I have some new advice on how to get word of your novel out there. Ready? Let’s go!
Everyone knows that you need to know your audience if you want to sell a book (or anything, really). So, I brought my business cards and posters about my upcoming fantasy novel, The Last Faoii, to my local Renaissance Faire here in Billings, MT.
Obviously, it’s hard to sell pre-orders of anything. People want to buy actual physical copies of whatever it is you’re selling. But you know what else? People also want to support other people who are as nerdy as they are! I let people that passed my booth (especially those dressed in Renaissance outfits) know that they could read the first three chapters of my new fantasy novel online for free and that was enough to convince many of them to stop and find out more. Once I told them that anyone who pre-orders automatically gets a signed copy, most asked for my card and a blurb. I gave out more than 400 business cards just on those two tidbits alone! A handful of people even made their purchase right then and there.
Today I’m up to 48 pre-orders of my first novel. I need 250 in order to cover the price of select publishing, but I’m more confident now than I was last week. Why? Because even if people didn’t stop at my booth–even if they didn’t hear my tag or get my card–EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM (I had a GREAT spot) saw my banners. Every one of them saw the cover of The Last Faoii. And so, every one of them is now more likely to click on the link for more information when they see that image on social media (which is why you should definitely share this post. It helps other people who are trying to market their work AND it helps me reach out to the people I couldn’t reach this weekend). So, even if it’s scary or time-consuming, even if it seems impossible, finding ways to market your project at events is absolutely invaluable to your overall goals.
People like to support others in their local area (and nerds like to support nerdy locals). So, whatever you’re doing, whatever your dream is– find out what your audience likes and start promoting there (for example, did you know that people at gun shows are more likely to buy post-apocalyptic books? Or Steampunk in stores with model trains?) You might not sell as many items as you’d hoped AT the event, but you WILL get noticed. Which is a huge step.
Also, make sure you DRESS UP for the event. Period costumes, facepaint, props, whatever. Even if it’s not exactly like what’s in your book, if it might draw in people with similar tastes, bring it. Make yourself more appealing to your audience. Suits and ties sell to boardrooms, but similar interests sell to PEOPLE. (A lot of fair-goers came to my booth specifically to look at one of my swords. Others came because I started offering sunscreen to everyone that walked by at around noon. They said they were more likely to buy a copy because I seemed so nice).
No matter where you market, remember that Social Media is one of your BIGGEST friends. Dozens of people stopped by specifically to say that they’d seen my book on FB but hadn’t realized I was a local. Just seeing me in person (in my AWESOME dress) made them more interested in the book. Two of those people were the ones that paid for their copies at the booth.
So… yeah. If there are any events coming to your town this summer that interest you– chances are the people that are there will be interested in the same things as you are (which means whatever it is you’ve created). Get out there, show your face, and make your name! At the very least, you’ll have an AWESOME time wearing an awesome outfit and getting your picture taken with little girls and boys (apparently I looked like a princess). At most, you make a big enough impact to finally get your project off the ground!
Speaking of getting projects off the ground– I AM actually selling pre-orders of my book right now, and I could use your help. More than 500 people have already expressed interest in The Last Faoii, maybe you’ll like it too. Click THIS LINK to read the first three chapters. Anyone who pre-orders gets a SIGNED copy!