- People have to have permission from themselves to buy. That means a bookstore might work well most days of the week, but not on others. I found Sundays are more of an “I’m bored, let’s go to the bookstore to waste time” day. People don’t buy then. Their goal: to waste time. Likewise, a signing at a bookstore just down the road from the theater doesn’t work before a big movie. Again, the customers are just wasting time until the film starts. Besides, who wants to carry a book into the theater with them? It could get lost amidst all those ABC gums and sticky floors. Libraries don’t work either, for the obvious reason. People borrow at libraries to keep from spending money.
- Books have to fit the location. I write a myriad of books, so I never really thought about this much until I tried to marked one specific book. Sentient is written for young adults all the way through adult. Teens boys are interested in the book because of the cover, but not teen girls. Moms, even with teens scuffing behind them, aren’t keen on it. But you know who are? Dads. They just love checking it out. So, the ideal place to sell is where there are lots of teens with their dads, right?
- Markets work really well. True you get the moms who walk past, and the teenagers who scuff behind them, but they all have permission to buy. And mom feels bad if she buys just for herself and the home. She wants something for the kids, too. If there’s entertainment available (bands or shows), make sure it suits your crowd. I sold a ton of books at an event that had a pretty good disco band playing. Disco = teens and their families.
- Author events are great. Multiple authors selling books. People who come have given themselves to buy A BOOK! Make sure the authors are drawing your kind of crowd.
- I haven’t tried fairs yet, but I’m a bit skeptical. People go there to look around, to be entertained. To eat junk food. Really.
So, that’s it. That’s what I’ve learned this summer. Good luck to everyone selling their books. Let me know what works for you and if you have any addendum to this list.