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Not-So-Shameless Self Promotion

Posted By Amy Cherrix, Friday, July 3, 2015

Hey y’all,

This week’s Shelf Reliance tackles the tricky business of self-promotion. I know. The whole reason you became an author in the first place was the blissful solitude of the writing Batcave, amen. Oh, if it was really that simple. Yes, the Internet has made it possible to reach tons of readers from the privacy of your own home, but the best way to get your book out there is to put YOURSELF out there. But take heart. With a little planning, it’s much easier than you might think and hey, you get to meet book people. How bad could it be? So before you step boldly into the fray, here are some indie-friendly reminders as you start to build your grassroots marketing campaign:

1.     Be professional: Indie bookstores regularly field calls from a lot of authors. When I was a bookseller, I genuinely wanted to help, but I was also trying to answer phones, shelve new titles, reconcile baffling inventory lists, and actually sell books. Polite persistence is the name of the game. Take booksellers at their word when they say they are busy and make a plan to call back when it’s convenient.

2.     Be prepared: Have a press kit available for download from your website. (Do you have a website? If not, give some serious consideration to creating a simple one. There are tons of free options online via WordPress.com, Blogger.com and countless others. If you need more advice on websites, shoot me an email.) We’ll also talk about press kits here in an upcoming post.  

3.     Make your book available to indie booksellers: Channel sales through bookstores, rather than on your website or your publisher’s online store. Sure, you take a bit of a financial hit, but what you’ll gain in return cannot be bought—the attention, appreciation, and loyalty of skilled booksellers whose super power is getting your book into the hands of readers. I’d call that a win for everyone.

4.     Be aware of the indie market: Rather than touting “available at Amazon” on your book-related promo items and swag, say something like “available where books are sold.” Steer clear of citing your Amazon sales rank or big box store numbers. Avoid listing Amazon as the only outlet suggested for purchase on your website. Remember, SIBA strongly encourages authors to choose an independent bookstore (or two) as your bookseller of choice, and become an affiliate of those stores.

As ever, I wish you every success with your book, especially with marketing. Rest assured, the whole SIBA team is here to help along the way. Sound off  in the comments below with questions, tips and suggestions.

Cheers,

Amy

Amy@sibaweb.com

Tags:  author liaison  independent bookstores  marketing  self-promotion  Shelf Reliance  tips 

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