Writing a book is one thing. Selling one is a completely different matter. It requires advertising, getting people to rate and review your book, marketing, and reaching out to a variety of locations to see if they would be willing to carry copies of your masterpiece. As a local author, this opens up some unique opportunities.
Marketing as a Local Author
You thought writing was hard. Selling a book is a whole new challenging endeavour: one that not all writers are prepared for.
As writers, we often work in solitude. Once your writing project is complete though, the aim is to get said book out there. You need to sell copies and get it into people’s hands. That requires networking, reaching out to local shops and book stores, drumming up sales through writing or book club groups, and any other creative ways to get those words out. I know people who have rented tables at events to sell books or given them away as thank you gifts or in the hopes of receiving reviews. All of these methods work and I encourage you to try any and all that work for you.
What else can you try?
Author readings at local bookstores usually net sales. You could join a networking group and volunteer to give a 3-minute elevator pitch, possibly garnering you a few more sales. Telling all your friends and neighbours you have written a book helps too, especially if you put it on your social media channels and ask them to share with their own audiences. Ultimately, your best marketing tool is someone who has not only read, but enjoyed your work. Ask them to share those glowing reviews: honest reviews might help someone who is wavering on what to read next dive into your book.
I can’t say it enough. Tell people your book exists and ask them to tell others in order to support you. People don’t always realize how much doing so helps.
Taking Advantage of your Local Status
Tuckey Home Hardware
After hearing tell that a local hardware store in Wortley Village had a small local authors section at the front of their store, I went to check it out in person. Sure enough, there was a display near the front door. I spoke with the manager and he was happy to include a few copies of my book in the mix. We signed a contract and I walked out with three copies of Roughing it in Africa on display (along with a sell sheet including my author bio and book praises/blurb).
This gave me an opportunity to promote my book in a new way on my socials, plus expand further beyond my own reach. And Tuckey Home Hardware also liked and shared these posts too! So far I have sold a few books, so went to restock their shelves with a few more copies today.
You can find Tuckey Home Hardware at 136 Wortley Rd, London, ON.
London Inc Store
Along Dundas St, in the heart of the Old East Village, is a small store making a big impact in their bid to promote local makers and support local creators.
The London CityStore is a unique celebration of the incredible creativity and vision of our neighbours right here in the Forest City.
I was in the neighbourhood one day and went to pop into the Artisan Bakery. They were closed for the day, but a new store was open right next door. I went in to take a look around and got to talking with the owner. After noticing a few books, I inquired if I could add mine to their display. Before I knew it, there were copies of Roughing it in Africa there too! All it took was asking.
The London CityStore is associated with London Inc Magazine, which has great reach across the city. I have made a point of tagging them in any posts I have published too, with favourable results. Whether you are looking for a book from a local author or not though, they have plenty of neat items in store, like t-shirts, maple syrup, jewellery, coffee, art, candles, pottery, and so much more. They are a great location to support local London creatives.
The London CityStore is located at 870 Dundas St, London, ON.
If you have published a book and are having difficulty selling copies, get creative. Reach out to local stores that may support local authors. Talk to small businesses that might consider buying copies of your book to gift to employees. Offer them as a raffle prize in local charitable events. Don’t forget to include business cards or sell sheets, so readers know how to reach you to leave reviews. Good Luck!