I’m always on the lookout for new and creative ways for indie authors to market their books. A few weeks back, indie author Steve Gomez, who has just released Taco Noir (love the title :)), contacted me about guest posting. I was particularly intrigued because Steve talked about a different way of marketing and it caught my eye. But I’ll let Steve tell you about it.
Guest Post by indie author Steve Gomez:
Thinking outside the Bookstore
If you are setting up a reading for your mystery, suspense, or romance book, then it is only natural to connect with your local bookstore owner. Chances are they already sell your book, and are open to setting up an event. Don’t limit yourself to bookstores, though. There are many other businesses and readers who are interested in your subject and aching to hear about your book. You just don’t see them at your local library or bookstore.
If you have a protagonist who is a bartender, a hero who is a rancher, or even a detective with a loveable dog, you have a built-in audience that you owe it to yourself to bond with. They care about what you are writing about and are positively hungry for your book.
In my case, I have a book of hardboiled mysteries, Taco Noir, debuting this week. Each of the mysteries in Taco Noir ends in a complementary recipe. While I adore my local bookstore, the culinary nature of my book lends itself to working with other stores as well. So when it came time to set up an event, the local spice store was a no-brainer.
In setting up my event, I focused on one of my stories, The Case of the Biting Spice, and designed an evening around it. The owner of the spice store made chili according to my recipe and handed out samples during the screening of an episode of an old mystery serial, which preceded my reading. Then, after my reading, I signed books and she sold packets of the spices that went with the recipe.
That is the kind of event that stands out in a crowd. It is also one that I couldn’t have pulled together without the help of my neighborhood associates. In addition to events in a spice store, I have also hosted mystery movies in cafes, given readings in wine tasting rooms, and have themed events in the works in cocktail lounges and pubs.
That’s great, I can hear you grumble, but my story is about a veterinarian who studies animal behavior to solve crimes. Or a quilt maker. Or an amateur wine maker. The variations are endless. So much the better!
In that case, you can own your subject and connect with local business. If you have an animal-based story, think about an event with your local pet shop. Have them “go big” with a pet adoption drive, an ASPCA fund-raiser, or even obedience training. (For the animals, not the author.) You have a chance to build a relationship with people who share your interests. In some cases, you may even bond with people who are not readers, but are so taken with your message that they WILL buy your book. And, in some cases, the owner of the business will want to carry your book, and it may be the ONLY book that they carry!
When you make these connections with readers and potential readers outside of bookstores, the impact that you make on them will be one that lasts, and you will be the author that they tell their friends about!
Steven Gomez is a mystery author living in the Sierra Foothills and also the Chief Investigator of The Noir Factory, a fictional detective agency located at www.thenoirfactory.com. His book, Taco Noir, is now available as both print and Kindle edition at Amazon.com.
Thanks Steve for sharing some interesting and intriguing ideas for we indie authors can use for marketing. If you don’t have print books, I would encourage you to think about this. In my post Indie Authors and the Paperback Market, I discuss why I believe having print books is still a valuable way of marketing and selling books, and if you do, you can implement Steve’s suggestions. If you try Steve’s strategies, I’d love to hear what you come up with.