It’s A Creative Business: So Your Book is Finally Published… Now What?

We’re grateful to Kathryn Kleekamp of Cape Cod Branch NLAPW for sharing her professional expertise about book promotion in this guest post.


 

Whether your book is published by a major publisher or self-published, your masterpiece will sit in its carton unless it’s actively promoted. Although my publisher (Schiffer) lists my book in its catalog and distributes it to Amazon and traditional book stores, I’ve found the tips I offer below essential to boost sales. Many authors and artists either shy away from or dislike marketing, but believe me, it will grow on you. As an author and artist, I’ve met many delightful people at signings and book talks. If a piece of art or book subject resonates with the viewer or reader, it makes for an instant connection between two strangers.

 

In my case, casual meetings with those who have purchased my work have led to some satisfying and long term relationships. At a marketing seminar I once attended, the very successful speaker said that most of one’s sales will come from repeat customers. For me, it’s been true. After purchasing a book or artwork for themselves, many have come back time and again to purchase gifts for others.

 

Here are some suggestions for ways to promote your book and increase sales:

 

  1. Visit local book stores, gift shops and museums to arrange signings. Establish yourself as a real person, not just a title. It makes a world of difference.
  2. Create a simple website and Facebook Page. You can offer useful tidbits from your book without openly proclaiming, “Please buy my book.” Post things that are insightful or helpful to the reader.
  3. Approach your local community television and radio stations to arrange an interview. Be prepared to give them a book beforehand. If they interview you, post the video on your website.
  4. Depending on the topic of your book, contact regional book clubs, women’s clubs, libraries, churches, retirement communities, Newcomers clubs, senior centers etc., to arrange a book talk. It’s important to assess your audience beforehand and narrow your comments to things they would be most interested in. Keep your presentation fresh for yourself as well as your listeners.
  5. Send a query letter or story idea to local newspapers and magazines to see if they will write a human-interest story about you and your book. News organizations are always looking for fresh material to print. It’s important to indicate why your story is of interest to their readers. What sets you and your book apart from all others?
  6. Do a little research to find out who local media book reviewers are.  Send them a copy of your book with a cover letter to see if they would be willing to write a review. As you accumulate reviews, even if they’re from a friend or colleague, print a list to display wherever you have a talk or show.
  7. Many communities have outdoor summer fairs or holiday bazaars. The cost to rent table space is small and usually there are large crowds.
  8. To make point of purchase sales, the Square app for your cell phone is a wonderful way to process credit card sales. There is no monthly fee and a very small processing fee.  Many purchases are impulsive; you don’t want to miss out on buyers who may not have cash.

 


Inspired by her life on Cape Cod, Kathryn Kleekamp’s oil paintings bring the unique beauty and charm of this special place alive for the viewer. Her work is in collections throughout the United States and abroad. The second edition of Kathryn’s book, Cape Cod and the Islands: Where Beauty and History Meet will be released in June of 2017. Visit her website at www.SandwichArt.com or her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Kathy.Kleekamp.CapeCod.Artist/.

 

Comments

  1. Kathryn, thank you for the suggestions. My book ‘Good Morning Sam’ (a narrative about a 24 year relationship between a wild mute swan and humans) has a sales total of over 600, but has slacked off. Gave my first talk to a Council On Aging this past summer. Book sales were small in number. However, both the audience and I enjoyed the adventure. I need to become a better self-promoter.

    • Your book sounds wonderful! We live on a pond and have a family of swans that have been here for 20 years. (I doubt it’s been the same pair, but we have seen cygnets hatch, grow and move on every single year.) There is so much love for swans, please share your book further. Don’t consider yourself a promoter, rather think about how much others would love to hear your story. Best of luck!

  2. Hi Kathy, Great article and I think a lot of what you have listed pertains to artists who need to market their art works. Thanks for the good advice.
    Suzanne

  3. Building relationships in your local area is so important. I’ve done that for 15 years – libraries, women’s clubs, book stores, etc. I have a website and two Facebook pages, and also use Twitter and Linkedin. Thank you Kathryn for a wonderful article!

  4. Dear Kathryn, thank you for this sage advice. I published my first children’s story book in Feb. 2015 and it did fairly well on Amazon–I was all gung-ho for that first year, but slacked off, and so have sales. Your article sparked my ‘common sense’ button and made me realize marketing it isn’t over! You offered some great ideas! I’m looking forward to using some of them as I market my 2nd story book, hopefully in 2017.

    I enjoyed peeking into your FB page!

    • Hi Linda, I don’t think it’s uncommon to slack off … I’m guilty at times as well. I find myself getting tired of hearing myself talk at presentations. However, I realize what excited me at the beginning will evoke the same feelings in those who are exposed to my work for the first time. For better or worse marketing is never over, thus, I’ve tried to embrace it.

      Best of luck with your new story in 2017.

  5. Great comments, Kathy. Thanks for the new ideas.

  6. Janet Fagal says:

    Kathryn, this could not be more timely. Our Branch is just getting into publishing a beautiful new anthology and we have some questions. Your ideas listed here are very helpful, but I hope you can connect with me. I will check you out on FB. Thanks so much !!! CNY Branch president, Janet Clare Fagal