How to Sell Books In Your Own Home & Neighbourhood

New cover of Stocking Fillers

Now featuring a new cover ready for Christmas 2015

A quick, easy and affordable book promotion tip to start the week…

I’ve often found that friends and neighbours, though aware and supportive of my work as an author, are shy of broaching the subject. Fuelled with confidence after a couple of neighbours went out of their way at Christmas to tell me how much they enjoyed Stocking Fillers, my festive short story collection, and that they were buying more copies as presents, I decided to make it easier for others to see and buy my books. (I live in a small village without a bookshop or library.)

Stocking Books in the Local Shop

Firstly, I negotiated a display area in the village shop, to which I’m already very supportive (I set up and run their Facebook page, for example, to help drive more customers to them). The result is a beautiful little shelf, all of my own, offering my books at a special “village” price (£1 off the RRP), and also donating £1 for every copy sold to the village shop itself. (So no greater cost to me than selling them in an actual bookshop.)

Books in the village shop

Showcased in the Village Shop

A Shop Window in my House

Secondly, I set up my own “shop window” in my front room, which visitors will see the moment they enter the house through the front door. It’s a small, pretty bookshelf, surrounded by eye-catching bits and pieces, including my collection of tin postboxes (my house is a former post office). Here they can see my full range of books, and I usually keep a cash box there as a subtle hint that purchases are welcome! It’s also a handy to keep all my books in one place, ready to pack up with my exhibition kit whenever I go off to do a talk or other event.

bookshelf in my front room

No Budget Necessary

None of this is costing me anything to do, and it took very little time to set up, so it’s win-win all the way.

Cover of Quick Change

The new cover introduced for the paperback launch earlier this year

I even rescued the bookshelf from outside someone’s house – they were chucking it out, and when I asked them if I could take it away and told the young couple who lived there what I wanted it for – “I’m an author and I need a lovely portable shelf to take to exhibitions” – they were delighted. I’m now planning, next time I’m passing, to drop off one of my books, Quick Change, to them as a thank-you, and I’m pretty confident that they’ll be telling their friends and showing them my book – not least because the lady was about six months pregnant, and the first story in that collection is about a new-born baby that is born talking, and giving its mother reassuring advice!

What’s your favourite quick, easy and affordable book marketing tip? I’d love to know!

For more information about my non-fiction books,
including two how-to books for authors, click here.

For more information about my fiction books,
please visit my author site here.

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4 thoughts on “How to Sell Books In Your Own Home & Neighbourhood

  1. I like those ideas, especially the village shop shelf.
    I don’t have local outlets (yet) for my work, but I travel quite a bit and I never go anywhere without one copy of each of my books in my bag (it’s starting to get a bit heavy, these days), and always some in my car, and I sell directly to many of the people I meet, because I have the books on hand, rather than just an ad pamphlet or bookmark.

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