The goal with your book is to get people talking about it and build buzz. One way to accomplish this is to give books away. You should allow for this into your marketing plan and budget. Make sure to set aside dozens of books to give away for promotional purposes.
Give your books freely to reporters, reviewers, bloggers, and anyone else who may be influential in helping you reach your target audience. Keep shipping envelopes on hand so you can easily send out copies. Always include a personal note with any copy you send out, and don’t be afraid to follow up via email.
I receive several dozen books from authors each year, which I find odd since I don’t write book reviews. However, those authors are likely hoping that I will notice their books and perhaps mention them in some way. This is not a bad strategy, though a better focus is to send books to people who actually review books, or to people you know.
You can also give away books at events, such as your local Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. If they raffle off door prizes, provide a copy. Some authors even leave copies in lobbies and waiting rooms at doctor’s offices, car washes, coffee shops, and other locations. I’m not convinced this will lead to explosive sales, but it is an option.
Even if you route most of your book sales to Amazon, you will need a convenient way to ship out copies to media people and professional contacts. Media mail is an inexpensive shipping option provided by the U.S. Postal service, though it can take more time to reach its recipient. A better option is Priority Mail. The USPS offers flat rate shipping envelopes that current cost around $5 to ship. You can get the envelopes free of charge from your local post office or by ordering online at http://usps.com. You can also print postage directly from the USPS website.
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