Ok, enough said with the title, right? Not many authors I know enjoy marketing their books. I released a second independently-published book in March this year. Unlike with the first book that trickled out via family and friends and blind perseverance from its eager hobby author who spent hours on phone calls and emails to get bookstore shelf space and in-person signings, I was fully prepared this second time, with boxes of physical books already received for the signings and launch events already awaiting. Yet as we all know, that release plan was to be scrapped before it began and 2020 proceeded its own way, leaving my boxes of books piled in the spare room. What to do?
First, a deep funk was in order after the race to deadline in January and February – the editing, cover and illustrations, layout, and printing; I was left drained from the Work of an indie author. So I spent the first lockdown months not exactly depressed, but like many, somewhat down and lethargic. The blur and grey of those months escape my recall now, thank goodness.
Summer was here, and I hadn’t sold any new books in person or from bookstores. (Although, thank you to the Facebook friends who did finally get their Amazon orders; those early reviews cheered me considerably.) But a restlessness had begun. A few of my old contacts from bookstores accepted some books for the shelves, but I know they don’t sell well without an in-person signing, and those weren’t in the offing yet nor still. I was stymied as to how to get my book to readers.
I tried some local outdoor markets. Not a great amount of sales, but they did spark my marketing skills again – I was still enthusiastic and hopeful that more buyers would find my books. Outdoor market season is ending. Indoor market season will likely be cancelled again fall/winter 2020/2021. What to do?
So here I am online again, with some ideas. And your suggestions are appreciated also!
- Get back to life activities. Like curling. I will offer book sales at my curling club with a portion of proceeds donated to the club, which really needs the funds.
- Do more promotion of my Amazon links on my Facebook page, and encourage more Facebook sharing of those promotional posts. Amazon is still a powerful delivery system, like it or not.
- Try “indoor/outdoor” venues : Set up a table on Saturday afternoon in my condo lobby? In the malls? Team up with other local authors? Getting permission is always the challenge. Time to try.
- I may offer deliveries in my region. This idea struck me when a reader mentioned they’d like to buy my books and noticed they lived in the same town. We did arrange to meet up and it worked out well. Why haven’t I pursued this more? I think I will.
- Mail out deliveries? I’ve done it, for family. But it’s so expensive. I guess I could offer it with the buyer prepared to pay shipping? I spent more on my facemask order shipping charges than the facemask itself cost, so why not? Collecting money from strangers is the challenge here – and depending on the shipping? I’ll think about it.
How about you, fellow readers and writers? How are you getting your books these days? Anyone have experience with my ideas – would they/do they work? Life. It’s always a challenge, but still better than the alternative. Happy reading!
Where to find my books? Try this link 😉