New Venues For Selling Books Part 3, in 3-D!

Okay, so I lied about this post being in 3D. Maybe if you do a few shots before reading it, then get your kids to smudge your glasses, it may seem like looking at 3D, without the 3D glasses on. I figured everyone is using 3D to capture eyeballs, and I didn’t want to be left out it the cold. Plus, tonight’s topic is a pretty good one.

Okay, so as an author, you’ve managed to schedule a book signing at every bookstore within driving distance, you’ve talked to every writers group, and every librarian knows your name from one end of the county to the other. You are developing your shopping cart on your website and are hopefully gearing up for the Xmas push. So, how else can you sell books? What about your local chamber of commerce? Are you a member? You should be, and here’s why.

Chamber members are constantly seeking new opportunities to network. They are also typically small businesses that care more about holding on to their customers who may be neighbors and friends than larger companies that are based thousands of miles away. These small business owners often need unique and personalized gifts for those special clients and customers and typically you are probably one of a few local authors that they know. More importantly, you are probable THE ONLY AUTHOR who’s a member of the chamber. Like shooting fish in a barrel, huh?

Join your local chamber, and doing it now with Christmas around the corner would be a great time. Business people get tons of gifts from vendors at Christmas. But a signed book, from a local author? Now that’s a unique Christmas gift. That’s how to stand out from the crowd of chocolate covered coffee beans and the jelly of the month club memberships.

You had a book signing where? Finding book fans in unusual places

A book signing is the best way to meet readers and turn them into your book fans. While bookstores and libraries are great places to have a book signing, they’re also the most obvious. I mean, of course readers are there because that’s where the books are. That’s like going to the hospital for a doctor. But, you know what really makes you memorable? Having a book signing outside of the usual places. I mean, would you ever forget a doctor that was able to remove your ruptured spleen in the middle of the woods with one of those all-purpose tools and some fishing line? Of course not! Change the venue and you might not only freshen up your book signing, but you might just make more lifelong fans.

Book fair – it’s not just one store full of readers, it’s now an entire street, or even an entire downtown area filled with readers! You’ve just increased your exposure many times over. Grab your box of 2,000 bookmarks and work the crowd!

Chamber of Commerce/Community Group presentation – I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and told me that either they wanted to or know someone that wanted to write a book. But they didn’t know the first step about getting it published. Chambers and community groups are always looking for presenters for their meetings. Call up your local groups and get on their schedules with your own, “How to get published” presentation. Pass around an email sign-up list, hand out more free bookmarks and have a box of books ready to sign at the end of the meeting.

Local book clubs – Club members love, love, love it when the actual author can stop by during the meeting when they review your book. Plus, book clubs always have a pretty good food/drink spread. Just no double-dipping the chips. Major faux pas.

Cooking classes – My local grocery store, Market Street, has a “Pots & Plots” class. For their class in January 2011, we will be making crab cake sandwiches from my latest novel, The Brink, and also talking about the book. Again, call your local grocery stores to see if they have such a class and see if they’ll host you. Again, free food here. Do you see a trend?

Have you ever had a book signing in an unusual venue? Where? How did it go? To the keyboards!

As always, I’ll be taking the weekend off, so we’ll pick it up next week with more about search engine optimization and online book marketing. Until then,

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 


Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from for less that $10 at or at

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at