Ok, so by now you should have narrowed down your niche. If not, then take a look at some of my previous articles to get that taken care of. Keep in mind – YOU probably think that anyone and everyone will like your book, but the fact of the matter, is there is going to be a specific group (niche) of people who will LOVE your book.
Marketing can be expensive and time-consuming. Knowing that, would you rather spend your time and money on “everyone” and hope you connect with some that will buy your book? Or, would you rather spend your time and money on select people who you KNOW will be interested in buying your book? If you choose the latter, then you’ll want to read on…
While there are many (I mean a LOT!) of ways to market your book, we are just going to focus on local events for now. Starting with a local market is the easiest and fastest way to get sales. They know you, they like you and they most likely want to support you.
However, often times, you need to help your local community in getting to know you. What’s the best way to do that? 3 quick ways are:
- Local Events
- Trade Events
- Non-Profit Events
Local events are a fantastic way to get involved with your community and help them get to know you. Finding out about the events is easy – Social media, newspapers, local media – they will all advertise local events.
Now, I don’t suggest going crazy and trying to be at every single local event. First, you’ll burn out. Second, you’ll run out of time and money. And, as mentioned earlier, you want to focus on YOUR niche audience.
You’ll want to give yourself at least 30 days prior to any event to prepare. As you’re researching events in your area, look for events where your niche audience will be. Wrote a children’s book? Look for events that are aimed toward children. Wrote a book on hiking? Look for events about the outdoors. You get where I’m going with this…
Author events are ok, but I wouldn’t place my focus on those for the purpose of selling books. Typically, if you are going to an author event, it’s to seek an agent or publisher.
One excuse I hear a lot of when a client is not wanting to do events, is that it costs too much. Booth or table rental, entrance fees, etc. While this can indeed be costly, there are ways to work around this.
For a lot of local events, if you volunteer to help at the event, you can often be allowed to “sell” either for free or at a discount. This can be an awesome benefit for you, as you are not only able to sell at the event, but you are also given the opportunity to meet more people and make more connections.
Once you have chosen the events that you will participate in, it’s time to make sure people know you will be there! Advertise it! This does not need to cost money, either. How can you let people know you will be there and why they should come see you?
Social Media – Posting on your own social media pages are naturally a given. However, where else are people hearing about the events? You can post on your town’s social media page, the event’s social media page, local media’s social media page… leverage all that free advertising space! And, of course, make sure you RSVP online to the event and then SHARE it! Talk about how excited you are and how much you are looking forward to the event.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your involvement and what you are doing. If the event is getting local media attention, step outside that comfort zone and contact your local newspaper and ask for an interview where you can talk about the event and your involvement (either as a volunteer, vendor or both!).
You often hear people say that you shouldn’t toot your own horn…however, if you don’t, who will?
I’ve covered local events pretty well here. Next will be trade (niche) events and how you can leverage those as well…