Marketing Beyond Social Media and the Internet

We know how powerful social media and the internet can be in marketing and building our author platform. But have you been overlooking your own back yard?


With the launch of my new book, Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned WayI embarked on  traditional on-line marketing with guest posting, blog tour, and special bonus gifts for those who purchased the book.

But I’ve had the most sales from my home town. I asked our local pharmacy and grocery store to sell copies of my book. They agreed and I’ve sold out at both locations. I made sure to let the owners know I’d be announcing on my social media pages that copies would be available there. (It needs to be a win for both parties)

We have a local movie theatre that is in the homestretch of fundraising for a new digital projector so they can stay in business. The owner is running an ad for my book in the previews before every movie and selling copies with part of the proceeds going to their digital fund.

I’m teaching two classes for the community. The first was a bread class where I showed how to make the artisan bread and thin crust pizza dough. The second is a jelly making class (all from my book). I sold out of books at the first class with more ordered.

Social media is great, but don’t forget about local. Think of places in your home town where people go frequently.

Tips for making businesses say yes to your book:

1. Make an appointment ahead of time with the owner or manager to discuss putting your book in their store. Remember they’re busy and show up on time. Think of this like a job interview.

2. Think of ways their business will benefit from having your book.

3. Don’t expect them to just let you sell your book without giving it to them at a discount so they make money off the sale too. Be sure you know what your bottom line price per book is so you both make a profit.

4. Bring a large amount of copies with you, but ask them how many they’d prefer to start with on their store floor.

5. Keep a file at home noting how many books are at each place. Check in on a regular basis to see if they need to be re-stocked. Make sure they also have your contact info. One of the store’s employees called me to let me know they’d sold out and needed more books.

What ways have you marketed your book in your home town? Are there businesses you could tie the content and theme of your book to beyond bookstores?

19 Replies to “Marketing Beyond Social Media and the Internet”

  1. Great post Melissa. I have been racking my brain to think of other places to sell my book. I’m not coming up with anything yet. I find a bit of resistance due to the fact that it’s so “religious” for lack of better term. Will have to get creative as you have obviously done! Good job!

    1. Each chapter of my book starts with a devotion and speaks about Jesus. Depending upon the place, I focus on the faith part or the self-sustaining features with gardening, canning, traditional cooking, etc. What does your book offer people? Think of the answers it provides. Like, my book will benefit people looking for a deeper meaning in their life. (You don’t have to hide the fact that it’s religious, but look to how it solves solutions for people and high light the specifics) Hope that helps.

  2. Great tips, Melissa! I have a book coming out in January and I’m working to schedule book signings at local coffee shops and other locally owned businesses (a portion of proceeds will benefit the shop) and bookstores (national chains as well as the few mom & pop shops left).

  3. How did you get your grocery store to carry it? Did they order from the publisher? Or did you provide the books? This is really an interesting concept, but I’m curious how it works.

    1. Anne, I provided the books. I had to get a small business license and I’m also getting a resellers permit so when they buy the books from me I don’t have to pay sales tax, as that’s paid by them when the book is sold from the store. Otherwise, the state gets paid twice.

  4. This is so helpful, Melissa. Learning to combine both local and online marketing is a necessity for authors to become successful, I think. Your list of suggestions is a winner! I’ve found that building personal relationships with store owners goes a long way to helping your books sell in their stores, and by thinking of yourself as part of the owner’s team, you can really come up with persuasive reasons for them to stock your book.

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