Cheri Cowell here:
One of the questions most often asked by new authors is when do I start making money? The truth is if you are in this to make lots of money, you are in the wrong place. But there are ways we can make some money and the place to begin is by thinking outside the bookstore. At my Marketing in the Mountains Retreat held each Labor Day weekend in the Smokey Mountains, TN, I offer an hour-long workshop on this subject. Here are a few highlights…
Back of the Room Sales—when speaking authors must always request that a product table is part of the agreement. Notice I said product and not book table, which leads me to the second point.
Product versus Book Table—Authors who only rely upon their book(s) for sales are missing a huge opportunity. Think of your product table as an extension of your message/ministry. What other ways can you drive home your important points? What ways can you help your audience take home the message your are driving? What about CD's of you teaching and copies of your magazine articles? What about turning your unpublished novellas, books, and workbooks into ebooks which are then sold on CD's on your product table?
Products=Profits—What about thinking outside the box? Could you take a quote or a phrase from your message and put it on notepads, journals, pens, or paperweights? What about jewelry, bookmarks, and scripture memory cards that tie-in to your message? Then there is the idea of linking arms with a Fairtrade organization to sell bracelets and origami made by people in third-world countries (possibly one where your book's story takes place) are paid fair wages for these products. This is a win-win arrangement.
Expanding your Sales—now that you have more things to sell, you need to expand the places where you offer these products. Add them to your website's store and then tweet and Facebook about your new products so everyone knows where to shop to support their favorite author and help her get the word out.
Visit my website for info on the Marketing in the Mountains Retreat www.CheriCowell.com