Make a Splash!
On my recent mini book tour, I discovered how easy it is to create major buzz in a small geographical pocket. Since Phoenix has 1 ½ million residents, I haven’t made much of a local splash for all my marketing efforts. Call me a city girl, but you can imagine how thrilled I was to create major splash in several small communities?
I chose a small Ohio town (the setting of my novel) and an Indiana Mennonite community because my characters are, yes, Mennonite. In twelve short days, I connected with hundreds of people who started a local buzz about my books. I did my part, and the rest just happened.
Imagine hundreds of rocks simultaneously tossed into water. The ripples intersect and make a major splash. The same disturbance would go unnoticed in the ocean, but is visible in a pond.
Helpful Tips for a Mini Book Tour
Establish a relationship with local influencers. They work hard on your behalf. Influencers booked my speaking engagement, organized book signings, and blogged and promoted my events. They placed newspaper notifications for me. See what I mean about easy?
Keep costs down. If you need to buy books, don’t over purchase (like I did) unless you wish to haul them around. I left unsold books with influencers. I did cover half of my expenses, and I’m sure I can do better next time.
Book at least one paid speaking event. My event had 200 + guests. I sold 40 books and gave free handouts with my contact information. It was a bonus when a newspaper reporter covered the event.
Take a guestbook to your events. I didn’t, but I will next time! A guestbook would provide a relaxing way to get name spellings, information, and jot notes for later—all while making pleasant conversation with readers. I frantically jotted notes that got shoved into my purse. Not very professional.
Attend local events, even if it’s not your event. When a book tour is the reason for your visit to a community, the topic naturally accompanies personal introductions.
Giveaways. Offering free bookmarks opens conversations with people who wouldn’t otherwise make eye contact. Book giveaways are both promo and ministry. Trust God with your offerings.
Get prayer support. I would have remained fearful and frazzled without my prayer support team. Thanks guys!
Take your vitamins. Even good stress is hard on the immune system, and I ended up going to Urgent Care two days upon my return. (Probably because I was an introvert on overload)
Benefits and Blessings
- Meeting local authors
- Opportunity to sign shelved books in local bookstores and gift shops.
- Networking – (Got featured in summer reading group. They approached me!)
- Media/newspaper coverage
- Unexpected opportunities – Books placed in church and school libraries
- Purchasing items for future promo. Of course I bought a handcrafted Amish doll.
- Photographing opportunities for website, blog, and promo use
- Research for blogging topics
- Gleaning new information about the book industry
- Ministry – planting spiritual seeds and encouraging readers
- Personal growth
Who are your influencers? Are you building relationships with them? Do you implement the small pond, big splash method for marketing your books?