7 Smart Ways To Sell More Books At A Writing Conference | Self-Publishing Relief

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Heading to a writing conference? Make the most of your investment by putting yourself in a great position to sell lots of your self-published books! Self-Publishing Relief offers smart tips on how to boost your book sales at a writing conference.

How To Make More Book Sales At A Writing Conference

Hand out business cards. Your business card is more than just your printed contact information. Tempt readers to sign up for your author email subscription list by using your business card to promote a digital giveaway. And always include links to your author website and book sales pages on your business card!

Connect on social media in real time. If you’re sitting in a writing seminar or having lunch next to another author, take out your phone or laptop and immediately connect with them on social media. Even if your relationship doesn’t immediately lead to a book sale, you might discover a helpful new resource in your publishing career or even a new friend.

Give a seminar or workshop. Delighting, informing, and intriguing a large audience with your insight and your personality is a great way to connect with potential readers. Learn more about how to pitch a seminar or workshop to writing conference coordinators.

Leave standout promotional items on the goodies table. To promote their books, many authors create bookmarks, rack cards, and other freebies. If you want your giveaways to stand out on a crowded promo/goodies table, offer unique promotional items that intrigue.

Sponsor a writing conference item. Many writing conferences offer sponsorship opportunities. Some conferences allow writers to buy advertising space on official conference tote bags. Writers can also sponsor other items like notepads and luggage tags. Sponsorship might require more of a financial investment, but every attendee at the conference will likely know your name.

Have free promotional copies of your book on hand. You shouldn’t give out free copies of your self-published book to everyone you meet—but offering a freebie to a VIP opinion maker (like a blogger, editor, or literary agent) could help create a new connection and ultimately boost sales.

Participate in a group book signing. Although there is some danger of getting lost in a sea of authors sitting at promotional tables, it is possible to sell books in a group setting. Check out these tips for participating in a group book signing event.

Before You Design A Sales Strategy For A Writing Conference…

Know Your Audience. A writing conference is a gathering place for writers—in other words, for people who share the goal of advancing their writing careers. If you show up at a creative writing conference with the intention of being a pushy top seller, you may find yourself alienated. Instead, focus your efforts on creating brand awareness and networking, and you may find that strong sales will naturally follow.

If you’re interested in going to a conference specifically to boost book sales and increase your fanbase (as opposed to learning more about your trade and craft), consider attending a readers’ conference rather than a writing conference. For example: Instead of signing up for a writing conference that caters to authors of science fiction, attend a conference for fans of science fiction. If your goal is promotion, you may have better luck there.


Question: As a writer, have you found it helpful to market your books at writing conferences?

1 Comment

  1. Colin

    It’s refreshing to get away from the critique of writers groups and author audience conference. There is much written and talked about multi-tasking, but would suggest authors and writers are almost single-mindedly focused on their own script. Others who are writing in the same genre can be effective rivals. Egos may run wild and advice given is not necessarily constructive. Presentations which advertise exactly the type of novel will likely attract an interested audience. Perhaps an obvious comment, but my experience is that you can be pleasantly surprised by age demographic interest. Young adult, for example, when you believed only an older age group would be interested. Ultimately reviews through mainstream media or in newspapers or magazines will have most lasting effect. The other important point is that reviews give you, as an author, confidence that there is a readership out there. That when you promote your novel there is supportive testimonial


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