My good friend David Cady, an hour north of me in Dalton, Georgia (pop. 30,000), self-published a riveting novel about a snake-handling cult entitled The Handler. In the six months of its existence, in addition to other outlets, it's sold about 200 copies at a local restaurant! That's more than the total sales of a significant number of books!
- 18,000 people live in my town of Acworth.
- 700,000 live in my county (Cobb), which is a part of metro Atlanta.
- 5.5 million live in metro Atlanta.
Last week I talked to local bookstores, local places I shop, local places I rent videos, the local gym where I work out. Most were friendly, receptive, and took a free copy to look over. [In case stores needed a book display, I bought some white, cardboard counter displays (8 5/8" wide) from Meridian Display (ask for Carole), at $4.34 each, for a box of 25 ($3.65 each if you purchase two boxes).]
Although you might have to go through more hoops with big chain stores, even Wal-Mart has has a way for local managers to purchase local products they wish to sell in their stores. It's called their "Local Purchase Program."
In two weeks I'll speak to a group of about 100 students at a student organization at our local university. I'll be part of a panel on personal money management and will sell books in the back.
Think about speaking on the topic of your writing wherever it's appropriate. Civic organizations and schools are often looking for speakers on various topics. Perhaps your state has a grant like in Georgia, where approved authors are paid through the grant to speak in public schools.
Local Newspapers and Radio and Library Signing
Well, surely you've already thought about these. Your book is exciting news to your hometown. They want to know!
Excuse me, but 700,000 people in my county need a copy of my book. I'd better get out there and sell some!