January 30, 2019

Book Marketing and Other Experiences

By Becky Villareal

As a presenter for the Dallas Independent School District, I was never sure how many people would attend the staff development sessions I prepared. Since the teachers could pick by their area of need, thirty teachers may attend or just one. If only one person arrived, it gave me the chance to sit down with them and find out how I could help them become a more effective teacher. Also, as an attendee of similar staff developments, I would always look for the one thing I could take away with me; the one idea that would help me in my profession as a teacher or presenter.

Little did I know, this would be the best possible training ground for me as a writer. After my books were published and the marketing was in my own hands, I had to make decisions about how to proceed.
One of the first venues I tried was a signing at a local bookstore.  After sitting and waiting for a while, I went out into the store and talked to people about the general theme of my books, genealogy and family history. This did create a few sales, but for the most part, it was very slow. But that didn’t discourage me because I was able to meet some friendly people who were interested in my books enough to invest their time and money and take a chance on a new author.
The next area I tried was book fairs. These can be exhilarating and total disappointments as well. Sometimes the venues are jammed with people all clamoring over the books for sale. Other times, only one or two people will wander through and give your book a second look. Since you are not the only published writer there, getting people interested can be a little more difficult due to information overload. However, I have met some of the most wonderful authors at these places who are willing to share not only their expertise but their enthusiasm as well. I purchased books myself from fellow authors that have helped me sharpen my literary sword.
I have presented at libraries, schools, and genealogical societies throughout the country. Through this, I can share my knowledge and experience and sell books as well.  It also gives me a chance to work with children and adults, something I miss now that I am retired.
Just a bit of advice. Book marketing can be a daunting experience. But by looking for the benefits of each, it allows the writer to gain insight, experience, and new friends. Don’t just "Write On" but "Market On" and look for that one good thing to take away each time.
Becky Villareal was born in Dallas, Texas in 1954 to Missionary parents who traveled throughout the Southwest. Though her experiences as a child, she has learned the benefit of being multicultural in a diverse society. She loves working on her family history and incorporating her experiences in her writing. Becky travels throughout the country working with libraries and genealogical societies in order to encourage family participation in genealogical research. Becky is the author of three children's books, Gianna the Great, Halito Gianna, and Gianna the Treasure Hunter. Her latest book, The Broken Branches, was released in November and is currently on sale on Social media; twitter: @bvillareal  Facebook: Genealogy for Children 

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