3 Tips To Boost Your Book Sales This Fall

boost book sales at face-to-face events

A great way to boost book sales is to hit the ground and connect with readers through personal and grassroots efforts. Here are some ideas to get you started.

New authors sometimes get swept into the excitement of finishing and publishing their books and expect easy and immediate success upon launch. Then, when they don’t sell a million copies in the first three months, they assume it’s a bust and their publishing career is over.

The truth is, their publishing journey has just begun. At BookBaby, we like to remind authors that publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and dedication, but new authors can build a loyal readership through grassroots efforts, and these readers can even become evangelists who can’t help but spread the word about the author they discovered and the amazing book they just read. And while it requires some planning and effort, this publishing and book-selling adventure can really be a lot of fun.

Don’t forget, your book is an asset that can sell for decades after publication. And while there’s no bad time to start, the fall season is a particularly good time to focus on grassroots book promotion and sales activities.

Here are some creative tips to help you build your author brand and boost your book sales this fall. Why not give some (or all) of them a try?

Tip #1: Set up book signings all over town

Book signings don’t have to happen exclusively in bookstores. In fact, bookstores might be the last place a new author should spend his or her time hosting a book signing. It’s work on your part to get the store to agree to the signing and it’s work for them, too. Not to mention, bookstores are getting pitched by dozens of authors hoping to host singings. Sometimes, store operators find this more of a hindrance than an opportunity to drive positive ROI.

Instead, why not get outside and set up shop at as many fall festivals as you can? Start local. Chances are they’d love to have you!

Usually, you can rent or bring your own table. Make it look interesting. Get yourself a nice durable poster or chalkboard and create an inviting message to lure passersby into engaging with you. Be personable and approachable as people walk past. Have a bowl of candy on display for the kids (and the adults too).

You can sell your book and sign each one with a personal note. Create bookmarks or postcards that have a message asking people to spread the word. Something like: Thanks so much for reading my new book. I hope you enjoyed it! The next time someone asks “Have you read any good books lately?” I hope you tell them about this one!

Pro book sales tip

Think deeper about who your target audience is. Who are the people who are going to benefit and enjoy your book the most? Once you have identified these reader persona groups, think about where they congregate and how to reach them. For example, best-selling BookBaby author Raul Ramos, whose book, Ese to Master Jefe, is about his personal journey from street gang to success as a US Navy Master Chief, goes on speaking tours at juvenile detention facilities and collaborates with foundations that advocate for at-risk youth. He’s a great example of how important it is to start by connecting with and relating to the audience who will find the most value in your book. Are there opportunities like this for you to connect with your audience in person?

Tip #2: Holiday markets and Christmas Bazaars

Books make the perfect holiday gift for people of all ages, and holiday markets and Christmas Bazaars can be book-selling gold mines. What better place to set up shop than at an event where people are looking to buy their holiday gifts? Nobody leaves without bags full of goodies. Why not make one of them your book?

Pro book sales tip

Have a sign on display that spells out who would enjoy your book(s). A great gift for Grandpa? A perfect stocking stuffer for Mom? A good bedtime story for the little ones? Let people know who your book will appeal to before they even say hello.

Tip #3: Create fundraising opportunities

It’s rewarding to give back to your community, and people feel good about supporting those efforts. It’s even better if they discover a new book they love in the process. Work with churches, schools, and charitable organizations in your area, split the profits on sales, and determine how you might go about promoting and selling your book for their cause.

Perhaps you can attend in-person events. It’s also possible to have the organization message their congregation/community and direct buyers to your website for a period of time during which you agree to share the profits for that day, week, or month. Or create a code they can apply to make sure those proceeds go to the organization.

Pro book sales tip

Seek out charities that are associated with your book’s subject matter. If you wrote a children’s book about a special-needs dog who gets adopted — try partnering with a local animal shelter and split the proceeds. If you have a hard time finding a charity that is relatable to your book’s content, then try to pick one that will resonate with your base. Think about who reads your book and then try to find an organization that fellow readers would appreciate contributing to.

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There are so many ways to think outside the bookstore and connect with your readers. Hopefully this gave you some good ideas. Here’s to some great book sales this fall!

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7 COMMENTS

  1. A target audience for my book is retirees. As a former president of the local chapter of AARP, I was tasked with finding guest speakers for the monthly meetings, and I was ALWAYS looking to fill a slot.

    So…Prompted by this article, I contacted the club and will be speaking to them in November and introducing my book —maybe just in time for gift-giving!

    • Yes! Book signings can be very rewarding. As I suggest you might just find yourself surprised with the interest you garner by setting up a table at local festivals, holiday bazaars, and other events. People who attend these events love to support creatives in their communities. The idea is to meet new readers not sign books for existing fans but that’s OK too!

      Think outside of the box and start building that list of a million readers. You can do it!

  2. I’ve had successes of my 10 books of all genres, Poetry, my Autobiography, Inspirational, Surviving Divorce, Why We Worship, Teenage Drug Abuse, God’s Care, and four beautifully illustrated Children’s books. Along with my Paul-Mark Poetry Art which is framed versions of 28 of my beautiful Poems printed and framed on theme papers! My motto is “The gift That gives again, Every time it’s read!” I’ve worked with Barnes & Noble, Joseph Beth and our local Krogers grocery store! All have been very receptive of my works! Great idea!

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