Many a small title has burst onto the best seller list because of a groundswell of interest. How does that happen? An outstanding book? Inspiration? Perspiration? Luck?
Recently 15 authors from Beaver's Pond Press met at the Edina Public Library to share ideas for generating groundswells of interest in our books.
Several suggestions emerged:
- Always carry copies of your book with you. Hold one in your hand whenever possible, for example, as you wait to board an airplane. Ask the flight attendant to show it and announce that the author is on board with signed copies. Sales can happen anywhere. And once you're in the air, you don't have to charge sale's tax!
- Contribute to blogs.
- Check out on-line resources for Building the Buzz, e.g. Writing-World.com.
- Contact local newspapers and cable TV to pitch a story idea. They want more than just "local author publishes book." They are looking for an interesting or informative angle to snag readers.
- Send review copies to the media. Alternatively, you can send sell sheets or postcards asking if they would like a review copy so you don't waste freebies on people who aren't interested.
- Set up an appealing website and maximize traffic to your site. This is a whole topic in and of itself... especially important for those who are not tech-savvy.
- Set up readings and presentations at bookstores and libraries. A marketing rep can help you, or you can do it on your own by calling and visiting bookstores that might be interested in your book. Try to get media attention before the event.
- Think outside the bookstore! Give presentations to organizations connected to your topic. The people who attend are more likely to buy your book.
- Write articles for magazines (paper or on-line) and get magazines to excerpt parts of your book.
- Be generous in giving away copies to people who could be good promoters of your book.
Meeting with other authors is a great way to get ideas and support. Once a book is in print, don't put up your feet and wait for readers to discover your title. The ongoing creative work of creating buzz has just begun!!!