by Misti Sandefur
Whether you choose to self-publish your book or publish through traditional publishing, you’ll always play a part in the marketing process. Yes, many of the big publishing houses lend a hand with getting the word out about your book, but when you help market your book using your own techniques, you’ll see much bigger royalty checks.
Over the course of eight years as a published author, I’ve discovered unique places to market my books — places you may not have thought of. With that said, I’d like to share my top 10 list of unique places to market your book.
If you’ve ever went to carnivals in your local area you know there’s usually a variety of vendors selling items such as fireworks, knives, food, crafts and more. Why not add your books to the mix. Get in touch with your local city hall to find out how you can set up a booth at an upcoming carnival in your area. You’ll have to invest in your books and possibly pay a fee for the booth space, but the final result could be profitable!
2. Flea Markets
Each time I visit flea markets, I see many vendors selling SMC products, and after a while it gets boring. Why? Because each booth with SMC products sell the same things. As an avid reader, I’d love to come across a few flea market booths selling books, but I’ve not discovered too many of those. Honestly, I get tired of seeing SMC product after SMC product, so if I ran across you selling your book at a flea market, I’d probably run to your booth! A change of scenery will attract attention.
3. Local Festivals
Build your local brand and get recognized by your community by selling your book at local festivals. Contact festival organizers in your area and ask them how you can set up a booth at the next festival. It may surprise you just how much traffic your booth could attract.
4. Hospital gift shops
Visit hospitals in your area and speak with them about stocking your book in the hospital’s gift shop. Even if you have to arrange to stock them on consignment, it could be worth your time and investment. After all, visitors and patients need something to occupy their time at the hospital, right?
5. Theme parks
Each year theme parks attract thousands of people, but the rides aren’t the only thing they enjoy. Many visitors also enjoy shopping in the gift shops scattered throughout the theme parks. Next time you visit a gift shop at a theme park, speak with the manager or owner about stocking a few of your books in their gift shop. Take along your brochure, a sell sheet and ordering information to leave with them. If the theme park is nearby, you could arrange to place your books in the gifts shops on consignment as well.
6. Mail order catalogs
Find catalogs related to your book and contact the person who distributes the catalog. Ask the person how you can go by having your book placed in their catalog. You may have to pay a fee, but it could be worth the investment. Another option would be to make a deal with the person distributing the catalog and offer him or her a percentage of all sales. Making this deal could save you from having to pay a large advertising fee.
7. Yard sale
Next time you have a yard sale place a few autographed copies of your book on a table of its own. Discount the book to where you’ll still make a profit. Include a free bookmark with each sale.
8. Billboard signs
Although billboard advertising is expensive, they say it’s effective. Think about it for a minute. How many billboards do you read when you’re the passenger in a car? Personally, when I see an ad on a billboard for something that interests me, I write down the information I need to find out more. Then, once the driver and I reach our destination, I refer back to the information about each product or service I wanted to find out more about.
If you believe you can work billboard advertising into your marketing budget, visit Outdoor Billboard (http://www.outdoorbillboard.com/) for a listing of billboards for rent and sale.
9. Public benches
Marketing your book on a public bench is also costly, but effective. You’ll usually see benches with advertising on them at intersections, parks, bus stops, golf courses and in front of stores. To learn more about bench advertising, Google public bench advertising, include quotes around the phrase.
10. Local mall
Phone the mall in your area and ask to speak with the person in charge of leasing. Once you have that person on the line, ask them how much it costs to lease a space in the mall, as well as the best locations to sell books.
When paying for booth space, team up with another author in your area and share the cost.
Have you discovered a unique place to market your book? Then by all means help add to this list by sharing in the comments area below. If you know of more than one unique place not already mentioned above, feel free to share your list on your writing-related blog, and mention this post as your inspiration. But don’t forget to return here and leave a link to your post in the comments area, so we writers can add to our list.