Don’t Underestimate Your Local Market when it comes to Book Sales

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Bill Feader Jr. and Senior – manager/owner of FP Foods in Port Alice, BC pose for a photo shoot with Disappearing in Plain Sight.

Going into my self-publishing adventure, I imagined sales would come from people ordering my book from Amazon or Chapters. To be honest, I thought mostly of e-book sales. I knew I was going to get some trade paperback copies of my book as part of my publishing package, but I certainly never considered buying boxes of my book and acting as a vendor to sell them.

All of that changed when I received those copies and it was mostly due to my husband, Bruce – salesperson extraordinaire. He started to sell those books every time he went out the door. Before I knew it, we needed to order more and then even more. At first, the sales were to people Bruce ran into in the regular course of his day. Then I got on board with some author appearances and events. Now, sales are happening right in our local community grocery story.

Bruce approached manager Bill Faeder Jr. of FP Foods in Port Alice to ask if he would carry Disappearing in Plain Sight. Bill was open to the idea. He wanted to start off small, taking a few books at a time and seeing how it went. After the sixth invoice, he has decided to take a bigger order.

IMG_0229In book marketing, creating a buzz is the key to sales. I think that’s what has happened in Port Alice for Disappearing in Plain Sight. And many thanks go out to the people who work at FP Foods. I know that a few of them have read my book and are quite willing to promote it to others.

 

Don’t ignore sales of real books in your local market. Every day I hear stories of self-published authors who have sold what is a fantasy-like number (to me anyways) of e-books, making it to the top of Amazon lists, burrowing deep into Amazon’s mysterious and massive marketing machine and telling others how they can do the same. I give e-sales my best effort and don’t get me wrong – I value every single reader – no matter how they get hold of my book. But, I must say, there is something to be said for local community support. These are the people I see when I get my mail or buy my groceries or sit in the doctor’s office. It’s hard to find the words to express what those readers mean to me. (And that’s not an easy admission for a writer!)

A friend told me he was talking to someone in town the other day who informed him, “We even have our own local author now.” And that was me! Wow.

On September 12th, I’ll be attending a book club at the Port Alice Library to discuss Disappearing in Plain Sight. I’m looking forward to this event because it will be assumed people have read the book and no one will have to worry about spoiler alerts. I’ve been coming up with a few discussion questions in case of a lag in the conversation. Is there a question about Disappearing in Plain Sight that you would like me to include? Let me know.

On another topic, I was reminded of Lily Tomlin’s words this morning. “The road to success is always under construction.” First thing this morning, I checked out the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Award site because today the five finalists in each category were to be named. Disappearing in Plain Sight didn’t make the cut in literary fiction. (Cue sound effects: wailing and gnashing of teeth.) Oh well – many congratulations to all the finalists. Do go to the link above and check them out

Meanwhile, I’ll be back to Tomlin’s construction site to finish The Light Never Lies and enter it in next year’s competition. But first, I have to get out and pick those green beans.

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Just glad the beans are out the back. I wouldn’t want to step out the kitchen door and fight this guy for the apples.

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