I recently attended a good friend’s wedding in Oregon. There were several events over the few days I was there, which gave me a chance to get to know some of the other guests. The bride is a big fan of my novels and has been vocal about them to her network, so many of the women I met had already read my books. Others had not but said they were excited to look them up on Amazon after the wedding.
I offered to send those women a signed copy—at no charge—for the following reasons:
*The women are my exact target audience.
*Despite their best intentions, I knew that most (if not all) of them would forget to look up my books.
*People are more likely to read a signed book then an unsigned book.
*Sending a signed book is a good way to establish a personal relationship with readers.
*If the new readers enjoy the free book, they are likely to buy my other books.
Sending a book at the post office doesn’t cost a lot of money if you ask for the book rate. (You can’t use the self-service kiosk so have to stand in line, but it’s worth it for the money you will save.) I also include my business card in each book, so if/when the women email me to thank me, I will have their contact information for my newsletter and can let them know that if they’d ever like to order a signed copy as a gift for a friend, I’m happy to set it up.
We all hope everyone we meet will immediately run out and buy our books, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. So be proactive and make it easy for people in your target audience to become fans. Fans tell their friends to buy your books, which is exactly what you want to happen.