It seems to me that the growing number of published authors adds a new responsibility for each of us, and that is to become ACTIVE SUPPORTERS AND MARKETERS for book stores that sell and promote books by local authors.
What ACTIVE Support looks like:
Visit the store(s) often - especially before and during holidays. Get to know the owner and employees better; let them get to know you better. Foster and grow that relationship. Ask questions about what's trending. Share with them what's going on in your group and your WIP. Get on their notification list. Browse. Buy a "look what I found" now and then. (You must be thought of as a customer, too). Sign any of your books on the shelves there and place your card inside. Greet store customers as a store advocate. Every visit: Thank the owner for supporting local authors and take a few store business cards when you leave.
What ACTIVE Marketing looks like:
Talk about the store with your friends, neighbors, and family. Tell them about your latest visit or upcoming event there. Try to help them become customers of the store whether you have a book there or not. Give them store business cards. Plug the store in emails and blogs, during presentations, and at guild meetings. Give a store card to browsers who don't buy your book at signings and tell them they can find it there later. Think of yourself as a partner in every local book store that carries or will carry your book. It's a different mindset.
What goes around DOES come around. One sure way to increase your own success is to help others be successful. Do these things whether you have a book in that book store or not, because one day you WILL. Trust me on this one.
Jay Wright is a past president of Foothills Writers Guild and currently coordinates publicity and guild publications. He is also husband to Anne, dad to Jim and Jana, and Papa Jay to Addison and Alexa.
Jay is a Vietnam Era vet who hates war, violence, law breaking, law breakers, and freeloaders. On the other hand, he loves writers, writing, travel, old bridges, old churches, old barns, old guitars, guns, flags, confederate battlefields, old graveyards, old statues, coastal photography; & an occasional mug of Blue Moon with a big slice of orange.
He is the author of three books and also writes freelance for Anderson Magazine and Fair-Town Times. His self-published books include: Appalachian Tales & Stretched Truths (co-authored with Jim Broome), Where'd the Sun Go? (a children's book), and G.A.S. - Living with Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (humor for guitar addicts).
Jay considers 2017 the greatest year of his life in spite of worrying about fake news and the adequacy of the world's coffee supply.