While I was at my neighborhood Barnes and Noble for a session of writing over coffee – and buying another book about books, I came across several authors doing simultaneous book signings. There were three or four of them, each sitting around their own table and folding chair. They were local authors hoping to seduce passerbys to buy their books while utilizing the opportunity to speak to customers. Good idea.
Why not expand the idea to everywhere?
Authors should see if they can set up a table in the back of other stores, not just bookstores. They can approach colleges, non-profits, government agencies, and any locations where people gather. Just by being in front of people you have a better chance of selling your book than if you were nowhere to be found.
Call it the folding-chair book marketing campaign.
Go ask your local coffee shop if you can set up a table in front of their stores. Talk to a supermarket or pizza joint and see if they’ll allow you to set up a table, maybe even cutting them in on some of the profits.
You have nothing to lose. You may end up selling some books and promoting your brand to neighbors and community members.
Of course, you should seek to setup a table based on a few factors, including:
· Is it a high-traffic location?
· Do those patrons tend to buy books?
· Is your book’s subject matter going to appeal demographically to those who frequent the business you are seated by?
In some situations, it makes sense, to set up a table with other authors. It increases the chances someone will visit the table, wanting to check out a number of books – possibly yours. The more authors that are involved, the more your group will promote the event.
Think about the time of day or day of week that you’ll set up a table. Some days or times will be dead, others will be busy and provide an opportunity.
One of the best places to set up a table could be at a fair or conference, where your books directly relates to the theme of the event. Don’t look to sell poetry at a hedge fund manager conference and don’t expect children’s books to sell at a liquor store.
Map out your town – or nearby towns – and think of logical gathering spots of people – malls, parking lots, restaurants, theaters, sports arenas, churches, schools, etc. and see where and when you can pull up a chair and table and find your readership.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.
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