By guest author Dana Lynn Smith.
Online book marketing is a wonderful way to reach a worldwide audience, but sometimes authors overlook opportunities in their own backyard. In your local area and region, you have the opportunity to stand out as a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Here are eight outstanding ways you can promote locally.
1. Always carry books and literature with you. Keep a case of books and some flyers in the trunk of your car, and business cards in your wallet. You never know when you will run across a potential customer or marketing contact.
2. Look for opportunities. Headed out for a weekend trip? Do a little research ahead of time to identify bookstores, retailers and libraries in the area that you can call on.
3. Promote yourself as a local author. Many bookstores and libraries have a special section where they showcase the books of local authors. Also, put "local author" stickers on books you sell in your area.
4. Look for other retailers that are a good fit. Think about what type of retailers relate to the topic of your book. Our July post, titled Self-Published Authors Don't Need Bookstores, offers some great advice regarding non-bookstore venues.
5. Speak at libraries. This can be especially effective for children's books and for nonfiction titles that have a broad appeal (i.e. travel, business, fitness, finances, etc.).
6. Find other speaking opportunities. Speaking is a great way to sell books. There are lots of organizations looking for interesting speakers for their meetings. Groups include business and civic organizations, church groups, schools, universities, trade associations, and more.
7. Seek publicity through local media. Send press releases to media in the town where you grew up and where you now live. And don't forget your college alumni newsletter and associations and clubs you belong to.
8. Exhibit at book fairs and festivals. These usually work best if your book is related to the theme of the event, or if your book has appeal to a broad audience.
[Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the SavvyBook Marketer Guides.]