5 Creative Ways To Find New Readers Offline
Last week my husband and I were talking about how crazy it is to think that our 5 year old son, Isaac, will never know a world without a screen. Whether it be a touch screen for an iPhone or iPad, the computer screen, the TV screen, there are screens in front of us all the time. I'm a huge fan of technology and obviously it has connected us to people, places, and events that we might not have been a part of if we didn't have that screen in front of us. But that doesn't mean it is the only way we can connect with people.
When we start to think about and consider what we should do to market our books, we tend to jump headfirst into ways we can promote online. People discover, discuss and purchase products online, but we need to think about ways to connect with people offline as well.
Here are five ways to connect with fans offline to market your next book:
1) Become Best Friends With Your Local Bookstore
While this tactic certainly isn't new, more often than not, local bookstores are often overlooked or bypassed when considering ideas for marketing a book. Your local bookstores are a great way to do just that. Go in and start a conversation with the bookstore owner and workers. Ask them for recommendations, share your book with them, and become a local bookstore advocate. Don't connect with them just to help advance your writing career - connect with them to develop an advocate and book friendship!
Your local library is a treasure trove of information, connections, and ways to build your audience. Connect with your local librarian and see if you can help with book drives, fundraisers, etc., and get active with your local library community. Getting involved and volunteering on various levels can connect you with more people who happen to love books! Schedule a reading or signing at your local library, take part in their book clubs - get active within your library community.
3) Start A Book Club
While this might seem like a no-brainer, I'm surprised to find out that many authors aren't involved in book clubs. Talk about a missed opportunity! Being involved in a book club not only helps you get out there and interact with other book fans, but it gets you reading more - an essential element to becoming a better writer. Connecting with other book lovers who want to discuss books helps you get into the mindset of how others discover books. This only helps you in creating new ways to market your books.
4) Attend Networking Events
Now, I understand many writers are introverts - I get it, because I am one too. Going out to networking events can feel like entering into a slice of hell. But getting out there to connect with others - even outside of the writing field - will only connect you with more people who just might be an essential influencer in helping you market your next book. For example, I attended a meet-and-greet that a local radio station put on at a brewery here in Nashville, which ended up connecting me with someone who was in need of our marketing services. You never know who you will meet - you just need to put yourself out there!
5) Speaking Engagements
Speaking engagements can sometimes be hard to come by, but they aren't impossible if you know where to look. Tap into community colleges, high school creative writing classes, or anywhere there might be people who want to learn more about writing. Sharing your expertise and instilling your knowledge into others will not only create a connection, but will help others learn as well.
Also, ATTEND speaking engagements! Signings or readings at a local bookstore, a lecturer coming to town, or other events where you can connect with others (and maybe even learn a little something) will always be beneficial.
Remember, it's not always about pushing or promoting your book - it's about CONNECTING and ENGAGING with others. You never know who you are going to meet! They just might be a game changer...
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! How do you connect with others offline to help grow your audience or connect with others? Leave your ideas and thoughts below! We'd love to hear from you!
Photo by MTSOfan