22 Places To Hand-Sell Your Self-Published Book | Self-Publishing Relief

by | Marketing and Promotion, Pricing, Sales | 3 comments

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!

  1. Book festivals or other book-signing gigs
  2. Writer conferences
  3. Local writing group meetings
  4. Libraries
  5. Coffee shops
  6. Multi-author promotional events
  7. College bookstores
  8. Independent bookstores
  9. Local places that tie in to your book’s subject matter
  10. Group author book signing events
  11. Local music events
  12. “Your Town Name Here” Day
  13. Festivals with tie-ins to your subject matter
  14. Museums
  15. Senior centers
  16. College classes (like composition or English 101 classes)
  17. Night school or continuing education classes
  18. Tourist spots that may be related to your book
  19. Alumni association meetings
  20. Religious organization meetings
  21. Social group meet-ups
  22. Anywhere you happen to be

The Top 12 Tips For Clinching A Face-To-Face Sale

  1. Stake out a great location. Look for high-traffic areas with visibility.
  2. Be assertive. Don’t wait for a sale to come to you—go find it!
  3. Enlist friends. If you’re stuck behind a desk, ask others to work the room to send potential customers your way.
  4. Give people a reason to look your way. Create eye-catching displays or wear something quirky that stands out.
  5. Be friendly and genuinely enthusiastic.
  6. Smile.
  7. Make eye contact.
  8. 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.
  9. Launch a fabulous elevator pitch. Tailor it as needed.
  10. Ask friendly questions. Keep people engaged. The longer they chat, the more likely you will make a sale.
  11. Offer your autograph. “May I sign this for you?” People who say yes will obviously buy.
  12. 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?


  1. Tammy Spears

    Very informative information that allows Authors to promote their books with various options to choose from.

  2. S. McSweeney

    This is excellent information as I have a background in traditional publishing and sales. But so much has changed on the traditional front that I decided to go the self publishing route with Friesen Press. Our whimsical children’s book titled ‘The Sock Closet Elf’ will be released this June 2023, and I will take your info and follow through. Thanks, Su McSweeney

  3. Antonio Knowles

    Thanks for the information!


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