We asked CN authors about their tried and trusted ways of using a printed book to its maximum potential. Whether it’s having a copy on you at all times or planning a competition, if you follow their advice, you’ll be well on the way to impressing readers and collaborators. Maybe you’ll even build a bar that consists entirely of books in the process! Find out what Lucy Windsor, Janis Pegrum Smith and Pete Maguire have to say about printed books below.
1. Use your book as a business card
If you are attending an event and know that a person that could help push your book further is showing up too, take one or two copies of your book with you. Resolve to talk to this person in any case. Don’t try too hard, but be friendly and aim to get them interested in your writing. At the end, rather than hand them your business card, gift them a copy of your book. Lucy Windsor, CN author of People Aren’t Widgets says: “It is not enough to tell people about the book and expect them to buy it. A momentum has to be built and this comes in the form of giving. I see my book as the best marketing tool I have.”
2. Meet your readers in person
In the digital age, it’s easy to focus all your marketing energies on social media. Janis Pegrum Smith, the author of the successful The Book Ark ~ Black on White, is still in favour of the traditional author-reader meet-up: “You need to make friends with readers, it is far too easy to fill your social media friends list with other writers. You want more reader pals, although writer pals can help with moral support and advice – readers are the ones who buy your books!” Janis suggests starting with a book signing or launch in your hometown – she says that your name will attract people that personally know you and will help you build the initial fan base.
3. Run a competition to promote your book
Pete Maguire is one of many CN authors to have taken Goodreads by storm with his book City Of A Million Dots: “By the end of my giveaway, 185 people had asked for a copy of my book and 90 people had added it to their ‘to read’ shelf. It’s great for exposure!” Giveaways usually take two weeks and Goodreads picks the winner at random. The best part? They are likely to leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon.
4. Create a wonderful Christmas gift for your friends and family
We listened to those of you that wanted to be able to create extra special editions of your books. This Christmas, we’re offering CompletelyNovel Luxe Printing for orders over one hundred copies. Christmas is traditionally a great time of the year for self-published authors as books make fantastic gifts! You can delight your family, friends and readers with a special edition of your book. CompletelyNovel Luxe Printing involves the choice of cream or white paper and a super matt finish? Find out more about our Luxe Printing here.
5. Build yourself a new piece of furniture
You may be already surrounded by towering piles of books that act as a support for cups of tea (don’t worry, the CN team is guilty of this too). Why not take this project further and use the printed copies of your book to build yourself a book chair, a book table, or a book bar? Every time you sell a book, you can watch the piece of furniture disintegrate. It will die a poetic death in the name of your readers…perfect.
Sounds like a good plan. Carpe’ diem.
I would like to endorse the advantages of connecting to the Goodreads community. I just signed up a week or two ago which was free of charge. I have been able to put up my recently published books “Measuring the World” and “World of Sudoku”. I am offering 3 copies of each but allowing the promotion to run for 2 months, which may be too long. I started this process with some trepidation as I was afraid that nobody would want my book even if it were free! However, it has been less than 24 hours after the start and 36 people have already signed up to the former. At least the number is greater than 3, otherwise it would have been embarrassing! Only time will tell whether this leads to any sales, though.