Every author in the book industry has to work hard to achieve sales and success. That is non-negotiable, and if you show me an author that isn't active and working, I'll show you an author that is frustrated with the lack of sales for their book.
Bookstores alone aren't going to do it for you, and celebrities and other authors aren't going to sell your books for you. In today's market, authors must be particularly proactive in building a following, engaging their audience, and getting their books in front of people.
But at the same time, this doesn't mean going door-to-door selling your book. In fact, people don't like to be "sold." But they are interested in buying, especially if it will benefit them or someone they care for.
This is why it is crucial for you as an author to plug in to your community and find a way to serve others. If you can meet needs, it will open doors.
Here are three ways to do so, and none of them involve leading with your book.
- Find a cause worth giving to, and use your book as a fundraiser. Whether it is a church with an upcoming mission trip, a school with a building project, or some other community need (funding a new local park or opening a homeless shelter), there are always worthy causes around you. Find those causes, contact those overseeing the project, and tell them you want to help raise money. You can then hold an event or fundraiser and donate a portion from each book sold to the cause you choose. (Hint: The area media may not care about your book, but they might care about a local author serving the community and raising money creatively.)
- Plug in to libraries or local literacy programs and organize an event of your own with other local authors to raise money or awareness. This can lead to sales, but more importantly, it can also be a great networking opportunity that can lead to additional projects and events...which, in turn, can lead to sales.
- Develop your public speaking skills, and share your story in a way that benefits others. Don't know what to speak about? Start with what motivated you to write your book and why it is important to you. Remember, your book is an extension of you, and often the book-buying public will make a decision about you before they make a decision about your book. Lead with a cause, lead with your passion, and let your book accompany you.