It’s possible to sell a book before there’s an actual book, of course. But it’s sure easier when you’ve got the book in hand. I only had five copies, and didn’t intend to sell any. But I sold one to a friend for her folks because she’ll be leaving to visit them before my book order arrives. So, hey, hey, I’ve made my first sale of Around Florence.
For the past six months, I’ve been talking about the book to help generate interest in it. And there has been interest, but with the real thing to open up and look at, everybody wants one. It’s amazing! If only half of these people buy a copy, it will do well.
I will continue to show it to everyone I know and everywhere I go. And here’s the rest of my pre-launch game plan to put in place before the week of July 14th:
* Generate press in the newspaper.
* Send out postcards to businesses and especially individuals who are likely to buy the book.
* Continue to stop at places that may sell the book, and plan more launch activities.
* Do the paperwork or what is needed to direct sell at Farmers Markets, craft shows, and book fairs that are coming up.
I’ll be presenting a comp copy to the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. When I do, it will make a great photo op. So I’ll also have a press release ready and give both to the local Siuslaw News. That should happen this coming week.
The postcards that I received from Arcadia Publishing have room for my own message on the back, but I don’t want to write the same thing over and over. It’s too hard on my arthritic thumbs, for one thing. So I came up with what I most wanted to say. I put when the book will be out, what I’m offering to booksellers and individuals as to discount, price, and signed copies, and a schedule of launch activities with time and place. Since the price and ISBN number are on the card, it’s possible for businesses or individuals to already place orders with Arcadia or me. So I’ll put the message on a flash drive and take it along with my stack of postcards to a printer on Monday. We’ll see if we can make it work. Then I can get them sent out.
I stopped at the places this past Wednesday and Thursday that will most likely be carrying the book in Florence to let them see how it turned out and mostly to show them that it really does exist. And in at least five places, I left a copy for them to look over and/or read. I picked up a couple of them the next day and the others I’ll pick up on Monday.
I just received an email a little while ago from one of those businesses. It was Sue Foster at Books ‘N’ Bears, asking if she could keep her copy longer because she has already signed up eight people who want to buy the book after looking at it. How terrific!
Tomorrow I’ll be heading up the coast to deliver 10 copies of The Crossings Guide to Cape Perpetua. I’ll also continue on to Yachats. Where I’ll stop at Mari’s Books to show them a copy of Around Florence and then attend the Farmers Market at the Yachats Commons to see if it is where I want to be on Sunday mornings this summer to sell my books. I’ve stopped by before to purchase stuff, but this time I’ll be looking at it from a participant’s perspective. I checked it out online, and it is one that I could easily attend and afford.
I’m planning on attending the Clatsop County Fair in Astoria to sell books July 29–Aug 2, but I’m still working on where I would stay. A motel would eat up any profits, I fear.
And I’ve got my application and fee in for the Florence Festival of Books, September 27. I’d better have!
Besides my efforts, Arcadia is sending media kits to the businesses and media outlets that I noted in the sales and marketing forms that they had me fill out. If any media outlets contact me, I’ll be ready and willing to give an interview. Arcadia will also have a sales rep in the area soon. So between their marketing savvy and my local contacts, Around Florence should have a great launch!