BEA, 3 days away.

javitsJavits Center map

Jacob Javits Convention Center, NYC. Home to annual car and dog shows. In a few days, host to something a bit more interesting. The biggest author and book event is the US, Book Expo America.

A general description:

BookExpo America (commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA) is the largest annual book trade fair in theUnited States. BEA is almost always held in a major city over four days in late May and/or early June. Nearly all significant book publishers in the United States, and many from abroad, have booths and exhibits at BEA, and use the fair as an opportunity to showcase upcoming titles, sell current books, socialize with colleagues from other publishing houses, and sell and buy subsidiary rights and international rights (although not on the scale of the rights negotiation that occurs at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October). Authors, Readers, librarians, and buyers for book retailers also attend the event.

Keyword: READERS.

Did I drop $100+ for a badge, granting me admission to the exhibits and events? Nah.

I don’t need to sign up and have breakfast with a published author. I do that every day.

I won’t be standing in lines or listening to panels or filling a bag with publisher swag. No.

I love books. I love authors. But I’m going there for another reason, to work, to spread the word, to market, promote, and advertise.

During the last few months, I received several emails from the BEA, asking me if I wanted to pay (a lot) for placement in their showcases or purchase similar services. I declined. I’ll be out front, on the sidewalk, in the parking lot, near the front door if security allows, reaching the readers before they even enter the convention center. No fees, free. As an indie, my budget is low, but I’ve got time, tenacity, and comfortable shoes.

If you are attending, enjoy. Say hello if you see me.

I’ll be wearing this:


indie hero shirt

Handing out 5000 of these:

cards

And 1000 of these:

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Post No Bills? Yeah, right. Guerrilla Marketing for the Indie Author.

Guerrilla Marketing

PNBMan1

The term was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson back in 1984, referring to Guerrilla Warfare, the use of unconventional methods in battle. Used by big companies with large budgets and individuals with limited funds, Guerrilla marketing is an effective strategy.

As Indie authors, we can’t just self-publish, sit back, and wait for the sales to come in. The book will not sell itself. It won’t. We have to sell it, and by any means necessary. Guerrilla marketing compliments the Indie author. It’s low cost with room for ingenuity.

Now, I can’t tell all the ways to Guerrilla market, but what I can tell you is that you should. Without a doubt.

You’ll need some ideas, some help, and some perseverance.

The basics. Here’s some must haves: a professional website, a blog, a Goodreads author profile, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. The last two should be author only accounts, no tweets about tv shows or status updates about your cats or what you’re having for dinner in between book promo posts. It’s bad form. No one will take you seriously.

In addition to social media and blogging, there’s contests, email blasts, giveaways, stickers, bookmarks, business cards, flyers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, car magnets, linking up with reporters/media, connecting with the community via events, and pairing up with other indie authors. Enlist some friends, utilize a street team. There’s so many more possible ways. You’re a writer, be creative.

Tip: Don’t be shy, get in people’s faces, in a good way. The introverted author must become the extroverted promoter.

For me, I’m fortunate. I live in a city of over 8 million people. No matter where you are, city or country or somewhere in the middle, there’s people, there’s readers, there’s buyers. Go, Guerrilla market, sell yourself and your book, stand out.

I bum rush Facebook groups and Goodreads forums. A few get pissed off, but mostly I get a large number of responses. I give business cards (book cover on one side, web info on back) to people I see reading books. I regularly put qr code stickers in bookstore bathrooms all over New York City. I have a lady friend hit up the women’s stalls. I won’t divulge any more tactics, some are mildly illegal and I won’t incriminate myself.

Gather your weapons. Rally your troops.

This is war.

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