How to Market Your Book Offline
When you publish your own book, it is easy to focus your marketing strategy only online. While it is true that the internet is a great place to spread the word, you cannot forget about finding your offline audience. Even though the web offers you a lot of opportunities to gain new readers, offline, in-person events are more credible and therefore can be more effective.
Step 1: Contact local organizations
Find out what local organizations have upcoming events and offer your speaking services to them. Try to locate organizations that have members that are a good match for your audience. For instance, if your book centers on a political topic then you may want to speak at a local politician’s fundraising event. If your book is about a business topic, consider speaking at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting. Try to imagine what kind of people will be there and make sure that they would be interested in your book before committing and wasting your time speaking to what might be the wrong audience.
Step 2: Write out a few speech ideas related to the content of your book
Prepare a few talks that relate to the content inside your book. Try to establish yourself as an expert. Consider weaving a few quotes directly from the text of your book into the speeches. You don’t have to write out an entire 10-minute long speech, just jot down an outline or two. Think about what your book really says and try to communicate this in your speech. Be prepared to deliver it in front of an audience and don’t forget to video your presentation to use later. (For help on speechmaking, check out your local Toastmasters group.)
Step 3: Have copies available on-site
Depending on the event that you’re speaking at, you may be able to sell copies of your book directly to the audience. If they like what you have to say, then they are very likely to purchase. Figure about 80% of attendees will buy from you at a live event. Keep in mind if there are people at the event who already have your book, they should not be included in your percentage. Make sure you bring enough books to cover 80% of the audience. You don’t want to run out of books and miss the point-of-sale impulse buys.
Step 4: Expand your reach
Once you have spoken at a few live events you will be ready to expand your offline reach. Instead of looking for only more local events, start looking at what is happening throughout your state and region. Speaking at live events throughout the country is a great way to build up your credibility as an expert in your field. Think about building yourself as a brand. But, always keep in mind that you need to speak at events that relate to the audience of your book and some of the events you speak at may be unpaid. If they are unpaid, you should be able to make money via back-of-the-room sales. And the credibility and word-of-mouth marketing that will result from your reach’s expansion is priceless. If you’re ready to take the plunge as a professional speaker, check out my friend Felicia Slattery’s Speaker Machine course!
Always remember the importance of an offline audience. Appearing at live events as a featured speaker will increase your book sales dramatically. Be ready and prepare yourself—the writing of the book is merely the first step. Put on your thinking cap and consider the many ways offline that you can market your book. The possibilities are endless!