How does a newbie author sell books in a super recession? First of all you take your clothes off in the middle of Main Street; no, I’m just kidding. In my case, I would get arrested after I scared everyone away. Even though the idea is absurd, frustration is the mother of invention sometimes. Every business owner is trying to figure out how to get people into their stores to increase sales.
I have found book sales in obvious and not so obvious places. Take your specialty coffee houses like Starbucks or your local cyber café; these are perfect places to set up a small table to sell books. There is nothing better than a hot cup of cappuccino and a good book to start your day. This is especially true in the winter. Most owners welcome the opportunity to have you bring in more customers.
I have done well in bars, especially if you have friends there. This venue is good in the summer when folks go in to have a cold one. There are a few things to remember when you are selling books to folks who are drinking alcohol. First and foremost, don’t get drunk! Secondly, the genre needs to be suited to a bunch of beer drinking, redneck types. If your book has sex and violence in it, head for the pub. Drink and sell responsibly….
How about beauty salons? Leave a few books at the checkout counter. These women all read and most read anything that has a good storyline. This venue is not the place to leave books about how to hunt elk in Colorado or the greatest fishing spots in America. Murder mysteries and love stories will do very well indeed.
How about your local auto repair shop? Leave some books in the display case. The great thing about this venue is that all age groups are represented. I imagine most genres could do well here. It is important that you get your oil changed and repairs done at the auto repair shop you pick.
These are just a few places to think about when selling your work. Make sure to tell store owners, where you leave books, that you will be available to sign the work after the sale. A signed book justifies paying retail. After all, the buyer could just as easily go on-line.
I also recommend that you do some research on door-to-door selling. You know, just like the proverbial vacuum cleaner salesmen who used to go door to door selling overpriced products. No, I’m not suggesting selling books door to door. Or am I? I need to go now so I can research encyclopedia sales techniques of the ‘60s. Don’t be surprised if I knock on your door soon!