Selling books…whatever works!

I’m new to selling print books. My first book came out in print just this June. It debuted at Printers Row in Chicago and I later attended Readercon in Burlingston, MA in July. Other than that, I’ve been selling to friends and family, or through friends and family and actually not doing too badly with that.

This summer was crazy busy and chaotic and I haven’t had a chance to get out there and do more book signings or events. I do plan on doing this (It’s on one of my To-Do Lists).

I had an inspiration this past long weekend. My mom and a friend were having a weekend long yard sale. I helped out, and even listed the sale on kijiji for them. It then occurred to me… I can put my books out too! So I set up a little spot with my pretty table cloth, a few books, bookmarks etc. I dressed up nice. I put a Author Book Signing thing on Kijiji too.

So how did things go? I sold 6 books. I gave out a LOT of bookmarks and business cards.

The best part? I didn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to travel to a convention. It cost me nothing, not even really time, as I’d planned on being there anyways. So overall, I’m thrilled! Next spring we’re going to have another big yard sale. We’re hoping to get a few more people to join too and do more advertising about it. Guess what? I’ll be setting my books up again too.

What ‘outside of the box’ ways have you sold books? I’m always looking for some (and the cheaper the better LOL)


About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

9 thoughts on “Selling books…whatever works!

  1. I always keep a box of my books (and my postcard) in the car. You never know who you’ll meet and who might want to buy a few.

    Your challenge is finding readers eager for your genre; my two books are NF and narrowly focused (one on women and guns) and the new one on working retail, which makes finding new audiences much simpler.

  2. Elysabeth says:

    Jennifer, excellent idea. I’ve been doing homeschool conferences and now working my way to teachers’ and librarians’ conferences but like you pointed out these do get costly what with traveling and hotels, food, and the cost of the table or booth. Someone suggested I go to the local flea market (I believe a table rental is only $5 a day or the weekend as the flea market is only opened Thursday through Saturday or Sunday) and set up there and sell my books. I just can’t bring myself to do it as the tables are all outdoors and it’s a dusty place – lots of dirt being kicked up around there. Maybe if I could have a table indoors I would but I’m not big enough yet to think about that.

    It is all about thinking outside the box and you never know when you will get that connection that puts you on the road to success.

    Good luck with your book sales (I’m still anxiously waiting for the next story in the Ever series to come out – lol) – E πŸ™‚

    Ma America, The Travelin’ Maven
    Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    Where will the adventure take you next?

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery (coming soon)

    • jlwylie says:

      I’ve been browsing on kijiji this morning seeing what events are going on with free or cheap tables locally. Hoping to find a few! If not I’m sure there will be more around xmas πŸ™‚

  3. Angela K Roe says:

    Brilliant! I love that you’re realizing you can sell books no matter where you are or what you’re doing and as your friend, I LOVE seeing the success you’re enjoying and I know it’ll only continue to grow! Congratulations!!

  4. Hi, Jen! How are you?
    It’s been awhile, so forgive me if this is repetative.
    Last year I joined the Chamber of Commerce in my little town. I spent most of last year simply building a network and getting reviewed in print. The high school paper was first, followed by a local magazine, the local newspaper, a bigger magazine, etc. This year has been about doing events. I did a library event in Fresno, Ca., then my town’s Swedish Festival (you remember my book, right?), a wine event in the Boutique in town that is selling my softcovers (we met at a Chamber Mixer) and a library event in town. In the fall I’m doing at least two more library events and probably another wine event at the store.
    If you take a peek at my blog, I posted photos and wrote about each event.
    Good luck, my friend. We’re all learning as we go.


  5. authorguy says:

    That’s sort of how it started for me. Fortunately LI is so densely populated that I can usually find a church fair or a craft fair of some kind. I do a few SF/F cons in the first part of the year but after Labor Day the Christmas selling season heats up. These events don’t cost much to enter and they’re local. Even if I was just selling my own few books I’d probably make the table back, but to be honest the bigger variety you have the better. And don’t forget the freebies!

  6. Very cool Jen! I’ll let you know what I come up with when I hit print.

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