Selling Books by Hand

We all know how wonderful it is, if you’re published, to receive that monthly stipend from all the online retailers, from Amazon to Kobo and beyond. Any money, from $2 to $2000, means someone has bought your book, and that’s a good thing!

Some of our members also do a lot of hand-sales. While it’s time consuming, it’s a great way to build your following, fans, and create rapport with book buyers. Plus, you get to put faces on other authors at the events and see what resonates about your book with buyers. Maybe they just are drawn to the cover. Maybe they like the genre alone and that compels them to purchase your book. Or maybe they just fall a little in love with you, the author, and just *have* to have your novel now that they’ve met you.

WWW member Penny Hamilton sent in a bit of information on her upcoming events and hand-sales opportunities, which are shared below as another example of both how and where you might find a chance to connect with readers:

Author Penny Hamilton will be hosting a book table on Saturday, May 12, from 8-11am at the annual Mountain Parks Electric Co-operative breakfast meeting in Granby, CO. She will also be greeting book buyers at Granby City Market for a Western Kick-Off to Summer event.

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“It is important to reach out to book buyers in more non-traditional events,” shared Hamilton. “In marketing, this is reaching the naturally occurring crowd. They will be at these community locations any way, so I meet them there.”
Opportunities for hand sales abound. Whether it is an event at a local bookstore, market, grocery story, gas station, or book fair, you’ll find you create lasting relationships with your audience. You never know where that might go! Author/reader conferences are of course another great place to start selling your book in person, but consider your genre and your characters as well for inspiration and ideas for hand sale locations. Happy networking!
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2 Responses to Selling Books by Hand

  1. I recently read a post about the differences between $1K per year authors and emerging authors. One of the major differences was that authors who make $5k or more per month relied almost exclusively on web marketing, fb and amazon ads to reach a wider market. I love personal appearances, talks and table sales, but they never generate the income that investing $50 or $100 into a targeted ad will bring. I’m using this figure as representative of the gas and travel costs of a book signing event. I guess my answer is to do both, and often. I just yesterday invested $30 in a fb ad. I’ve had 635 views and dozens of authorpage likes. Will that translate to sales? We’ll see. I’m interested to see what others think.


  2. heidiwriter says:

    I do a lot of hand-selling too–it’s maybe my best sales effort. I go to a number of craft fairs, especially before Christmas, but several throughout the year. I also try to schedule talks with various organizations and usually have good sales from those.


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