Today I'm delighted to present a guest post by Peter Adler, author of Wyndano's Cloak. I asked Peter to share his tips on getting your book into bookstores and face-to-face sales.
Guerilla Market Your Book!
by Peter Adler
|Author Peter Adler|
In this era of online book marketing, it’s easy to forget the tried and true sales techniques of the past. That would be a shame. The old ways are not only effective but are immensely satisfying.
Today, I’ll focus on the direct approach, where you engage face to face with potential customers. The ways this can happen are virtually infinite, and are only limited by your creativity and reluctance.
The more conventional direct approaches include making a presentation at a bookstore, setting up a table at a convention, fair, or outdoor market; or appearing at a library show. Less conventional direct sales techniques utilize guerilla marketing. Let’s look at both conventional and less conventional approaches, emphasizing the latter.
Bookstore presentations fall into two categories:
1) A formal talk, which can include reading an excerpt, showing a video or slide show, and even having a party. One author I know pulls in two hundred or more children to do face painting. She gets donations from local businesses for the food, drinks, and raffle. The events are so well received in her community that she gets media coverage. Talk about bringing attention to your book!
2) Setting up a table and greeting customers as they walk into the store.
I’ve done both types. The most successful for me was the second approach, which I describe in depth in these two posts: Art of the Meet and Greet Part I and Art of the Meet and Greet Part II.
If you decide to pursue a convention, fair, or outdoor market, but not a bookstore event, take a look at Part II anyway. The techniques I describe will be helpful. Hands down, I’ve sold more books with meet and greets than any other method. They’re fun, and I’ve made lasting contacts.
For example, I’ve met librarians, teachers, and book-club members interested in having me do a presentation. I met a book blogger who bought and reviewed my novel, Wyndano’s Cloak. I admit, I was a bit terrified of what he’d say; he’d told me in no uncertain terms that he only reads adult suspense thrillers and mysteries, and he would tell me exactly what he thought of my book. Fortunately, he loved it. Not only did he post his review on his blog, Amazon, and Goodreads, but he approached me later for an interview. Then he came back a month ago and asked me to appear at a new indie bookstore, where he coordinates events.
The best part of meet and greets is the interaction with the customers, particularly children. Their excitement at reading books, their excitement at meeting an author, these are priceless. Several have written to me afterward, and as a writer, you know there is nothing better than touching the heart of a reader. Yes, readers who find me online can write to me too, but trust me, that live connection is deeper, more meaningful.
Which brings me to Guerilla Marketing.
Listen up, folks. You’ve got to walk around with your Kindle! It’s a serious conversation starter.
While waiting for a concert to start, I was reading on my Kindle. People who haven’t seen them are curious. I ended up demonstrating how it worked and showed the guy next to me what my book looked like. He took down my book info. At the very least, it was exposure.
One day, I walked into my bank with my Kindle, housed in a green velvet cover my wife made. The teller asked if it was a Kindle, and we got to talking. I asked her what kind of books she likes. Don’t bypass that question. It’s your way of gauging if this person might like your book. With a bashful expression, she confessed she liked young adult fiction and Harry Potter. Bingo! That was my opening. I told her I wrote in that genre and showed her Wyndano’s Cloak on my Kindle. She said that it was exactly what she loved to read. The next time I came in, I brought a copy of the hardback. I ended up at a different window from hers, but I held up the book. She came over and asked if she could look at it. Her eyes were aglow when I left. Long story short, she bought it for her Kindle, loved the book, posted a review on Amazon, and loaned it to another teller. Every time I see her, we talk books and she asks when my next book will come out.
This being my first year in our new house, I had no idea whether children would show up for Halloween. In the past, they never did, but a hunch told me I better ask my neighbor. He said I could expect three bags worth of kids. It was an hour from sundown. I high-tailed it to the store, snagged candy, dashed back home, and started setting up. I already had the new book cover on our wall, so people would see it when I opened the door. I joked with my wife that it was free marketing as I handed out treats. All of sudden she cried, “You’ve got to print copies of the new cover and first chapter! And wear your Renaissance costume.”
Our dining room window looks out on the front doorstep, so I set up the hardback and new cover on bookstands there. When children and parents came to the door, they saw the display. Free exposure! I gave out the chapter sample to the older kids, who seemed dazzled. They asked me what I was dressed up as. I replied, “The Mage of Aerdem,” referencing the fantasyland in the book. Everywhere else they got a few pieces of candy. Here they got a signed chapter from an author.
If you try any of the above, be polite, and never hard sell. Have fun. Enjoy making connections. Imagination is our stock-in-trade. Put it to use in your marketing. The possibilities are endless!
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About the Author: A. R. Silverberry has won a dozen awards, including Gold Medal Winner in the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction; Gold Medal Winner in the 2010 Readers Favorite Awards for Preteen Fiction; and Silver Medal Winner 2011 in the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book, Children’s/Young Adult. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. Wyndano's Cloak is his first novel. Follow him at the links below!A. R. Silverberry’s Website
Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears—of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever. She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen's family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning. Wyndano's Cloak may be Jen's only hope. If she’s got what it takes to use it . . .