And More Marketing Tips for Authors — Indy Book Stores

With most writers preferring to concentrate on writing, getting out in the world to have others to sell your books may be contrary to our nature. It is also something which needs to be done.

Be bold. If it helps, think of yourself as acting out a character in your book when you approach a store owner or manager.

Introduce yourself and your profession. (Hi. I’m Sandy Carlson, and I wrote this book...)

Give the owner your book as you spout out your elevator pitch, or better yet a one sentence synopsis. (…which is about an actual town buried under sand dunes in the 1800’s.)

Explain why you’ve come. (And I’d like to know if you’d like to stock some copies?)

Let the potential buyer read the back cover. As he does, freeze. Don’t twiddle. Relax your shoulders. Don’t look desperate. When he looks up, smile. No, not that terrified he-hates-it-and-me smile, but your confident how-many-would-you-like smile.

If he says no, still smile. Shake his hand and thank him for his time.

If he says yes, refrain from dropping to the ground and kissing his shoes. Put on your marketing smile and pull out an order form you have in your bag and fill it out. Hand shake and thanks.

Realize that most indy stores sell books with 60/40% with the author getting the larger share. By the time you count in the gas and mileage and shipping and printing costs, the indy owner may make more than you. But your book is out there, in a stranger’s hands, to pass along to other strangers.

Smile.

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