Guest Blog Post for Rose McCauley
by Amanda Flower
Five Marketing Tips I’ve Learned as a Debut Author
1. Friends and family are great marketers.
The best way to sell a book is through word of mouth. Chances are you have friends and family living all over the country. Why not put them to work? Don’t forget these people care about you and are excited about your book. They will be thrilled to hand out bookmarks or suggest the book to their local libraries to purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help.
2. Make your bookmarks stand out.
Every author has bookmarks. When you go to book conventions or author conferences, you may feel like you’re drowning in them. In the sea of bookmarks, make yours stand out. Readers will be more likely to pick them up when there’s a little something extra. I added a tiny silk flower to my bookmarks. It was easy and inexpensive, and my bookmarks flew off the freebie table while others were ignored. Sure, my last name is “Flower” so it wasn’t too hard for me to think of an idea to jazz up my bookmarks, but you’re creative and will think of something.
3. Make friends with librarians.
Most libraries have book talk programs in which authors can visit and speak about their book. Offering book talks are great ways to connect to readers and endear yourself to librarians. If you bring patrons into the library, it’s likely the librarian will purchase all your future books too. Not to mention, library book talks are another place to sell books. It varies from library to library, but many libraries will let you sell books after you speak. Be sure to check with the library before you try to sell anything there.
4. Suggest an alternative to buying the book.
It’s a tough economy, and even though readers may want to, they might not be able to buy your book. Instead of going for the hard sell, let them know about copies available at the local library, or if the book isn’t held by the library, ask them to suggest it. Librarians love to get suggestions for purchase from patrons because they want to buy books that they know their patrons will check out and enjoy.
5. Don’t chase the market
Don’t write for the market because you will always be chasing it. Write what you love. Create characters you care about. Eventually, the market will turn your way.
Amanda Flower is a Clash of the Titles staff member and in charge of scheduling. Amanda started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Like her main character India Hayes, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. Maid of Murder is her debut novel and the first in a series.
To learn more about Clash of the Titles visit http://www.clashofthetitles.com/ or on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/484nov2.
To learn more about Amanda and Maid of Murder visit her online at http://amandaflower.com/. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/ejquq or Twitter at http://twitter.com/aflowerwriter.