Hand-selling your self-published book—also known as face-to-face marketing—can be a powerful way to generate good word-of-mouth buzz. If you’re a “people person” who enjoys interacting with readers, then hand-selling might be for you.
If you’re ready to pack the trunk of your car with copies of your book and head out on tour, Self-Publishing Relief knows some of the best places for a book signing or sales event where you can promote and hand-sell your book.
Places Where You Can Hand-Sell Your Self-Published Book
Sometimes, hand-selling your book means showing up with a pen, a stack of books, and a smile. Other times, it means preparing a seminar or lecture, then offering to sign and sell copies of your book afterward. The best opportunities for hand-selling put you in direct contact with your potential audience. Spend some time thinking about what you have to offer as a writer, then start putting out feelers to the locations on our list!
- Book festivals or other book-signing gigs
- Writer conferences
- Local writing group meetings
- Coffee shops
- Multi-author promotional events
- College bookstores
- Independent bookstores
- Local places that tie in to your book’s subject matter
- Group author book signing events
- Local music events
- “Your Town Name Here” Day
- Festivals with tie-ins to your subject matter
- Senior centers
- College classes (like composition or English 101 classes)
- Night school or continuing education classes
- Tourist spots that may be related to your book
- Alumni association meetings
- Religious organization meetings
- Social group meet-ups
- Anywhere you happen to be
The Top 12 Tips For Clinching A Face-To-Face Sale
- Stake out a great location. Look for high-traffic areas with visibility.
- Be assertive. Don’t wait for a sale to come to you—go find it!
- Enlist friends. If you’re stuck behind a desk, ask others to work the room to send potential customers your way.
- Give people a reason to look your way. Create eye-catching displays or wear something quirky that stands out.
- Be friendly and genuinely enthusiastic.
- Make eye contact.
- Hold out a free promotional item (like a bookmark or key chain). People will rarely leave you hanging, and it’s a great way to start up a conversation.
- Launch a fabulous elevator pitch. Tailor it as needed.
- Ask friendly questions. Keep people engaged. The longer they chat, the more likely you will make a sale.
- Offer your autograph. “May I sign this for you?” People who say yes will obviously buy.
- Carry cash to make change. You never want to lose a sale because you can’t change a twenty. You may want to think about accepting credit cards.
Hand-Selling “Virtually” Anywhere
Even if you can’t physically make appearances at local venues, making one-on-one connections with potential readers and opinion-makers via social media can be a strong way to generate sales and buzz. Your interactions with individuals on social media can be shared/liked by many others—and that helps spread word-of-mouth buzz! So even if you don’t have a big tour bus and travel budget, you can forge online connections that could eventually turn into sales.
Question: What other places could be great locations for hand-selling your book?