5 Tips and Tricks to Sell Your Books

5 Tips to help you sell your book at local markets and book fairs. Tip #1

I am a newly published author with a book release date for April of 2019. This is very exciting and I am trying to make sure I have everything ready so I do not look like a total newbie. And there is so much to learn, but unfortunately, they don’t really have books that really tell you what the experience is going to be like. This is probably due to the fact that each experience, like each story, is unique.

So, before you go on, I want you to understand that what I am putting together for you today is not how to sell your book to an agent or editor. I am not going to tell you how to market your book. This article is about how do YOU sell YOUR published book in markets and book fairs.

Nothing teaches you better than experience. Of course, I have none since my book isn’t even out yet! So I turned to my regional chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) who helps support regional traditionally published authors (PALS) at a local weekend market in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The PALS (many of which have years of experience) get together six times over the summer to help support one another as they sell their books to the abundant tourists who pass through our state.

In our state, we have many books published to catch the tourist’s eye, but sadly, many of them are not written by local authors nor are they carried in many of our local gift shops. Our booth helps give exposure to our well written books while providing the visiting public with the opportunity to get a book signed and personalized from the author.

I decided that if I wanted to learn about selling my own book, I needed to learn from those who already had experience. Over the next few weeks, I will post 5 Tips that I have learned while helping sell books.

TIP #1: Location, Location, LocationIMG_0800

This seems pretty straight forward, right? But there are a lot of factors to think about. It is not just about where you go, but when and what your goal is.

Think about what kind of market you are going into. Will it be a place to sell books? What kind of people will be there and what are they doing? Understand not only your marketplace, but your market.

Learn the flow of your market. You want to be where people want to be, where people can stop and linger. At our market, there is a stage. This can be a blessing and a scourge. While it is nice to have music playing and making people happy, you can’t control it. If it gets loud or a poor performer, people will move away.

There are so many things to watch for: bathrooms stink, food vendors smell good, but you wind up with people carrying food into your booth and accidents happen. Just be aware of your surroundings and try to get someplace with good visibility and traffic.

Also, especially if you are at an outdoor market, rain and wind do not play well with books. Choose your day well. Poor weather will also drive away crowds or cause them to rush. We set up 6 times over the summer and always wait until close to the day to determine the weather.

Even if you choose the best market on a perfect day, that alone won’t sell your books. You can have thousands of people walk by and they won’t stop. If they don’t stop, then you won’t sell any books.

Next week, TIP #2: How to get people to stop.

 

Puppy Love

“He’s coming! He’s coming!”

Jed runs to the door. “Come quick before he leaves!”

Jed runs to the window. “I see him! I see his hat!”

“Wait. Where is he going? Oh, that is not him.”

Sigh.

“Wait! There he is! He’s coming!”

Jed runs to the door. “Come quick before he leaves!”

Jed runs to the window. “There he is! I see him! Hurry!”

Jed jumps. “Hurry!”

Marie comes from the kitchen and pats Jed’s head. “It’s okay. Here you go.”

Jed bolts out the door and down the walk.

“Where is he? Where did he go?”

Jed jumps as Marie opens the shiny box. She pulls out a red wrapped box and undoes the bow.

“It looks like it is for you.”

Jed sniffs the box, then paws at the box.

“What is it? What is in the box?”

He claws at the box and rips open the wrapping.

“A bone! But from who?”

Marie laughs. “You got a Valentine bone from the cute collie you met in the park.”

Jed pauses his chewing on the bone. From a girl?

Oh well. A bone is a bone.

First Valentine’s Day

Each day I check my mailbox shortly after nine

Hoping that in my mailbox will be a valentine.

I do not want anything fancy, just a card or two,

Nothing too mushy, just an “I’m thinking of you.”

I amble up to my mailbox then I count to ten.

I wonder if my mailbox Is empty once again?

I slip it slowly open and I peek inside

But only dust and darkness in my box reside.

I slowly shamble up the walk pushing tears away

Another lonely and empty Valentine’s today.

I sniffle and I snuffle opening my door

Suddenly I stop and I stare at something on my floor.

There lies a simple envelope decorated red

And inside a card for me and this is what it said,

“I know it is Valentine’s Day, here’s a card for you

To let you know I like you, I hope you like me too.”

Who could this Valentine’s come from, it wasn’t here before?

I step out onto the porch and spy the boy next door

Peeking over the bushes before he runs away

I close my eyes and smile for My First Valentine’s Day.

Santa’s Last Gift

I crept down the stairs on Christmas morn,

The day we celebrate that Christ was born,

With trees and lights and wrapping galore.

With gifts and carols and so much more.

 

All brought to us by a man in a sleigh,

Deliveries made in one single day.

So I was excited at what might be

Waiting for me under the Christmas tree.

 

But you will never believe at what I found

But Santa’s big butt so jolly and round

Stuck in my chimney his feet were flailing

Cries of help up the chimney were wailing.

 

I wanted to help but what could I do?

Should I push, do I pull or open the flue?

But as I looked, I giggled, then hooted.

Then to make matters worse, Santa, he tooted!

 

I laughed so hard I fell to the floor

Laughing and giggling for a moment more,

That is when I was hit by Santa’s plume

As lactose induced gas filled up the room.

 

My eyes watered as my family filed in

Staring at me, where do I begin

I cried out it was Santa who farted

One final gift before he departed.

 

But I can see on their face how they feel

Not one of them believes Santa is real.

So now its tradition on Christmas Day

For them to give me air freshening spray.

Midnight Delivery

I crept down the stairs, hoping the steps would not squeak. I paused and looked through the railing. The living room was dark except for the halo of lights strung on the Christmas tree.

I looked at the digital clock and it pulsed 11:59.

Goosebumps ran up my arm and neck as a blast of cold air so sudden and brief sent the ornaments on the tree to swaying.

I stood up and looked over the railing as I continued down the stairs.

CREAK!

I paused, my foot on the squeaky step and looked back upstairs to my parents’ room. Dad’s low, rumbling snore assured me that he was still asleep.

Tiptoeing the rest of the way down the stairs and into the living room, I noticed that the plate of cookies was empty save for a few crumbs.

Another chill went up my spine as I stepped in a boot print of water in the middle of the floor.

Something by the tree rustled and I caught my breath. Two eyes glowed in the flashing Christmas lights.

“A puppy!” I squealed.

I knelt onto the floor and opened the kennel door. Rustling came from upstairs as the puppy bound out of the kennel and licked my face.

I looked for the dog tags, but there weren’t any. I was sure I had heard them jingling.

Dad yawned and turned to mom as they both whispered at the same time, “I thought we agreed no puppy this year.”