Promoting your book / doing an event on the cheap.

How would you go about selling your books at an event centered around selling your books or getting people to read your material without stockpiling books ahead of time?

Last year I bought a bunch of books to be printed out and then I had a meet and greet where I had set aside fifty dollars for a girft certificate for me and my guests. The restraunt had not put up the fllyer I asked them to use and only the people I directly invited showed up. Goal was to have people who just happened to eat there that day would get me to meet me and I would talk about books.

It was a bust. This year I  want to try a different place with a different game plan. I can bring my laptop with me and lend out  ebookcopies off the books that way.  Give me some ideas.

Comments

  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    I'm not quite sure that it works that way - people sitting in a restaurant are not going to want to discuss books they've never heard of with an author they've never heard of. In fact, I seriously doubt that any will want to discuss books at all; they are there to eat and talk about themselves and things of immediate interest to them. I'm not even sure if unknown authors trying to give talks on their books to anyone is a route to success, but you could start by seeing if there is a book club in your town, or by asking at your local library.

    There is a thread on book promotion in the forum. You could try reading through that.

    http://connect.lulu.com/en/discussion/269353/post-helpful-marketing-promotion-tips-here

    But, truth be told, as a self published author who presumably does not have loads of resources to throw at the problem there is very little one can do, despite thousands of people advising to the contrary and suggesting that you buy their book at $ 27 while you are at it. Call me cynical, but this is the reality of self publishing. You are lucky if you can sell a few dozen copies of each book you publish.

    Hopefully you can prove me wrong and find a way to successfully market your books and increase sales.





  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    edited April 2018
    I've thought about (but never followed through on) co-opting a local coffee bar. They normally close at 7, but they are in a part of town that stays open late one Friday a month for the promotion of artistic endeavors. I was thinking of bribing the manager to stay open late that Friday, by covering two hours labor for her workers, and any coffee sold during the event would be her profit.

    In exchange, I would have two hours to do a reading / signing event, and to field any questions that might arise.

    While the coffee bar might post my flyer, I would have to do the serious legwork myself, handing out flyers to other merchants (for display) and to strangers passing by in the days prior (in hopes of seeing them at the event).

    As you discovered, the key to high attendance at any event is to speak to many many people, face to face, and to obtain individual commitments to attend. I find that attendance at an event (usually I only organize events for certain non-profits, and then only when no one else will do it) depends on moving a potential attendee through the three stages of awareness, visualization, and commitment.

    Awareness means that they know an event will occur; Visualization is when they think of the event as something they could see themselves attending; and commitment occurs when they decide that they will attend. Awareness is knowledge of a fact, visualization is contemplation of that fact, and commitment is a reaction of the volition to that fact.

    As you see, I'm at the "visualization" stage of holding the event, and have not yet committed the mental act of committing my volition to it.

    I hope that this information is helpful in the planning of your next event.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    What is ideal, is not confronting a few people, invited or not, but confronting 100s of people at once, maybe even 1000s. Try your local radio station, they are often glad of stuff to fill their time with.
  • I have noticed on Youtube a lot of writers from here and CreateSpace that do videos called Unboxing. They show themselves opening the box and show their book to the audience and discuss what the book is about. Sometimes they answer questions in the chat. Usually links are provided to buy books. You might could do a live streaming maybe for writers or would be publishers and discuss your experience while displaying your books etc. Not a real life thing but everything is going online now days. One of my favorites is watching live stream Pc builds by Gary Holzman and Paul's Hardware. Both usually have ads for things they are selling.
  • What is ideal, is not confronting a few people, invited or not, but confronting 100s of people at once, maybe even 1000s. Try your local radio station, they are often glad of stuff to fill their time with.
    In my experience, announcements in mass media are effective at pushing people to stage 1, the awareness that an event will occur. It does little or nothing to move them to visualization or actualization. Personal discussion, one on one, will move them to stage 3, Actualization, that is, a commitment of the volition.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    In my experience, announcements in mass media are effective at pushing people to stage 1, the awareness that an event will occur. It does little or nothing to move them to visualization or actualization. Personal discussion, one on one, will move them to stage 3, Actualization, that is, a commitment of the volition.

    I did  not mention events. Unless one is a very famous writer doing book signings somewhere, they are a bit pointless. The idea of radio stations (and even local TV and magazines) is to be interviewed while at the same time plugging a book that by then should have an ISBN and available to buy in the usual outlets.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I recall seeing a self-publisher standing just inside a Waterstone's door, with quite a nice looking slot together display stand, promoting his latest book, and he was being totally ignored. I had a chat with him and he said he spends around £10,000 a year, he did not say if that included having his books published, and he would only admit to "I don't do badly" when asked if he made a profit. I had no idea who he was, and no one else had.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    By the way, Merchanstaprimo. With all those links you could be accused of being an advert ...
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