Over the last few months I've been trying to learn more about marketing my work. The members of Inspirations Writers Group decided it was time we tackled the subject as the group as several members are at the point of selling publications.
Lee Russell kindly ran the extra session, which we held courtesy of Westgate Library. He introduced us to various elements of marketing, but the things I took away were about marketing to your targeted readership and the use of merchandise. Lee said a great deal more on the subject, but my mind can only concentrate on a couple of things at once - what with all my other on-going projects!
I currently try to sell my books, and those of others, at local craft fairs. Sometimes I do okay, other times I don't get back the initial outlay, especially now I have to provide public liability insurance in case the person has a heart attack from dropping a book on their foot. People shouldn't come to craft fairs in flip-flops in my opinion, but don't get me started on my obsession with people who live in flip-flops and their effect on the environment. (The picture below is all flip-flops found on the beach, I've seen it and its huge)
Where was I? Oh yes., marketing. So I'm continuing with local fairs for now. I enjoy going, meeting folk and its good PR (No Nurses not Per Rectum - though sometimes....) even if I don't sell much. However, I am searching further afield too. I've been investigating SCi-Fi and fantasy conferences, conventions and literary events. It's not been easy, some are during the week and I work so I can't go. Some aren't interested in me attending. Some are in outer Mongolia - not really! I've found one in Nottingham in November, so I've booked into it. I have to pay as a normal punter, but I've also paid for a spot in the dealers room on Saturday. I've also had to pay for a room for 2 nights as well. To break even, excluding my petrol money, I'll need to sell about £200 worth of books and merchandise.
Did I say merchandise? Yes I did, I knew craft fairs were a good thing because I've found my very own merchandise supplier as a result of the last fair. I am now the proud owner (temporary I hope) of Aquasapien - Metamorphosis products including T-shirts, mugs, fridge magnets and long handled tote bags. The last of which I love to pieces and might just have to buy a few myself. Next, Witch on the Warpath sample merchandise will be arriving for me to review. It's very exciting now I'll have boxes of merchandise to sit next to my boxes of books.
In addition to that, I hope those reading this will take a peek at my new E-commerce store where I'm selling all my products direct. You can reach it through the store link on my website. I'd appreciate any feedback, but it doesn't necessarily mean I'll move heaven and Earth to alter it. This has been a major trial of several weeks with my son's help - and don't get me started on my drama of setting up a Paypal Business Account either.