Your book is out there, on bookstore shelves. Now what? Feel like taking a road trip? A great idea to sell books off of shelves is to go around to bookstores that stock your book and sign them. Books that are autographed sell better - an autograph adds value to your printed book - customers are drawn to them. The best time to do drive by signings is soon after your book is released.
Here's how to go about doing your own drive by book signings:
1) Order stickers that say "Autographed Copy" and "Local Author" (I might get "Nebraska Author" too, since I live quite a ways from Omaha - the biggest city in Nebraska with the most bookstores.)
2) Look up bookstores in the area that you are able to travel to (yellow pages, white pages, online) You can enter cities and zip codes to search on many of the following sites: www.borders.com, www.bn.com, www.bookweb.org, www.booksense.com, www.booksamillion.com I can tell you now, many Borders are closing, and I believe all Borders Express and Waldenbooks are closing in the next couple of weeks, and B Dalton stores all closed by Jan. 2010, so don't bother trying to find these. <sad sigh>
3) Call each store to see if they stock your book (and how many they have) and what hours they are open. DO NOT tell them you are an author. Tempting, I know, but then there may be a bunch of red tape they might put you through.
4) Schedule your trip! Map out the stops in a logical order to hit as many stores in a day that you can.
5) When you get to a store, go get all of your books off the shelf and take them to a checkout counter or info desk. Introduce yourself and thank them for stocking your book, then ask if they mind if you sign the books (don't worry, they won't mind - it helps sell the books - it is just polite to ask). When you get the green light, sign all of them.
6) Ask to sticker the books. First ask if the store has their own "Autographed Copy" stickers - the big chains will have their own unique ones. If not, use the ones you ordered (and brought with you!). Also ask about stickering them with the "Local Author" sticker if the store is fairly near where you live.
7) Make friends with the employees! Thank them and give them business cards and signed bling. Also, tell them a bit about your book, but don't stay too long.
8) Keep track to the stores you visited and the people you met, and how many books of yours they had on your shelves. Check back a few months later to sign more books if they have ordered more.
GOOD LUCK!!! Cheers, Jan