While there are tried-and-trusted means of marketing and promoting self-published books, it's always fun to hear about more offbeat tactics that indie authors have used successfully.
In this month's round-up of the more unusual ways to reach out to new readers, we hear from American author and bookstore owner Patti Brassard Jefferson, British novelist Katharine E Smith, who also runs a small publishing company, and Sally Jenkins, who self-publishes fiction and books about writing.
Patti Brassard Jefferson: I once googled my own name and reached out to some of the folks with the same name. One was a librarian so I sent her a book for her library.
Usually having a common name is a potential handicap for an author, because there may be confusion between different authors with the same name, but in this case it would be an advantage, as you'd be likely to find many more doubles!
Katherine E Smith: When I picked up my car from its latest service, the lady on reception said she'd been told I was an author so she looked me up online and wanted to buy one of my books. Next day I dropped a copy in for her and signed it for her. She's promised to spread the word and leave a review on Amazon. I guess this is a benefit of living in a small town.
Receptionists in any business, and also hairdressers and beauty therapists, are great people to cultivate because they come into contact with so many different people every day, and often have to make small talk.
Sally Jenkins: If I see someone on a train reading a book in a similar genre to mine, I politely gift them a promotional bookmark. I’ve also put the bookmarks in books returned to the library. But I’ve no way of knowing if these actions trigger sales!
So there's another good reason to travel on public transport, besides being environmentally friendly. If you commute to your day job by bus, train or tram, Sally's idea could help you use your journey to promote your indie author career.
And finally… have you read ALLi's latest guidebook to help indie authors market their books to physical (as opposed to online) stores? The ebook is now universally available – free to ALLi members to download, but non-members are welcome to buy copies.
For those who prefer their writing reference books in print, a paperback will follow in September.
OVER TO YOU If you've found success with similar inventive book promotion tactics, we'd love to hear about them – don't be shy, tell us about it in a comment!#authors - 3 fun, inventive & easy ways to promote your #selfpublished books Click To Tweet