How many contacts are in your email/snail mail address book?
How many are family members?
How many are friends?
How many are business contacts?
How many are you comfortable enough with to ask them to help promote your book?
While family and friends will occasionally mention that they know someone who published a book, they do not always elaborate or talk about the book in a way that helps promote it. Therefore, you need to ask them for help.
Here are some ways family and friends can help you promote your book(s) (Make sure you do this more than once—set a schedule, every month, every two months, etc.):
Send them a message on Facebook asking them to share your message – which includes the title of your book(s) and a link to where the book can be purchased.
Send them an email about your book(s), a brief bio of you and a link to your book and asked them to send it to everyone in their email address book.
Ask them to “Tweet” about your book.
If they have a “Goodreads” account, ask them to add your book to their account. When their account is updated with new books, a message goes out to all their contacts that they updated their Goodreads list.
Ask if they are willing to host a book reading party where you talk about and read from your book and handout information about what you do—your book, your website, etc. Have copies of your book on hand in case someone would like to purchase a copy. The intent here is not so much as to sell your book, but to build your community. Some people will go away and tell others what they learned and some will even share the information you handed out. This is your “Handout Kit.”
Take at look at your “Business Contact” list. Who is on that list? A friend who sells Avon or other products. Your car dealer or the garage that repairs your car. Your hair dresser or barber. Your travel agent.
More than likely you have recommended some, if not all, of these contacts to other people. So, why couldn’t they do the same for you. Ask, if you can leave brochures, etc., on their counters for people to take.
Do not limit yourself on the business end. Contact the manager at your local grocery store and ask if you can leave some information at the end of each counter for people to take or ask that the cashiers put the information into the grocery bags.
I can hear the groans, see the raised eyebrows, and feel the disappointment, frustration, etc. and I hear you say that you do not have the time or the money to print out brochures, etc.
I am not saying to do all these things at once. Do them the next time you have a hair cut appointment, your car in for repair, etc.
The things you provide, do not have to be fancy, glossy, colorful items. You can print them from your own computer. You should be able to get at least four (4) condensed ads on an 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. Print 25 black & white copies, viola–100 ads. Leave 10 ads at the hair dresser, 10 at the repair job, 50 at the grocery store. Get the idea?
Like with family and friends, work with your business contacts more than once.