, Lynnette. Anna O'Brien, who designed my book cover, also designed our logo and banner. She's terrific!

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