Even if you have built your business primarily online and that’s where you find the majority of your clients, local marketing should not be overlooked. In addition to your online marketing efforts, promoting your new book locally can bring you “local celebrity” status while increasing your fan base.
Keep in mind, these ideas may not bring in hefty sales but they’ll go a long way to expanding your name recognition within your local community. Instead of book sales, you may gain some new clients and you’ll definitely gain more social media fans.
1. Hold local book signings at libraries or book stores.
Don’t forget your hometown roots! Publishing a book is quite an accomplishment not everyone can claim, so toot your own horn to the people who know you best. Meet and greets at any locale allows you to promote your book while also growing your fan base.
2. Appear at Community Day events.
Many local communities or towns hold Community Day events and festivals during the summer and fall months. Check those calendars well in advance and be prepared to invest a nominal fee to set up a table with your book available for purchase. Print out bookmarks or other handouts that include your social media handles so they can connect with you after the event; or be proactive and connect with people instantly at your booth.
3. Speak at local schools about your path to becoming an author.
Many middle and high schools hold career days so watch for those events or call the schools directly to inquire. This isn’t so much a chance to sell your book but to tell about your path to becoming an author. Carry handouts with your name, book title, and social media handles so the kids can pass them along to their parents. This is also a great opportunity to leave information at the schools for the faculty. You just never know where your next client will come from!
4. Volunteer locally with your Chamber of Commerce or other business networking groups.
Many Chambers have different committees on which to serve and other business groups (such as BNI) have executive officer positions available every year. Again, these types of positions are not about selling books but offer you the chance to give back to your community while expanding your name recognition.
5. Use your book as a fundraiser.
Choose a cause that’s close to your heart and dedicate a percentage of sales to be donated. Donating to a local charity or a local branch of a national charity may stir more interest because of the hometown roots. Or donate a copy or two of your books to auction events held by local PTAs, scouting troops, or religious organizations. Very often these organizations will distribute a list of their benefactors, so that’s yet another way to increase your name recognition.
Marketing your book should be a continuous cycle, both online and offline. The more people you can reach through the differing avenues, the more likely you’ll see increases in sales, new clients, and social media fans.