Hundreds of thousands of people turn great ideas into books every year. A writer has to figure out how to rise to the top. Many of us are out of our element when it comes to marketing, which to some extent requires shameless self-promotion.
A shameless self-promoter will always talk about their books. Once while setting up for a signing a young lady asked me about my book. Unprepared, I fumbled through my description; she smiled and walked on. To practice one on one sales, visit a flea market to see how the successful tables do it.
You don't have to become a carnival huckster, but you must be able to recite the good points of your books on a moment’s notice. If you make eye contact for more than three seconds, it’s time to be personable, make a few jokes, and sell some books.
But there are opportunities for shameless self-promotion other than one on one sales. My wife works at an architecture firm that contracts with area hospitals. One of them has an annual fundraising gala, that year with the theme "Superheroes". I couldn't afford to donate three hundred and fifty signed copies of D-List for their goody bags. In retrospect, I should’ve done pens or fridge magnets.
My books sold well at ConCarolinas this year. I shared a table with James Maxey, across from the Carolina Ghostbusters's "Sci-Fried Eggs" podcast. They learned that Kandyse McClure (Dee on Battlestar Galactica and the convention’s guest of honor) was thirty minutes late. Game on! I headed over with copies of Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery and D-List. Sure enough, I got on the podcast and had a great time hanging out with them.
Sales are about listening and social networking. See how other authors market their work and determine if it’s right for you.