Avenues for selling your work

All authors want to see their book on display in the big chains and lovingly presented in the independent bookstores in their own home towns.  However, lots of authors are now turning to alternative routes into promoting their books.  They have found there is less competition, they’ve found a niche audience.  Plus, this is an avenue that you can focus on promoting your ‘brand name’ (i.e. you as the author), rather than simply your one book.


But which is the best for you?  We’ve found a number of bookselling techniques that some have tried and found some great success with. 


Do you have a museum (art, science, military, natural history?) near you, or a local tourist attraction (historic house, adventure park, animal park/zoo, ski resort)?  These are often overlooked as venues to sell your books in and they have wonderful gift shops that need to sell specialty stock.  Approach them with a specific focus in mind.  Highlight the link your book has to their organization, and any benefits they could gain by selling a local author’s book.


Independent public houses (pubs and bars) and local coffee shops.  Given the sad position that pubs find themselves in today in the UK (with many of them closing), this could provide a two-way venture for them.  Ask them if they are interested in giving you an ‘author night’ where you talk about your book, read from it and sell signed copies of it to the punters.  It’s a good idea to highlight a local theme/tone to your book.  The way they benefit is that they get an increased (inquisitive) footfall into their premises – plus you can negotiate a percentage of your sales for their tills.


Ok, have you ever been to a Farmer’s Market?  You can hire a booth and put up your own stand as a ‘local author’ willing to sell personally signed limited editions of your book.  Tourists flock to these events, as well as people who are not into ‘supermarket chains’ and love organic food.


Flower and garden festivals, military air shows – these are places where you can sell your books.  Either hire your own stand, or find out which companies are going to be present there and ask if they will include your books in their stalls.  You could even ask the organisers if they would be interested in a local author Cutting the Ribbon – even if you haven’t got a huge following, you can create one by acting as the local celebrity!


Corner, independent or specialty shops.  Most of them are happy to stock a few books by a local author.  Again, this is a two way venture.  Whatever books they sell, they get a percentage of the sale price.  In addition, if they don’t sell, they simply hand the books back to you.  Authors who have written non-fiction can do well if they approach health food stores, healing venues, new age, sports, children’s toys, adult shops, bakers, butchers, candlestick makers, craft and cookware shops … Also, you could include organisations such as counselling, dentist, private doctors, elderly care homes and hospitals gift shops as well as salons and spas.


Produce an online shop for your book too, with eBay.  If you haven’t tried it, then set-up a free account and create a shop under your author name.  Sell books that are in your genre and then present your own signed copy as a special incentive.  There's an article below, on this subject.


Another online venture, if you are an internet savvy individual, do a live or recorded video on YouTube.  You can do a reading of your book, or produce a promotional video.  This is the kind of thing that generates interest far and wide around the world.  It gets you noticed as a person that people can relate to as well as an authentic author who wants to connect with their customers. 


There is another way you can promote your book.  When I lived in London, I got involved in a local theatre group.  You can promote your book to the Producer and ask them if they are interested in creating a play.  Say that you’d be happy to work with them on reformatting it to a script format. 


Another way you can do it is to write your book as a script, or get a company to do it for you.  An enthusiastic individual like Philippe Ashfield runs INSTANTENT  - You can find Philippe on LinkedIn and he can turn your book into a script for you.  Incidentally, a company like InstantEnt can also promote your work to film producers.  Then who knows where your work will end up!  Philippe is a freelance celebrity and talent acquisions agent and knows no boundaries!


If you have tried any of these ventures, or know of someone who has, let us hear about your experience (photographs would be a wonderful addition!).  If you have any other ideas, just send them in and we’ll collate them all for a future BewleyBooks e-zine.

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