The time of year we’ve been waiting so patiently for will soon be upon us. Ah summer! After months of being stuck inside because of the cold weather, people are finally moving back outdoors and enjoying their favorite pastimes: walking in the park, swimming and just relaxing in the sun and reading a book.
For retail, summer is typically a pretty slow time of year as people are more focused on leisure time than getting things done. It is for that very reason, however, that summertime is a great time to promote and sell books.
Reading is one of those coveted leisure activities people enjoy doing in the summertime, so capitalize on all the opportunities out there. Here are some ideas for easy ways to promote a book during the summertime:
1) Appear at summer festivals.
Just about every local community puts on a summer festival to bring people together, and they typically offer local businesses the opportunity to buy a table and showcase their services. If you haven’t done so already, check to see if there is any space available for you at your local festival. This is a surefire way to reach hundreds, maybe even thousands of people if you live in a large community.
There are typically fees to secure a table at these events, but they are usually nominal. And don’t be afraid to venture into a nearby community either. I work with several authors who spend the entire summer traveling the Midwest selling books at festivals.
2) Library appearances.
Another popular place to present is at your local or regional library. Since a lot of people travel in the summertime, there is less competition for securing those coveted event slots. Reach out to your local library to see if they can work you into their schedule. Many libraries will both pay the author an appearance fee, and allow him or her to sell books to attendees.
The great thing about library appearances is that you typically get help with promotion. The libraries will print up flyers and leave them near book checkout lanes. Some library systems also print up catalogs of events that are distributed both in print and online.
3) Set up signings at bookstores.
Bookstores are another popular place to do events. They don’t charge a fee for the use of their facility, but they won’t pay you to appear either. If you do an event at an independent bookstore, you can either sell books on consignment, typically with either a 70/30 split or 60/40 split off the retail price—with the larger amount going to the author; or the store will order the book through a distributor. Most of the chain stores will go through their own distributor, so cash will never trade hands.
In addition to planning events, summer is also a good time to strategize about what you’re going to do to sell books in the fall and winter, which are typically the busiest times of year to sell books. Log on to http://www.rmapublicity.com/feature-articles/38-book-publicity to view more book publicity tips articles.
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