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Book Marketing Shots In The Dark: Outside-the-Box Ways To Sell Your Self-published Books

Book Marketing Shots in the Dark: Outside-the-Box Ways to Sell Your Self-published Books

Cover of Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest by Mark Horrell

Scale new heights in book promotion with this month's pick of our members' top tips

Each month we step away from mainstream marketing ideas and highlight creative, fun and sometimes downright wacky ideas that our members have dreamed up to help promote their self-published books to more readers. Here's September's top tips, with thanks to all the authors named (and the one who prefers to remain anonymous) for generously allowing us to share them here.

Local Lightbulb Moments

  • “I went into a local convenience store and, just on a whim, asked if they would sell my book. They said ‘sure' and put it near the counter! All I could think was why didn't I ask before? – Ann Richardson, American author of Celebrating Grandmothers
  • “I'm doing two signing events for my new book at my local exercise class which meets twice a week.” – Chris Longmuir, Scottish crime writer
  • “My street had a party on Sunday. Got talking to a couple of neighbours. Gave them a few postcards promoting my latest children's book. One lady said she would hand them out to her gym and look at it online for her granddaughter. The other lady said she would come to the book launch.”  –  Julie Day, British YA author

 Lateral Thinking

  • Cover of Face Value by Ian Andrew

    Tuned in to radio opportunities

    In one of my novels I had the idea a detective would set his morning routine by listening to the local BBC radio programme. I included the actual presenter and the real programme. Then I sent them a copy and said, “You're in a book…” Next thing I was being interviewed on BBC Radio 🙂 Must admit it all worked out rather well. The host reviewed the book on Amazon and liked it so much I sent her the second in the series as well, which she also mentioned on air. All in all a very good result. – Ian Andrew, Irish novelist

  • “My CV includes a mention of my writing. At a job interview last week, two of the three interviewers took an interest in my books.” – Anonymous (to safeguard the author's current job!)

Thinking Beyond the Book

  • Cover of Katrina Kirkwood's book

    Katrina Kirkwood, weaver of words and beads

    My book tells how I traced the origin of a mysterious string of beads. In the book I describe how I commemorated the person who gave them to my grandmother by weaving a new string of beads. A lady in my knitting group read the book and asked me to teach her to head-weave. Next month I'm going well-equipped- loose beads, loom, the original string of beads – and several copies of the book. – Katrina Kirkwood, from Norwich, who describes herself intriguingly as a digital and storytelling artist

  • A few months ago I was having a clear-out before moving from London to Rome. I came across a battered old pair of mountaineering boots I was unlikely to wear again. I write books about mountaineering, so instead of putting them on eBay I decided to run a giveaway on my blog. A few days later I received an email from the winner to say thank you. He was an armchair explorer and said there was no chance of him ever needing the boots, but he did read books about mountaineering and it was the first time he had ever won anything in a competition. The giveaway landed me 100 new sign ups to my mailing list in just a couple of days. Some of them may have been mountaineers who were just after a pair of boots, but nearly all of them are still subscribed, so hopefully most of them are readers too. – Mark Horrell, British author of non-fiction

OVER TO YOU If you have more ideas to add, please feel free to post a comment – or if you're an ALLi member, contact Debbie Young to have yours considered for inclusion in next month's post.


#Authors - here are some wacky ideas for #bookpromotion - and they work! Share on X



This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. I couldn’t believe it when I got a chance to promote my book while wine tasting, but a perfect moment came up in the conversation and I took it. Another moment was while I was at my dentist’s. A very good reason to carry business cards with you…you never know when you’ll get to promote your book! 🙂

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