Selling Your Own Book by Christine Duncan Recently one of my publishers wrote a group email about links on our websites to sell our books. She has special banners for each genre. And the idea is that we should include those on our websites with the link to Amazon.
I don’t mind selling my book that way. It seems easy enough and it’s one of the reasons I keep a website along with a blog. But other ways of selling my books are…harder.
A couple of years back I went to Wyoming author’s day. That day was difficult because it was just part of the fair. People were there to do the kinds of things they do at fairs, eat fried stuff and ride rides that make the fried stuff seem like the mistake it probably was. And we authors were in a building in the middle of this, by ourselves sitting at tables with our books. People came through because they wanted to see what was in the building or to go to the bathrooms, or just to get out of the sun for a minute and were a little surprised to see us. My son helped me by giving out bookmarks, or maybe it was fliers and asking folks if they liked mysteries. I sold a couple of books and went on a couple of rides myself after the writers all went home. But it was a long afternoon.
A year or two after that, I did one of the Wal-mart deals where they put authors in the aisles. I forget why. They may have been promoting literacy. Another long afternoon of startled people who didn’t really expect to find authors in the women’s underwear section or wherever I was. No son there to hand out bookmarks.
So I tend to believe that it is hard to sell books when folks don’t expect to see you. So I was surprised to see a post on MurderMustAdvertise by author Susanne Alleyn saying that she has had some success selling her books at her own yard sales. She sells at a bit of a discount and says her best line seems to be “Signed first editions by an almost-famous author!”
I’m willing to try anything once–and I have as much junk that could go in a garage sale as the next person, but I’m not convinced. Wouldn’t that tend to make folks think your books were…I don’t know…junk?
What do you think?


3 responses to “Selling Your Own Book by Christine Duncan

  1. I figure it’s worth trying anything once. It’s a philosophy that has gotten me into some trouble and led to an awful lot of fun.

  2. A little explanation re the yard sales is in order. I’ve been holding a books-only yard sale all summer (weekends) in order to clear out the non-sellers from my online used/rare/discounted book business. Fortunately I live on a fairly busy through-avenue in a nice neighborhood near two large college campuses. Thus I get a lot of traffic in people who are ready to buy books anyway. And if they’ve snagged an armful of interesting used books for about $8, they’re often ready to plunk down an additional $10 for a brand new, signed first edition from a genuine author who “lives right here!” So my circumstances work for me. Others’ mileage may vary.

  3. I always feel a bit sorry for those authors I suddenly discover in bookshops, trying to sell their books to anyone passing by – and being English, feeling sorry for them makes me avoid them. I think the only times I buy a book from the author is when I go to an ‘author’s talk’ event, when the book selling seems like just an afterthought (though I know it’s really the main event). But like she said, try anything once. And actually, for me, finding an author’s tent at a fair would just be wonderful!


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