Thursday, December 12, 2013

Indie Life: Finding New Sales Avenues

Indie Life is a monthly feature hosted by the fabulous Indelibles where we get to share something related to indie writing life.

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My books are obviously on sale at the traditional places - Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc online, and in real life I've managed to get them into a few book stores. But as indie authors, with no publisher or distributor to get our books out there, it's up to us to find new avenues in which to sell our books.

So when an email came around advertising a local Christmas market, I thought, Why not? Everyone will be shopping for Christmas presents. Maybe a set of books would be a cool gift for parents/grandparents to buy for the younger people they know. So I signed up for it. Then I saw another market advertised and signed up for that one too. (The fee for a stand wasn't huge, so I didn't have much to lose by trying this out.)

The first market was held outside a small private gym kind of hidden away down a long driveway. There's no way you'd know a market was happening if you drove past, so the only people who came were people who'd been told it was happening. The second market was held at a cafe many people love. It's been well attended in the past, so the owners were expecting the same thing this year. But the weather was horrible! Grey, wet and cold (which is what the whole of December has been like so far, even though it's supposed to be summer!). So I guess the bad weather kept people away.

So how did these markets go for me? I managed to give a number of bookmarks away and tell people who'd never heard of Creepy Hollow all about it, but as far as numbers of sales went? Hardly anything! I could sell way more ebooks online and get a day's work done at the same time! But I don't see those two days as a waste. Spreading awareness about our books is important, even if it doesn't result in a sale right now. And without the massive marketing budget that a traditional publisher provides, we need to take every opportunity to spread the word about our books :-)


Market at Aqua Bodyworks





Market at Tea on 23






One of my fans came to visit :-)

17 comments:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I am proud of you Rachel. Sales aren't the only reason writers write.

Cathy Keaton said...

Looks like you had fun, anyway! Regardless of sales, you did something very positive and whoever you came across, I'm sure they were all very appreciative of you and your books. ;)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great way to spread the word about your book, even if you didn't make many sales. Finding new audiences is important. Thanks for the tip.

Annalisa Crawford said...

What a great idea. I agree, sometimes trying something different may not result in immediate sales, but you're definitely planting the seeds of an idea in people's minds.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I bet some of those people who took a bookmark downloaded an eBook later. I wouldn't be discouraged. Despite the people who say they will never switch, less and less people are buying print books.

Trisha F said...

I love that you did that! Good on you. :) And you're so right that word of mouth is more important.

Laura Pauling said...

It's always good to try something new! I think books can sell well at book fairs where there is nothing but books where you know your target age will be there. But sometimes you never know! Good for you for trying. :)

Cherie Reich said...

Even if it doesn't produce sales right away, it's always good to do events like this and get the word out about your book. Love the idea of the cup with bookmarks and mentioning that they're free. Next time I go to an event where I have a table, I'm borrowing the idea. :)

M Pax said...

It's always good to meet people and let them see your face. I rarely sell much in person either. I always have fun, though.

J.L. Campbell said...

Looks like you had a nice display. I'm sure you made an impression on those who stopped by.

Emilyann Girdner said...

Hey! This looks like a lot fun. And like you said, even if the turnout wasn't what was expected, you to spread the word to people who didn't know about the series. And isn't it nice to get out and meet new people? I'm glad you were able to do it and enjoy the fun time. Thank you for sharing =)

Misha Gericke said...

Sorry that your sales didn't really come, but good on you for trying!

Crystal Collier said...

You live, you learn. Way to jump at a new opportunity and take a chance. Here's to being bold and learning by experience!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Still, you're thinking, Rachel. You're looking at different ways and venues to get exposure and that's a good thing. Even though there weren't many people, don't discount the proprietors and others who saw and interacted with you. They will talk about you and word of mouth is valuable. And they will talk about you and others may approach you about functions.

You ought to see what you can do about school book faires too. You write for kids. It's a place where local authors can interact with kids and teachers. Here, my university's teaching program put together a big annual book fair for k-12 and and bus in students from surrounding schools. They also try to get as many authors to come to them as they can.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Shah Wharton said...

You're so brave; the idea of doing that makes me cringe. I'm a true introvert and thank the online gods (Amazon) for allowing me to sell anything. But your table looked so professional and you got your lovely face out there, so like you say, certainly not a waste. Hope it generates some online interest.

Have a super Christmas and lucky 2014 Rachel

shahwharton.com

Shah Wharton said...

You're so brave; the idea of doing that makes me cringe. I'm a true introvert and thank the online gods (Amazon) for allowing me to sell anything. But your table looked so professional and you got your lovely face out there, so like you say, certainly not a waste. Hope it generates some online interest.

Have a super Christmas and lucky 2014 Rachel

shahwharton.com

Damaria Senne said...

I think it's great that you put a lot of effort to promote your books not just online, but also in person. The momentum will build, even if it happens slowly. Nice!