Want to market/sell books in schools? You need to get by the gatekeepers made up of the school board, principals, and teachers.
Want to market/sell your books in stores? You need to get by the product purchasing gatekeepers.
Want to market/sell your books in libraries? You need to get by the gatekeeper manager.
Want to market/sell your books to Fortune 500 companies? You need to get by the gatekeeper receptionist.
Want to market/sell your books with a literary agent or traditional publisher? You need to get by the flunky gatekeeper that makes eight dollars an hour reading submissions.
I could keep going, but you get the point. I have some ideas to get by all those gatekeepers, but what worked for me, may not work for you. Nevertheless, here is what I did…
Sell Books in Schools
Actually, I did several things to sell my children’s books, middle age books, and teen books. Here is the list:
~ Handed out books to students and donated some books to the school libraries. The students complained the books were not AR approved so they could do book reports on them. Enough students complained that a librarian approved my books, which are now available to 30,000 students in the county.
~ I wrote a book with the help of a third grade after care class. We sold 940 books the first day it was published and we were invited to a bookstore where we sold 100 books in 45 minutes.
~ I invited teen students to audition to become characters in my latest teen novel. (More on this idea later.)
~ I used my four children to help sell books in the schools.
Bonus Idea: Schools are hurting for money and more open to advertising. You can pay to have your bookmarks sent home with the report cards. I haven’t tried this yet, but it seems like a reasonable risk, depending on what the school would charge you.
Sell Book in Stores
~ I hired my own sales rep, in addition to what the publisher is doing for me. (You can read about this in my blog, Book Sales Idea: Sales Rep.
Sell Books in Libraries
~ Write letters to libraries and send with a copy of your book, asking to be on their catalogue list. If they accept you, thousands of people will see your book and visit your website.
~ If you come up with a fundraising idea where you can sell books, most libraries will go along. Just like schools, they need the money.
Sell Books to Fortune 500 Companies
~ Become a freelance content writer for companies. Send out your bio to a hundred companies and you should get at least twenty to respond. Write content for their blogs, website, newsletters, brochures, etc… Once you are in the door, the opportunities are endless. (Plus, you are being paid by them!)
~ Offer to write a book about the company, discussing their success plan and unique ideas to provide a terrific product/service for their customers. If the company has 10,000 employees and you receive a dollar per book, that is a nice payday.
Sell Books to Literary Agents & Traditional Publishers
~ These are the toughest gatekeepers in the world and there are blogs written by agents and editors to explain what they are looking for. However, I do have one idea that worked…
My manager held a Human Clue Game in a store and invited a local publisher to attend the event. Not only did some of their authors show up, but so did their marketing specialist and the owner of the publishing house. My manager positioned my table right next to the owner. Also, it was upstairs, so we had the only two tables on the second floor. In-between customers stopping by our tables, I chatted with the owner. This lasted for almost three hours. That was plenty of time to pitch my ideas.
What’s the moral of that story? Think Untraditional.
I hope that you find ways to break down the gatekeepers that are standing in-between you and your millions of potential readers. Combine several ideas in this blog and personalize it to your author career…
Every author is promoted in our UP Authors Erotic/Romance Contest!
Untraditional Publishing Definition: “An author teaming up with a non-publishing company to publish books.”
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