It doesn’t take much to peek someone’s curiosity. While spending money on advertising is important, for those of us on a slim budget it can become difficult to advertise and market when the payoff is not as big as we’d like. However, I found a good conversation starter: stickers!
Yes, stickers. And buttons, or anything you can slap on a purse/bag/coat that people will see. Mine says “Ask Me About My Novel”, and you know what? People do ask! Whether I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, going for a walk, or hanging around a coffee shop, it’s not unlikely someone will bring it up and ask me about my novel! Below is my sticker, I ordered a few on Vista Print and found the quality to be very good. A little ratty from being on a purse, but it’s not going anywhere!
You never know when you’ll find someone interested in talking about writing or someone who wants to buy a copy. Today, an amazing thing happened. I was in a play place with the kid I nanny and a mom asked me about my writing. Turns out, she and her business partner are opening a children’s book store in Evanston! They both have young children so their picture book collection is great, but they want to expand to a wider range of ages and genres. I write MG fantasy, so she was very excited to talk about her business and how she wants to get local authors to come to her store. I gave her a book and a business card (ALWAYS carry business cards and books when possible) and she said she’d read it and get back to me. I see her at this play place frequently, so I know I’ll run into her again at some point.
It just goes to show you never know what could happen. Little advertisements start a conversation, and even if you don’t sell a book that second, you never know. There are readers out there looking for books like yours! Let them know your book is out there.
Happy Thanksgiving! Tomorrow November 27th is The Healing Pool‘s first birthday. To celebrate I am having a book giveaway through my author facebook page. Like the page and comment about why you love reading and a random participant will win a free signed copy of The Healing Pool. I hope you join me in sharing your love of books. 😀
The marking madness continues for “The Healing Pool”! At the suggestion of the APL youth librarian I made a youtube video. It’s not what I would consider high art, but hopefully it is a positive portrayal of myself and my book. I used the video not only to showcase the book, but also to discuss my favorite thing about writing: naming characters! I want this little video to get the attention of teens in 2 minutes and hope that they are also interested in naming characters whether it is a fun process for them or a stressful one. So far the video has 10 views! Woo!
My second book signing is coming up! March 12th I will be doing an author visit at the Appleton Public library. This book signing is super exciting. I will finally be in an environment with (pre)teens who want to read the book! Since “The Healing Pool” is aimed for middle schoolers it will be nice to get a few young people there. I’m also excited to talk to and sell books to people I don’t know. The hardest thing about this business is selling books to people who don’t know me. The APL has been great so far for helping me advertise. They provided flyers for me and they have secret tips to getting teens to come (AKA snackies). The APL already has “The Healing Pool” on the shelves so hopefully a kid or two will be interested in picking it up.
My biggest project so far has been putting together a sample audio book. I have a handy voice recorder and a basic knowledge of Audacity to help edit the files. I’m hoping to finish recording the first 10 chapters of the book today and perhaps begin splicing and stapling the recordings together! Hopefully there’s not too much background noise…
In the mean time, enjoy my silly youtube video! I love feedback, please let me know if there’s anything you want to see me talk about!
This week has been crazy! It is the first week back at Lawrence and classes and rehearsals are taking over my life again. I miss being able to bum around at home, but duty calls!
Despite my insane school schedule I have been able to get a few things nailed down. I will be having my first official book signing and Q&A in a couple weeks at my school library! I had fun making a poster design today. I will post it below! The Mudd library bought a copy of the book without much prompting, but I initiated the idea of the book signing. They were more than happy to host me, and even suggested one of the nicer rooms to hold the event in. Now the fun part: getting people to come. I know a lot of my friends have rehearsal that day, but I can sell them books anytime. The key is to get other students/faculty I don’t know excited about the book.
I also have an appointment with the youth librarian at the Appleton Public Library. She wants to meet with me to discuss the book and whether it “fits their demographic” before we set a date. Personally, I think a middle grade fantasy will be a big hit. I do not anticipate any issues with that. I will let you know when that event is too! I’ll probably cheat and use the same poster template though. Sorry! 😉
In the mean time I have been carrying books around with me everywhere I go. I have sold 6 copies on campus doing this! Accessibility is key. It’s also fun to walk around with the books and shamelessly advertise to my friends!
Let me know what you think of the poster! What other marketing strategies do you like to use?
I began my career as a sales woman at the age of 10, selling wrapping paper and tubs of cookie dough to my mom’s unsuspecting friends so I could earn enough money to get the best prize in the little catalog my elementary school gave me. I never earned thousands of dollars to get the super-expensive remote controlled cars or anything, but I did reach my goals and got some cool stuff! I learned in those days how to politely get in people’s faces to get them to want the product. Being a cute little kid did help some, but I was also good at getting people’s attention.
My hidden talent and joy in selling things has come in handy in the past couple of weeks. Of course it is relatively easy to sell books to friends and family, but getting other people to buy them is much more difficult. However, I did manage to sell both of my doctors books! I brought my proof copy (ready copies not delivered at the time) and some bookmarks. Once I hooked them with the proof copy I gave them a bookmark with a picture of the cover on it and they promised to buy books to support me. While I did not see them buy books for myself, I want to believe that one of the numbers of sold books on createspace is one of them.
I know that I will have to deal with plenty of uninterested faces and rejection in the near future when it comes to selling my book, but in the mean time I am taking advantage of my resources. I will be carrying my “book bag” with me with a couple extra copies of the book. I am not completely afraid of telling people about the book and asking if they are interested in buying one from me. While I can’t see myself selling books in an elevator to strangers, if the opportunity strikes I will likely bring it up.
I do not want to sound pushy or brash, I just want to sell my book. I want to make a living off of my writing one of these days so I need to do whatever I can to get my name out there. Linnea Garcia is not a name that the world knows about. Even if I don’t sell a book to someone at a bus stop or while waiting in the dentist’s office, I can at least mention it to people and hopefully they will spread the word. I don’t have a little catalog of toys motivating me this time. My motivation is to be successful and to survive on my writing if at all possible. For this book my goal is to break even. I put a lot of money into this project between the editors and the cover artist and other expenses. I need to sell about 1000 books. I have a lot of friends, but not quite that many. I need to start my advertising work now so that, hopefully, once the second book comes out more people will recognize my name and be excited to see my work.