5 Ways to Promote Your Book Offline by Blaise Ramsay (Romance Author University)
You’ve surely read a ton of advice about online promotion. It seems it’s all anyone talks about. The only way we do pretty much anything anymore. Don’t get me wrong - online promotion is great! I use it all the time to keep in touch with my readers, meet some mentors and at times promote some books.
But online tools are just that.
There’s no substitute for meeting people in person and making real connections. It’s how you gain not only readers, but fans and friends. Promoting your book in person helps you stand out in a sea of tweets and posts.
Here are 5 of the best ways I’ve found helpful in promoting your book offline:
People love buying signed books. Even from authors they’ve never heard of before! It’s something they can hold in their hands that they can’t get anywhere else that says, “I met this person.”
As an author, sometimes it might feel arrogant to show up to a place just to sell and sign your books.
After all, you’re not a celebrity! Who wants your autograph? Lots of people, that’s who!
Sometimes, it’s just people who collect autographs and autographed books. But lots of times, people want your signed book because of the personal connection they’ve made with you.
When people can talk to you, hear your story, and learn about your book straight from you, it instantly becomes personal. You’re their new friend. And let’s be honest. You have your name on the cover of a book and they don’t. By that fact alone, you’re already a little bit of a celebrity.
So, when you can look someone in the eye, smile, and shake their hand, they’ll want to buy your book and the autograph is an immediate incentive.
Not sure how to book a signing? Star with Half Price Books! Most of their locations support local authors and will set you up with a table free of charge. Kroger also has a program for authors, as do many other stores. You can even do them at coffee shops!
Conferences and Conventions
Signings at bookstores and coffee shops are great, but they can feel a little random, especially if your book is at all in a niche market. Sometimes, a specialized topic can feel a little bit like a cage, but it’s really a point of access.
Conferences and conventions are a great way to connect with a specialty audience - in fiction and in non-fiction. It takes that personal connection to a whole new level because you’re going where your audience is.
You can also find cons that are focused on books and writing in general, so even if you don’t have a narrow audience, you can still be in a place where people are there for books. In any case, people come to conferences and conventions to make connections and to buy things!
People expect to spend time at a convention in the dealers’ room, looking for ways to spend some mad money. Often, conventions create environments where people are more motivated to buy. And again, you’re connecting with people and telling your story to them in person!
Even if you don’t sell to someone, if you can get them onto your mailing list, maybe by offering a free preview or some other incentive, they can become a customer later. Yes, you’ll have to pay for a table, but most cons offer lower prices to indie authors and well-attended events are almost always worth the investment.
Readings are a great way to increase the impact of what might otherwise be a signing event. Instead of telling your story quickly to individuals as they walk by your table, you have a stage and time to share your work with several people at once.
Readings are great because they create an event around you. You’re not just hopping on the coattails of an existing event, or hoping to get interest from people who happen to be passing by. You are the event! People will often come to hear an author read just for the experience.
When you get to present more than just words about your work, but a small taste of your work itself, you can create even greater engagement. It’s like a live trailer for your book! Doing readings also increases your confidence about your work and helps you in your writing and your speaking.
Don’t be shy! People want to hear what you’ve written. And if they’ve enjoyed what they’ve heard, you’ll make sales, but you’ll also make real connections with your readers that they will remember for a long time.
A lot of authors don’t think about it, but libraries are always looking for events. And one of their favorite events to do is author talks. These talks can be small and local and that may seem like it’s not worth the effort, but those intimate events and connections get you even closer to your readers!
When people see that you’re local, it gives them another reason to like you and root for you. It helps put them in your corner as not just readers, but supporters. People like having those connections and they will be more motivated to tell their friends about you when you’re “one of them.”
Library events aren’t always small, though. Some libraries have serious event centers and stages where they regularly host speakers. They may even record video and share it online. Turning an offline event into an online one too!
Even if they don’t, you can have yourself recorded and those recordings can make for great promotional tools, especially if you hire a professional videographer to shoot and edit demo reels for you!
Libraries are great ways to connect with your community and to get involved with readers in your area. Librarians are great advocates of books and authors and can be some of your best friends in the world of book promotion. And if you can get your book onto their shelves, that’s an offline promotional tool that’s working for you every day!
No matter where you live, there is probably at least one group for writers and authors near you. These are often thought of as ways to get feedback on your work, and they are. But they are also great tools for promotion.
You may think of other authors as your competition. After all, you’re trying to sell your books and they’re trying to sell their books. But no two books or authors are alike and other authors are often your best sources of support and promotion.
Being an indie author can be a lonely business. Hours spent in front of a computer or sitting at your sales table. Other authors feel the same way you do. They understand how hard it can be and they respect the work you put into your craft and into promotion.
They are also some of the best people to learn from. Authors have similar experiences and speak the same language. They’re happy to share information, tools, and tips with you. Once they know you and know who you are, they can recommend your book to other people and you can recommend theirs.
That’s a huge key. Not just looking for what they can give you or do for you, but what you can do for and give them. Even if it’s something small, it’s something they’ll remember and will make them all the more willing to help you.
Authors really are a community. We all have the same struggles and the same dreams and we want to help each other. Other authors can help you find readers, make, sales, and get booked for events. They’re also the best people to have around when you’re struggling to write and edit and slog through the hard days.
Getting involved with any of the events on this list can put you in touch with other authors and so can joining writers’ groups in your area. Any of these things may seem scary at first, but when you realize that the vast majority of the people you meet - even total strangers, but especially other authors - tend to be on your side and want to see you succeed, the more you can see that offline promotion and one-on-one connections are a vital tool for sharing your books with the world.
Blessing of Luna - Wolfgods Book 1
That's how it felt when Damien Pierce returned to Big Timber, Montana. It had been his childhood home until the day he was hit by a speeding car only to learn he wasn't badly hurt. The experience landed him the label of the town freakshow.
Following the death of his foster mom, Damien soon disconnected from the world around him. That was at least, until he met her. She looked human but something about made her appear otherworldly to him. He knew he shouldn't but he wanted her. He would do anything to get to know her. To have her.
Jillian Styles was immortal. Cursed by a dark god never to find rest. A shifter capable of taking the form of a beautiful wolf. She had searched for her lover's reincarnated soul for centuries only to find he was nowhere to be found. When she meets Damien, her world is turned upside down. She falls in love with him instantly and begins to pursue him.
However, Damien soon learns the darker part of Jill's world. He finds himself on the hit list of the same vampire Lord responsible for killing Jill's lover and reigniting the flames of an old war. His daughter desires Damien and vows to have him at any cost.
With the help of Alexander Kain, the mysterious wolf shifting soldier, Damien will learn what he thought he knew was only tip of the paranormal iceberg. He soon finds himself in the eyes of a vindictive and rage-filled dark god.
If you like hot lycanthrope guys, overly possessive vampire chicks, vindictive gods, strong female leads and some hot sex scenes, this book is for you.
With the help of Alexander Kain, the mysterious wolf shifting soldier, Damien will learn what he thought he knew was only tip of the paranormal iceburg. He soon finds himself in the eyes of a vindictive and rage-filled dark god.
If you like hot lycanthrope guys, overly posessive vampire chicks, vindictive gods, strong female leads and some hot sex scenes, this book is for you.
FyreSyde Publishing owner and founder Blaise Ramsay worked over fifteen years in the graphic design industry, with some experience in indie gaming. Recently she shifted her attention to the world of literature with her debut paranormal romance series, Wolf gods. The debut title, Blessing of Luna is set to release in 2018. She currently lives in North Texas with her two children, her husband and pets. A UTD graduate with a Bachelor's in History with an intention on teaching, Blaise decided that the world of teaching just wasn't for her. A stay at home mother of two, business owner and self-publisher, Blaise loves to meet new people and encourage others to follow their dreams through weekly posts to her instagram, twitter, facebook and blog.