Along this very long and incredible experience of the self publishing world I’ve discovered there is a lot to learn, teach, and to let go. Today, I want to tell you about my experience thus far with selling.
Number One: Go where no one else will
The first thing I wanted to do after writing my book was sell at a convention. It was my safe place, it was the place where I felt most comfortable talking to people. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to pay for the table since I spent a lot on my book production so I started with little things like farmers markets, library events, book fairs, street fairs, and kind of fair I could get to. This was a HUGE mistake.
Now, it’s good for networking. It’s good to practice selling and figure out what type of sales pitch works for your genre, however odds are you won’t sell a thing. (Again this is my experience). The worst are book fairs where you have to compete with authors around you. Going to conventions or other events that suit your book work ten times better and trust me your more likely to sell.
I can tell you an author I know has a book with werewolves and she went to a dog show and sold a lot of books. This might not work all the time and events tend to be a hit or miss, but it’s easier to talk to people and get them interested in your work when there aren’t other authors around.
Number Two: Avoid competition
This goes along with the last thing I said from number one. Being side by side with another author is asking for trouble unless you are both completely different genres. Having two YA authors next to each other is the slowest form of torture.
I’m not one to steal people away from another author table. It’s rude and makes me feel weird and I just don’t like it. However, there are occasions you have to. In the past I’ve had people do that to me. Some authors are ‘pullers’ and talk loudly to get people over to the tables which is good and bad. The good thing is there are people to talk to. The bad thing is odds are they will go to the loudest in the crowd. The most talkative.
Unless you’re someone who likes the competition this can be an issue. I highly suggest if you’re planning on doing a street fair or craft show, you write in the comments when signing up that you don’t want to be near another author. Some sellers are difficult to sell next to and it might disappoint you if they’re selling a lot and you aren’t.
Number Three: Confidence is louder
As I mentioned before, being talkative is a key ingredient to selling. Up until recently I would pretty much sit behind my table thinking people would just look at my book and want to buy it. WRONG. Having conversations with people makes them more prone to buying your book. Sometimes I start by asking if they like to read and going from there. Other times I compliment their shirt, skirt, ring, necklace, hair, whatever it is.
Also, it helps when you have a conversation at your table going because more people at your table means more people will walk up and see what you have.
Number Four: No one likes a shark
If you notice someone’s not really interested in buying your book, I don’t suggest you continue to push for it. Some authors try selling to your nieces or nephews, cousins or sisters. Again, this is my opinion, but if someone doesn’t want to buy your book, they don’t want to buy your book.
On the flip side of this, sometimes you get people who latch onto your table. They’re people who continue to come back time and time again with no interest in buying. I still haven’t figured out a nice way of avoiding these people besides trying to have very little conversation with them. The reason I’m telling you this is because it hurts you when someone actually interested in buying walks up and you’re too busy with the person who is latching.
Number Five: Have fun
I’ve sat at events for an entire day without selling one book. I’ve sat through events through an entire weekend and sold almost fifty books. There’s no telling what is going to happen today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now. Just try and enjoy what you love and sharing it with the world.