by Karen Hodges Miller
“Summertime and the living is easy.” So goes the first line of the great George Gershwin song. Authors may think that summertime means relaxation time – a time to take a break from all that annoying book marketing.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Summertime is a great time to market your book. Have you written a novel? Market it as a great vacation read. A self-help book? Make sure your readers know now is the time to work on the issues you address. Have you written a business book? Surely, you say, a business book doesn’t need to be marketed in the summer. Not true. Summer is the period when many business people have a little extra time to plan and learn.
In short, there are no excuses. No matter what type of book you have written, summertime is the time to get out there and sell.
Book Festivals. There are any number of book festivals taking place every summer. Get on the internet and find one near you. Or, pick a festival that is in a location where you’d like to vacation and combine a little work and play – I didn’t say that just because you are marketing your book you can’t have fun, too.
Marketing Tools. Before you head out to the festival make sure that you are prepared. Do you have enough books with you? Do you have a poster or sign to make your booth stand out in a crowd? Make sure you take supporting literature with you. Bookmarks, postcards, flyers promoting your next event, should all be at your booth. And make sure that everything is branded with your name, the book’s title, and a link to how your book can be purchased. Just because a person does not buy your book today doesn’t mean they might not decide to purchase it later. Make sure they know how to do just that.
Summer Sales. Yes, consider putting your book on sale. Drop the price for a special summer promotion. I know it hurts, but it is a tried and true selling technique. Stores do it all the time.
And speaking of stores, now is a great time to visit a few stores and see if they would like to carry your book. Now, don’t just willy nilly head down Main Street and stop in every shop. First, think about stores that attract your readers. Women’s boutiques for a women’s novel, for instance. A sporting goods store for a book on baseball.
Then, approach the store with a marketing plan. Put together a sell sheet listing wholesale pricing, your contact information, a graphic of the book, etc. And consider getting some inexpensive display stands made. Help the store owner see how selling your book can bring them customers.
No matter how you decide to market your book this summer, the big secret is to develop a plan now, then follow it throughout the next three months.
For more ideas on marketing your book, buy purchase my book Sell Your Book, 100 Tips and Techniques.
While over 80% of Americans say they want to write a book, most never will. Karen Hodges Miller offers her 25-plus years of experience as writer, editor and publisher to entrepreneurial authors who want to realize that dream. She holds a variety of workshops and seminars each year on book writing, publishing and marketing. Karen’s experience as a freelance business reporter gives her a fresh outlook on the creative world of writers and the practical world of business owners. As founder of Open Door PublicationsSM LLC Karen has helped dozens of authors bring their own ideas to market; the company published almost two dozen books since 2006. Karen began authoring her own series of books for authors in 2010. “Finish Your Book! A Time Management Guide for Writers” is a practical and inspirational guide for the busy writer who must find time to write while juggling a business and personal life. “Sell Your Book, Think Outside the Bookstore,” to be published in April 2011, includes over 100 practical, specific tips for book marketing along with interviews with a variety of nationally-known publishing and marketing experts. Learn more about Karen at www.OpenDoorPublications.com
Photo courtesy of sxc.hu