The first book I published for the general public was a walking guide to Virginia. I co-authored it with Donna Fischl and we soon learned that there were many more places to sell it than in book stores.
Think creatively when you publish your book and before you write and while you are writing keep a list of possible venues for your book.
Our book was a guide to walking in historic southeastern Virginia. The topic and the location made a difference in where you decide to place your book. Here’s what we came up with.
1. Through a regional distributor , we placed it in regional stores of Barnes and Noble, Waldens and Borders. We all know that these marketing avenues have closed to self-publishers or are closing.
2. We featured over twenty walking locations in our book. Some were parks and some were historic attractions, such as Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. We contacted the information centers or gift shops of each site. many of them carried our books on a regular basis.
3. Within the text of many of the walks, we highlighted museums, historic landmarks, and attractions. We contacted them and many wanted a book for themselves and others wanted some for their front desk.
4. Gift shops. The area attracts may tourists ever year. Our walking book was a different kind of guide book. Several gift shop owners wanted to carry it because it highlighted history and things to do.
5. Libraries. Most libraries are cutting back on the books they purchase. With shortening their hours, they are buying fewer books from local authors. But many libraries have a bookcase just for local authors. It’s a good idea to give a copy of your book to each branch library. It’s a good way to keep your name in front of the public.
6. Real Estate. Because our book was about local sites, we hit on the idea to send a flyer to as many real estate offices as we could list. We suggested that they order the book b the case to give to their clients as part of a “thank you” or “welcome” basket. Several ordered, making the mailing well work the time.
7. You many have a group of people in some specialty area of your life. Don;t forget to let them know your book is available. For example, I have a blog for local artists. While it’s not specifically about art or artists, I place my most recent boo, The Zen of Max, in one of the art galleries. It has sold very well from there.
The point is, before you write or while you are writing, keep a list of ideas where you will place your book upon publication. Diversity will help your sales.