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Promoting Your Book Through Non-Traditional Book Markets

What do we mean by "non-traditional book markets?" In an earlier post, we mentioned an example of a book about organic fertilizers. While relatively few bookstore customers would probably be interested in this narrow subject, nearly all of the customers of a tree nursery or gardening center could be potential readers. By selling this book through nurseries, you have just experienced a non-traditional book market.

Here are some other things to consider regarding non-traditional markets:

  1. Non-traditional markets will probably accept smaller discounts (20% to 30% to start), will pay faster, and return fewer (if any) unsold books. As a starting point, offer to provide a dozen copies on consignment. If they sell relatively quickly, offer two dozen more at a bigger discount, COD. Then check back periodically to make sure they have enough stock.
  2. Additional non-traditional markets to pursue include live events held at libraries, schools, churches and other public locations. And don't forget potential bulk sales to businesses and other institutions that focus on related topics.
  3. Don't be shy about offering your book to people you know personally, especially those named in the acknowledgements. Church groups, trade associations, social clubs, civic groups, fraternities, alumn associations and other organizations with which you are affiliated are also good prospects. Contact all of them.
  4. At live events, readers often pay full price for books, usually in cash, and of course there are no shipping or handling charges. This compared to traditional book trade outlets, which often "require" 50% below cover price. And, when possible, turn these live events into book signing events.
  5. If your book gives positive treatment to a product, service, company or other institution, offer them copies, and ask them to help promote your book. For example, if your book is about investing, talk to banks, stock brokerages and other financial institutions that might want copies for their customers as a gift or premium.

As a self-publishing author, you have an opportunity to take advantage of specialty book markets. Use your intimate understanding of your audience to identify what and where these markets are, and make you book available to them. You may discover that promoting your book through these non-traditional markets to be a successful book marketing strategy.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from U-Publish.com 5.0, co-authored by Dan Poynter and Danny O. Snow.]


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