Marketing is more than a notion. Done right, it can yield thrilling results without stripping your budget. Done wrong, it can make you weep while you wonder where the money went. Right off the bat, make up your mind to use a hands-on approach no matter what gurus you use. It’s your baby and you’re the one to handle the basic care.
I’ve found where marketing books is concerned, your best bet is to personally get acquainted with the librarians in your town or city. Take a well written flyer with a photo of your cover, your author bio and what benefits come from ordering your book. See that you give maximum discounts, and, of course, see that returns are accepted. If you don’t do all this, you’re likely to find few takers.
This is the place to talk up your book, but don’t overdo. Librarians are friendly, helpful people, by and large. They want the best for their readers. And whatever you do, don’t badmouth other authors or other people. It will backfire every time.
Even before you visit, make a phone call to find out who buys books for the library. Buying books for the New York City libraries is going to be a different ballgame from buying for Smalltown, MS. If the person you get isn’t knowledgeable, ask if they will suggest someone who can best help. And once you get that person, be polite, don’t chatter, have your short questions written down. And please do listen to what the librarian has to say. You may be surprised at how helpful he or she can be.
Next blog: Marketing to Independent Bookstores