I recently happened upon an interesting marketing idea that I wanted to share with readers of my blog. For a limited time the print version of one of my books was for sale on Amazon at a significant discount over the normal list price, so a good friend of mine, who is also a huge fan of my books, sent out an email to about 30 of her friends encouraging them to buy it. She also copied me on the email.
One of the recipients (I’ll call her Annie) replied directly to me and told me that she’d already read the book but would love to buy signed copies for 10 of her friends. Would that be possible, she asked. I live in New York and she lives in California, so we decided that the easiest way to handle things would be for her to order the books on Amazon and have them shipped directly to me. She emailed me a list of names for the inscriptions, and once I received the books I signed them and mailed them to her in a single box. Using the media mail rate, sending 10 books didn’t cost much at all–I believe it was only around six dollars–so I was more than happy to do it.
Normally when fans want to buy one or two signed copies, I sell them directly (I have a stash in my living room). I also charge more than the list price to cover my own costs, not to mention the time it takes me to go to the post office and wait in line. In this case, however, it was more important to me to get my books in the hands of 10 new readers than to make a little extra money. If those readers enjoy the book and tell their friends…well you know how that works!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2017 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.