Bookstores want business and authors want opportunities to promote their books. Bring the two together and each can help the other.
As an author, you can piggyback on existing promotional opportunities to get more publicity for your books. Two upcoming events offer authors interesting marketing possibilities.
This Saturday (November 30) is Small Business Saturday. Author Sherman Alexie decided to start a new movement. This year, he invited authors to handsell books at their local independent bookstores on Small Business Saturday. On this day, which he is calling “Indies First”, Sherman wants authors to spend time at their local bookstore and make recommendations to people on what books to buy. He wants authors to not just promote their own books, but other books as well. For Indies First, authors are encouraged to pick a bookstore and talk to the owner to come to an agreement about how you will spend your time in their store that day.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) likes the idea and has decided to support it. The ABA has a website page devoted to “Indies First” where authors can sign up to participate. Currently, over 700 authors have signed up and over 500 bookstores nationwide will be supporting them.
It is not too late to call your local Christian bookstore and see if they would like to be part of Author Handselling Day and host your time.
Saturday, December 7, is the fourth annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Over 500 bookstores around the world participate in this event. The mission of the event is to introduce children to bookstores and everything they have to offer. It’s also an opportunity for children to interact with booksellers and receive personal recommendations about books to read.
If you are a children’s author, you can use this already established day designed to help bookstores to both help your local bookstore and promote your books. Contact your local Christian bookstore, tell them about this event and volunteer to be a resident author for part of the day. What richness this will add to the experience of the children who come to the store for this special day. Not only will they be able to learn about new books, but your presence will allow them to meet and interact with an author.
Opportunities for authors to promote their books abound. You can take advantage of these events to piggyback your marketing efforts and find new readers for your books.