As a self-published author, we have to come up with inventive but inexpensive ways to market our books. Depending on what your book is about there may be other ways to let people know about it besides the normal, hang out in a local bookstore, blast all your social media accounts and talking your local library in allowing you to participate in a local writer event that might hold during the year.
We know a lot of mystery and romance writers save their money up to attending one of the major writing conventions and apply to be a book vendor during the events. That can run into some big bucks for a lot of us that don’t have that to spare right now. There is a western fiction writers association but here in Florida there are not a lot of their conventions happening. The sci-fi and fantasy writers attend a lot of gaming, sci-fi, and role-playing conventions that we have around the state. Some of the smaller ones don’t cost as much to participate in as a vendor as some of the others. So you might want to keep those in mind.
Now for the unusual ideas. For history writers, both fiction and non-fiction you might want to check out local battle reenactments happening around the state giving by both national, county, and state parks. Your book may not be about the area or even that particular battle but if it is set in the same time period you might want to consider paying the price of being a vendor. To really sell your books you might also want to invest in an appropriate era costume and a canvas and wood tent and table. Keeping your booth looking as close to the time period as possible is a real selling point when you are applying to be a vendor at these types of things.
For mystery, adventure and true crime fiction and non-fiction authors you might want to get with a local state park event coordinator to host a mystery party (dress up as your favorite crime solver) or treasure hunt (adventuring in the park after dark). Most of our Florida County and State Park Event Coordinators are always looking for cool ways to bring more people into the parks and if you can get a couple of your fellow writers to participate and dress up for the part then you can have tables set-up with all of your books for sale that participants can purchase at the beginning and end of the event.
For romance writers, you could hold couples cooking events with some of your fellow romance writers serving as chefs sharing their favorite romantic dinner preparations, dress-up as famous romantic couples, during a camping weekend retreat. And the wrap-up could be a big dance. Of course, if you can get someone to give dance lessons during the day that would be pretty sweet too. Use your imagination and brainstorm some ideas about how to market your stories in your area inexpensively but also in fun ways.
Even though writing is a solitary pursuit you really should find a local writer’s group to participate with. Sharing your concerns with fellow writers, helping each other edit their books, etc. is always good and may help you to become a better writer. You should also like each other’s social media pages, share each other’s posts and post a link on your website to each of your fellow writer’s web pages. Self-published and even indie published writers need all the help they can get and these days it’s all about the social media posts. You can even write a post about the writers in your group. We offer that free service right here on our website. Check out the Calling all NE Florida Writers page!