Could you sell more books if you collaborated with local businesses in ways that shine a spotlight on your book?
I recently read an article in my daily newspaper about the grand opening of a chocolate shop that included a guest lecture by a local physician who talked about chocolate as “not a food but a medicine.” If that doc had written a book on the topic, he would have sold out after speaking to the chocoholics gathered for the celebration.
These types of opportunities offer both publicity and in-person book sales opportunities for authors of all types of books:
- A romance novelist can speak at the grand opening of a lingerie store
- An author of a financial planning book can present to bank customers
- A parenting book author can welcome parents to a new daycare center
- A young adult author can speak at a tutoring center
While some authors are high-profile enough locally that they receive invitations to speak at these types of gatherings without making any effort, most of us have to look for the opportunities. Also, to take advantage of “grand opening” opportunities, you have to know about them before they happen so that you can offer your services at the right time.
Look for opportunities
Uncover opportunities by staying informed:
- Monitor retail storefronts for remodeling (and the “coming soon” signs that go with that activity)
- Be an active member of your Chamber of Commerce
- Participate in business membership groups such as Rotary and the National Association of Women Business Owners
- Read the local daily and weekly newspapers for relevant announcements
- Follow local leaders and elected officials on Twitter for advance information
When you uncover an appropriate situation — a good fit for your knowledge and the company’s target customers — start first by calling or e-mailing the business owner to introduce yourself, offer your services, and schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss a potential collaboration.
Be certain to give the business owner a complimentary copy of your book when you meet in person. Offer to help generate publicity for the event with the news media and to share information with your social networks. Make it clear that you will work with the owner as a partner on the event to make sure it’s a success and you’ll get a warm reception to your ideas. Do a great job with your presentation at the event and you’ll have a friend for life who will help you find other ways to get visibility for your book, too.
What sorts of things have you done to get the word out about your book in your local community?
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