Use Your Connections

Never underestimate the power of your personal network to get the word out and sell your book. Using your connections can lead to numerous opportunities for sales, as was the case with iUniverse author Amy Liptak Caruso.

Take a real-life setting, combine it with a juicy fictional plot and you have the framework for Caruso's cozy mystery The Black Squirrel Ball. Set near Caruso's hometown in western Massachusetts, the author has sold more than 1,000 copies of her book simply by leveraging her local connections, and using them to creatively market her novel.

"The profit margin – especially when I buy in bulk – is much greater when selling directly compared to the online royalties," Caruso said. "Selling this way, I hope to break even quickly. And I've sold most of my books through local retailers."

Those local retailers include a gift shop, a feed store and a restaurant where Caruso found the inspiration for one of her characters. She has also sold copies of her book at book signings in the park that serves as the backdrop for The Black Squirrel Ball, and she worked with a sandwich shop to create a promotion based around her main character's love of food.

So how can you replicate Caruso's success?

  • Think outside the big-box retailer
  • Select creative book signing themes and venues
  • Get your personal and professional networks involved