Promoting books in cafés

Local Authors book box

I (Jim Lemon) put this together to assist myself and other authors to get public exposure. From what I have learned, this is one way to get readers interested in your work. We are offered opportunities to do this all the time, but a lot of them are expensive and have no guarantee that anyone will actually even look at your work, much less buy it.

The basic idea is to have a “Local Authors” box in public places where people are likely to relax and read something. I chose small cafés and it seems to be a good starting point. The owners/managers/staff are usually pretty friendly and most accepted my offer to host one of the boxes. I’m a lousy salesperson, so I got a few blunt refusals. Good practice for life.

I make the MDF boxes and paint them. It’s pretty easy. With a gold paper label on one side and a little note about what to do if the café person doesn’t want it any more, it’s ready for the café. So far I have placed them in the Ryde/Hunters Hill area.

If you would like to try it in your area, just ask me for a box and get it in a café. I’ll put it on the list of locations and I’ll probably put one or more of my own books in it. I think it’s essential to have at least 5-6 books in them and keep adding new ones. Otherwise the café people will start to think it’s a nuisance.

You can also make promotional cards if you don’t want to place books. Bookmarks aren’t very good. They sink to the bottom of the box. Here are instructions on how to do that.

Does it work? I don’t know. In my professional career I did a lot of statistical analysis and I can confidently say that I don’t have enough data. You can buy things like trackable QR codes for your promotional cards that may help with this.

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