As any author, or business person for that matter, knows, marketing their product, in my case books, is what takes most of your time, if you actually want to make any kind of income from it. I never expected to make much income from my books, as I knew going in that I have a very small audience. They are Christian books--four of them--written for three to six year olds. The market is really their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. because three to six year olds aren’t generally shopping on their own yet.
What have I done so far? I attended the Inspire event in Toronto and had a great time meeting many authors--Margaret Atwood, Chris Hadfield, Debbie Macomber and Neil Pasricha (he’s a delight!), to name a few. I only sold six books and one was to one of my brothers! I attended the Toronto Word on the Street in 2015 and did not even sell one book. I attended the Northumberland Word on the Street and sold two books (to a library!) and with all the great Northumberland authors, I bought more books than I sold, but it was a great event none-the-less and with a cost of only $10 for my table, it was most worthwhile.
I have to also mention that last year I invested in having one of my books formatted for hardcover, purchased the booksellers return program and advertised in the Christmas insert for the fall Children’s Ingram catalog, just to see if it was worthwhile. It did generate some interest. One company bought a few of my book ‘Animals of the New Testament’ in both softcover and hardcover. They must have sold because they ordered some more of both formats.
So this year, I invested in having the other three formatted for hardcover and the booksellers return program for all three. I then paid to advertise ‘More Animals of the Old Testament’ in the regular fall Children’s Ingram catalog and ‘More Animals of the New Testament’ in the Christmas insert. I should be able to see which catalog fits the books best and by advertising the ‘More’ books, the buyer knows that there must be other books.
We’ll see how it goes. The results of this seasons sales will dictate whether or not I will invest next year. There is also a Pictures and Words event coming up in Northumberland in November that I am trying to book a table for. I did sell one set of the four to a friend of mine for her nephew’s baptism, so I have make one sale this year!
Marketing is tough! I thought that writing was difficult, but marketing is way more time consuming and costly.
So, for any of you who are interesting in supporting an author, all four of the books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Abe books, Chapters and various other places, online, across the world. As I mentioned, I have four books out so far, all in paperback and hardcover, all returnable by bookstores, if they invest and the books don’t sell well. The four books are as follows:
- Animals of the Old Testament
- Animals of the New Testament
- More Animals of the Old Testament
- More Animals of the New Testament
Well, folks, I hope that you do choose to buy one (or all four!) and enjoy them with the little ones in your family. God bless!