You’ve written a book – what a wonderful achievement. But how do you get people to know about it, and actually buy it?
If you’re very rich (and I don’t really know any writers who are), you take out advertisements in newspapers, magazines, literary journals etc. But this isn’t an option for most of us. There are various ways to let people know about your book.
One way is to send copies to various media, and ask if they would be willing to have it reviewed (either by one of their literary staff, or someone you might suggest.) I have always found the most successful way to sell my books has been to make myself available as a free speaker at various suitable organisations. Make sure your talk is amusing and interesting … you can give brief readings, but not more than a few paragraphs or the listeners will become bored. Leave at least 30 mins. at the end for Questions & Answers – your public likes to feel involved with you and be respectful of their queries – answer them honestly and with a bit of humor if you can. My experience after 14 books is that at least 70% of the audience will buy your book if it is available after your talk. I always had someone from the publisher’s sitting at a table with a pile of books available after the talk finished.
My most successful sales were on book tours, which generous publishers financed over the U.S. & U.K. when I was much younger. They were however exhausting, and only sponsored by very successful publishers, who paid my air fares, hotel expenses etc. They arranged for TV appearances every night in different cities, and book signings in various branches of Barnes & Noble. Of course they received the major income from the book sales, but the royalties were also very nice.
When your book is first published, have a book launch. It can be in your home if you have a large one, in a hall or in a bookshop … if the latter, ask them to make a window display of your book. Serve nice refreshments and either wine or a big urn for tea and coffee. People will be grateful and more inclined to be generous after you’ve indulged them. Talk personally to as many people as possible, and make them feel special so that they feel they “know” the author, and can later talk to their friends about it.
Writing a book is a remarkable achievement. Be proud of yourself. It is a wonderful feeling to see your book in windows or on shelves. You deserve it – you have earned it!
Happy writing. If I can help you with any writing problems, contact me at : firstname.lastname@example.org Some of my 14 books are now available at discount prices.