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!
Linda Apple is the author of Writing From Your Soul, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter, Connect ~ A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, POW; Promises Kept and Women Of Washington Avenue, her debut novel and the first book in her Moonlight Mississippi series. Her personal experience stories have been published in 16 of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her devotions have been published in numerous devotion magazines and books. She lives in Fayetteville Arkansas with her husband, Neal, their five children, five children-in-love, and ten grandchildren.
Jody Bailey Day writes inspirational fiction from west Texas. Her debut novel, Washout Express, released June 2013 from Harbourlight Books. Her short stories, poems, devotionals, and articles have appeared in Mature Living, Splickety Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Southern Writers Magazine, and Christiandevotions.us, She is a two time Grand Prize Winner at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference, and a Faithwriters.com Best of the Best award winner. She and her pastor husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.
Deborah Dee Harper writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, by way of Michigan, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alaska (again). Deb is a graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild classes and writes Christian humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her children’s adventure series, Laramie on the Lam, available in both e-book and print, is being re-published as six individual print books. Her Road’s End series (Misstep, Faux Pas, and Misjudge) for adults is also contracted and should be published soon. She is currently nearing completion on the first book of another series. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Lisa Lickel is an award-winning multi-published inspirational novelist, blogger, reviewer, and writing mentor. A freelance editor, Lisa loves all things historical. Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest and Christian Fiction Online.
Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador, where she could rival Captain Jean Luc Picard in consumption of Earl Grey tea. She is the author of Emergence, Retaliation, and Capitulation, novellas and novels in her series featuring superhuman and police detective Darby Shaw.
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His poetry has appeared in leading journals and is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond.His fiction includes a light-hearted mystery, Rhapsody in Red, and two suspense novels, Deadly Addictive and The Lazarus File, and a historical romance, Lightning on a Quiet Night. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ groups and conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.
Editor/Author Linda Yezak lives with her husband in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a speaker/lecturer for various writers' groups and conferences. Her fiction books include Give the Lady a Ride, The Simulacrum, and The Cat Lady's Secret. Her nonfiction books include Writing in Obedience, co-written with Hartline Literary agent Terry Burns.
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