Writing is a solitary pursuit. Promoting your book is not. Even if you haven’t published your book yet, now is the time to get out of your PJs and out of the house. If you are still writing your book, these outings will serve as a refreshing break from the bright screen or cramping hand. If you have a book in your hands, every opportunity to talk to people is an opportunity to move you toward your goals and sell more books.

Speaking of goals, it is important to either set specific goals or at least have an idea about what you hope to accomplish during your interactions. You may want to sell books, give your book away to generate reviews, encourage attendance at a book signing or writing workshop or add to your growing list of contacts. Knowing what you really want maximizes your impact when out amongst the people.

There is a difference between being intentional and pushing your book in someone’s face. Building a tribe is about relationships, not sales. Sales are the natural occurrence when you engage with people in a real way and offer something of value. You build a tribe when you solve their problem. Your book may be the thing or it may be just providing the name of your excellent plumber. It is the longer route to increased sales, but a more sustained one. The more you genuinely help people, the more likely it is that you will cultivate evangelists for you and your book. Here are some ways to get boots on the ground and sell more books.

Get involved in your community:

  • Volunteer your time with non-profit organizations
  • Get involved in community organizations
  • Join business groups
  • Get involved at a place of worship
  • Join a ski, trail or soccer club or a fitness center and get healthy while you work
  • Volunteer in political organizations
  • Join your homeowners association
  • Get involved in a PTA or school organization
  • Connect with your alumni association
  • Coach a sports team

Get out of the house and talk to people:

  • Go to book signings
  • Fundraisers
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Book clubs
  • Take a class
  • Go to happy hour
  • At the grocery store or mall
  • At sporting events
  • Get a table at arts festivals
  • At work
  • At networking events

Get involved in writing organizations:

  • Volunteer at conferences. Meet other engaged writers, authors, agents and editors.
  • Host a book club
  • Work with a local library to offer event
  • Share information about other writers and authors to friends and acquaintances
  • Participate in critique groups, both giving and receiving. There are clear benefits to both.
  • Help an author with a book signing or book launch event
  • Go to book festivals or better yet, get a booth

Get to know key people:

  • Librarians
  • Indie bookshop owners
  • Writing organization leaders
  • Other authors

Host an event:

  • Hold a writing workshop
  • Do a book signing
  • Celebrate with a book launch

Finally, be prepared when you are out to take advantage of every opportunity:

  • Carry your business cards, books, promotional material (like bookmarks or flyers) and a calendar with you at all times.
  • Accept credit card payments with PayPal Here or Square or similar device as well as accepting cash.
  • Add people to your contact list while you are out and follow-up with them, but get permission to add them to your email list. (People hate getting spammed. Don’t you?)
  • Take notes about upcoming events or opportunities for a book signing, speaking engagement or a workshop.
  • Thank people in person and then send a follow-up thank you email for information they provide or purchase they make. Those two words go a long way toward establishing a relationship and for securing your name in their mind.

Be someone who people trust and turn to for help and advice. Give your time and knowledge and share contacts with those around you. You will be rewarded with a tribe that buys your book and tells others about it, too. The only thing better than getting out of the house and telling people about your book is other people selling your book for you.

[bctt tweet=”Want to sell more books? Be someone who people trust and turn to for help and advice. #bookmarketing”]

Where do you go to meet people? What do you do to build your tribe?


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