Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How important is local?

Many authors ask how important local is in the light of needing national and worldwide sales for their books. I admit to being one of those people for years. You can only sell so many books locally. There are only so many bookstores and readers locally. It almost doesn't seem worth the effort to promote locally.

I admit that I was wrong. Local promotion is important. Getting to know librarians, booksellers and readers on a local level is very important. They can make the difference between a book that does well and a book that doesn't do as well. Even though you need sales that are much BIGGER than what you can get in your area (unless you live in NY City or someplace that large)local sales and promotion can be the heart of your book campaign. These sales expand and multiply into other not-so-local markets. They become opportunities that came back for you in the future.

Marketing is a gray area for most authors. We know how to write. We can follow the rules and get published. But knowing what works and what doesn't work to market your book after it's published is hard. Most of us don't have an inexhaustible amount of money to spend on that campaign (especially right now) but we have to do what we can. Local marketing: bookclubs, libraries, speaking engagements, schools and bookstores can all play an important part in our plan. It won't make our next book another 'Twilight', but it will increase sales.

Joyce Lavene

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