I have participated in a lot of bookselling events through the years. Radio interviews and telephone appearances, too. Some have been successful. Sold lots of books from them and made great connections. And others? Crickets. What makes my line of books unique is that some of my back list titles are still selling years after their debut. What I’ve learned, however, is that you can only use the “new book” angle once. After that, you have to get creative with your marketing to keep selling your books.
Cultivate an Expertise that is Bigger than your Books
The best way I have found to stay creative in marketing is to cultivate an expertise that is bigger than your books. This opens the door to your participation at seminars, workshops, or conferences where you can present your expertise and sell books, too. It can also inspire the content for your blog or inform your social media content.
For example, I frequently speak at Education conferences using my books as a springboard to talk about “meaningful self expression” and give the teachers project ideas for their kids. Or, if I am participating at a women’s event, I may speak on Everyday Traditions for Busy Families—really, any topic that furthers my mission of inspiring connection.
One writer, Alexandra Franzen just published a book called 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome to support her mission of leaving this world a better place through gratitude. I attended a seminar where she taught how to write “the perfect thank-you note!” This is a perfect example of an author creating an expertise to support his or her books.
How does this expertise help me Sell Books?
- Once people connect with you as a person — your passions and your personal story — they want to buy whatever you’re making. Give them opportunities to know more about you than your writing.
- It gives you focus as well as a bigger platform for your marketing efforts.
- It helps you stand out just a wee bit more among the hundreds of thousands of books published each year!
What can you be known for?
This is more a marketing exercise than a writing exercise. Have you ever given thought to a personal passion that can inform / tie into your writing? Are you passionate about how to preserve family history? An expert in vintage cars? For today’s practice, introduce an expertise in the comments section that you think could be a marketing hook for selling more of your books.