How many times have you sat at the table, with coffee in your hands and thought hard about things? How many times have you waited for the cappuccino to arrive at your table, only to be bored to the bones? How many times have you felt that something was missing?
That’s not a great thing, right? But my dear writer friends, coffee shops are a great opportunity to market your books.
I have seen countless cafés. And I have seen countless people waiting for their coffee to arrive. While most of them are busy talking with the other one across, dully looking at their smartphones, I saw something that was missing. Something that should, and must be new.
Have you ever thought of promoting your book in a cafe?
Well, while some authors get a book launch done in cafés, it only lasts for a very short period of time. Why not make it last longer?
When I say promotion of your book in a café, it will solely depend upon your creativity.
Poetry is at its peak nowadays; people are attending poetry slams and open mics like they never did before. People are opening to it, more and more.
So when I was almost helpless for promoting my book, besides social media helping me little, I thought to use cafés to promote my book. The first thing that I did was to open Google Maps and search all nearby cafés. I then checked the photos and was surprised that most of the cafés near me, had a little corner for books. And some cafés were even totally devoted to books, music, and coffee.
That really eased my work!
With a grin on my face, I collected the phone numbers and followed their social media handles. Next– and one of the most crucial steps I did– was to write to them asking if they would like to join me for promoting my poetry book. It is crucial because your whole process will depend on this step. If you mess it up, then you can probably go onto your old ways of promoting your book.
When you are writing to a café asking to promote your book, you have to give head to three things.
- Flattery: Yes, don’t hesitate to put some extra cheese on how you think their café is the best in town and you love going there for a coffee too often. Trust me, this is what will make them read the whole thing.
- Who you are: Tell them everything they would need to know about you, from achievements to books you have written. But make sure to keep it short, because after all, they run cafés, not critique websites for movies.
- About the product: This is where you will tell them about the golden product, your book. Tell them why you think it will be a great thing, and how the people will love it.
End with something like ‘If you’re really interested into this and would like to see some of my works, I would be more than happy to send a sample or two.’. Keep the whole thing as simple and vivid as possible, again, because they aren’t reviewers.
Now after all the pain in the ass, it’s time for you to wait. While some of them will reply to you in a very short time, some will take days, and by days I mean weeks. So be prepared.
Here comes one of the choices that you will need to make. Most of them who will get back to you in some coded way to ask you, ‘How much is our cut?’. Now you don’t need to worry and ask them about it and strike out a deal.
Most of them will tell you a pretty cheap price, some may not. But hey, it’s better than those agencies asking you for your whole salary. Did you know, some cafés agreed to promote my book, for free? This will completely depend on your luck.
You must be thinking that while you are going to go through this pain in the ass, what the heck you are supposed to do with the promotion. How are you going to promote it?
- Print some of the best poems from the book in an A4 or A5 sized paper.
- Provide the details of the book at the back, with sites where it is available. Also, provide your social media handles along with your website.
- Print some 100 or more of these, and provide them to the café.
- While someone has ordered in the café, the waiter shall ask them if they’re interested in something new that they are trying out. If they’re interested, he/she will give a page of the promotional printout.
Now this saves a lot of time, for both the employees at the café and the customers. And while they are sitting and waiting for the coffee, let them devour some of your writings! And if they like it, I’m sure they will crave for more.
The type of audience you want to tap will depend on you; what you wrote and what is the suitable age-group for it. And why cafés? Because people of every age come to a café. So you can tap a wide range of audience or stick to your niche.
If the café runs out of pages, be sure to get orders for more. It’s because they’re getting the benefit out of it. With money comes the customer satisfaction.
Why is this cost-effective? Because most of the main work is done by you and you don’t need any marketing and promotion agency for it. For instance, you can print the pages at your home. Just get some new cartridges for ink. How much does it cost? Just a few bucks! The only place where you will have to bargain it out is with the café. Here, your negotiating skills will come to play, and sorry, I can’t help you with that.
And after all these, just wait for your numbers to rise up. But the most important thing, this is the most original marketing and promoting the idea for your book you will ever get.
So coffee was never a bad thing, was it?
Abhijit Haldar debuted with ‘The Outlander: Rise and Fall of an Empire’ which was a fantasy novel. The book received mainly positive reviews and was praised for his writing style and the plot. It was also a bestseller in the site where it was available exclusively. The second edition is in the works and will be out very soon.
His second book, ‘Paradigm’ which is a poetry compilation, is well received by the readers. It is currently available as an ebook published by StoryMirror which is one of the largest online platforms for poems and stories in India. The physical copy is in the process and will be out in no time, grabbing the book a dual publication deal. You can get the ebook at http://ebooks.storymirror.com/ebook/5982cbd225059e30644044b7
He answers furiously in Quora and can be followed at https://www.quora.com/profile/Abhijit-Haldar-4
Visit his website www.abhijithaldar.com for more content. Also, follow him on Twitter at abhijithaldar79 and Instagram at abhijit_hldr to peak into his life.