Maybe you could sell your books at a local community event like an art fair or holiday event? You would get local exposure that can lead to other things. I've been learning here on this site that local exposure is so valuable--especially for new writers like myself.
I like the local colleges for putting my books before the public. One of our colleges has a business product day which I like about as good as any and it does sell books. Many people give out samples of health food, and other products before they sell something. I have been lucky every time to get a table right down in the middle of everything. For some reasons, kids like books.
I know most of us appreciate knowing what works. I don't know how many ways I advertise my books, but there are many. One of the best ways, which is also inexpensive and gets the best results outside of social networking is these small 4 X 6 cards which you can get for almost nothing. The set up is so very easy and can be done on any computer. I am adding a sample of my card with a simple statement about where to buy, but you can add any wording you like.
I get these 100 to 500 at a time depending on where I am going to be showing my books. At a local college, I usually have 100 cards made for about $9.00 plus shipping. I usually ask the college student to pin my card up on the dormitory bulletin board. I also have family members who request fifty at a time for garage sales, art shows and at their own place of work and worship.
I hope you like the idea, give it a try, there are several very inexpensive places to get these cards made. I just ordered some last night and while doing so, I thought of you here.
Dr Robert E McGinnis (retired teacher and working for the youth of our nation for fifty years)
I wonder if any of you guys on this forum have your books in Doctors' offices, barber shops, auto repair shops, etc., so that people can read it while they're waiting and perhaps buy it later.
I always see those children's bibles with half stories in them and cards to tear off and mail. I think I've heard that they sell well and aren't sure if the split profits with the offices or how it works.
You can always stick a notice on the front that says, "Please do not remove from lobby. To order copies...."
This seems like a pretty good idea to me, but wide open to abuse. Perhaps a ring bound copy of the first two or three chapters with relevant information clearly visible seems a better idea to me. Perhaps even a free gift offer?
If you name is Mark Twain, or Hemingway, don't bother to read this.
Reply to S Miller
I have copies in the office of my dentist here and also in Florida. My family doctor has a set and several restaurants have them in pie cases. I regularly visit a used car lot, a clothing store and I have also been in a pharmacy which asked about my books but we haven't done anything there yet. Every delivery unit that brings my boxes of books, (I buy them fifty at a time), gets a book. My mailman has one of each, etc. As you know, when you buy books directly from the printer and sell them through your own channels there is no way for people who are searching you out on Amazon to see your true sales numbers or standing. That doesn't bother me, I seem to do much better on my own anyway. Hey, come to think of it, you have a set too. I keep about 500 books on hand at all times.
It is just as easy to give out the cards as shown in my previous post (above) and I can carry a bunch of those at a time.
I also haven't mentioned that when I find a charity looking for items to auction, I visit the chairperson, he or she is so happy to see me coming with books in hand.
I have a labeling machine called a printer, and I print labels which sometimes go inside the book and sometimes on the cover, depending on where I am displaying my books. I put the labels on the cover for college nights and book shows.
I have said this many times, but I will say it again. There might be two to five percent of us who make a profit from this work. We do it for the love of doing what we do. If a person has the potential to earn fifty to seventy dollars an hour doing something else and it takes that person a year to write a book. (NOT ME), put that into dollars and it is obvious that most people won't even make minimum wage after all the other costs.
If you want to stay in the writing game, you not only have to become a part time author, but a full time marketeer. Postings all over the internet will get you a few rewards and that is what most of us are looking for. I spend three our four hours a day marketing and about two hours writing on my next book and I have many. Right now I am about ten books ahead of my editors who take a good month editing each one. This rather determines my future and work day. There is no sense in finishing up a book today, when we have so many in the market and so much plugging to do.
Here is an example of how I advertised my books yesterday and I use this method often.
Be your own publisher, then you are working with someone you can trust. Indie publishing is something that you do for yourself and there are many avenues. I use Creatspace and my contact person is Allison Boozer. Good luck, we may be seeing your book here soon. Dr Robert E McGinnis