Name recognition is an asset we can take to the bank. Keep in mind that IT’S NOT ABOUT SELLING BOOKS! It’s about SELLING YOURSELF. Think about it. We writers are different from other artists out there. Take for instance someone who draws/paints. They can hang their art work in a public place for anyone to see or even on the refrigerator door. But, for a writer, until someone actually reads our work we’re stuck in obscurity. So we need to build a reputation to bring people into the bookstores looking for us. The experts say we need name recognition and that in order to be remembered people need to see and hear our names five times before they remember it.
How do you do that? Easy ways are through your blog and newsletters, of course. Go out to Amazon and other sites and write reviews for your fellow authors.
Does your UPS driver know you’re an author? What about the nurses at your doctor, dentist or vet’s offices? Your hairdresser/barber? Does your mail person know you write? Every time a repairman comes to my house, I send a goodie bag home with him to his wife or tell him to give it to his girlfriend, etc. First, the bag has my logo on it and inside the bag I place a book, two or three business cards, postcards and any other item I have on hand. Sure it costs a few bucks but I usually gain a new fan who then tells her friend about this author who …
I even mail copies of my books to on-line people I do business with. For instance, the first time I contacted my “go-to” guy for promotional products, I was extra nice and made sure to thank him profusely for all his help in ordering. I went overboard calling him awesome, wonderful, etc. I laid it on so thick he had to laugh. Then when the items actually arrived, I emailed him and told him my items had arrived and how excited I was to get them, etc. I started that email with “hello oh great and wonderful guru of all things promotional.” Why? Because it made me memorable to him. It made his day a little brighter and gave him a chuckle, I’m sure. I even managed to work in the fact that Mouse thought he was wonderful, too, and that I was a published author. That in turn, led him to tell me about his dogs and that his wife loved romance books. I asked, of course, if I could send her a free copy of my book for all his hard work. He loved it. I got two new fans plus they talked me up to their friends. I also made a friend who now contacts me when he has something promotional he thinks would fit with my writing. He lets me know when the company he works for is having a sale plus he gives me an extra discount which certainly helps.
I help other writers as much as possible. I’ve had friends and family who, after finding out that I’m an author, have contacted me for help in writing a book. I’ve had fans who mentioned they had always wanted to write a book so I take the opportunity to offer help in getting started. I’ve had several who actually went on to write and publish their own book. I’ve had others who have given people my name to contact me for help. It’s getting your name out there.
So get out there and make your name memorable. Then, when someone goes to the bookstore looking through books for something good to read and they see your name, and recognize it as a name they’ve heard somewhere before, they buy the book. The constant “buy my book, buy my book, buy my book” spiel is like a used car salesman. People tend to run the opposite direction. So get out there and sell yourself first!