Friday, November 28, 2014

Locality is everything

Michael W. Davis


My last two posts have deal with selling books at festivals, but that was before completing my shows in 2014. As I sat in our booth last month, another important point to share flashed in my old brain – locality is everything. Here’s what I mean. What factor do you think governed which book was my best seller? No, wasn’t my cover. I’ve actually experimented with which cover readers related to the most, and it’s not my major seller at the fests. Perhaps it’s price. No, all my paperbacks are the same price exact one and it too is not the highest seller at shows. The book fashioned around a local event and location accounts for 70% of sales across seven novels I take to the festivals.

What’s the big draw? All the fests I go to are within a two hour drive of my county, and all participants at the event know of the area's history. When I do my pitch I emphasis that Veil of Deception was seeded by a true event and a lot of readers feel attachment to the locality. My point? If you plan to do the show circuit in your area, and you have a story with a backdrop in that region, be sure your pitch includes that paperback by asking, “Do you like stories driven by local true events?” If they respond affirmatively, go for it.

That’s it. I promise no more discussions on selling books at festivals.


Liz Fountain said...

But I love your posts about selling at festivals! :) Thanks for this one too.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I experienced a good example of that when I picked up a picture I'd had framed. I paid or it, and she asked how I knew the painter. When I told her we had a connection in the writing, she said, "Oh, I'll buy one of your books. I read three a week. I asked if she played bridge. She did, but what sealed the deal was that the bridge game in KILL FEE takes place in a local social venue that she has been to just south of her business.

She insisted on coming to the car trunk and looking at all the "local color," but she handed the money over in the shop first, and then carried the picture for me.

Victoria Roder said...

I use towns from Wisconsin where I live and activities that go on here and I have also had to include the Green Bay Packers in my books. I'm going to start using that as promo. Thank!

Big Mike said...

Yeah, JP. All about making connection with the customer. And thanks, Liz, but I bet our readers are getting tried of it. BTW - with all the changes I made in methods and techniques this year, I did best at all shows and signings I've ever done, even in this crappy economy. All about learning what works and doesn't.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Gabriella Austen said...

I've never sold at a festival and have enjoyed reading about your book-selling adventures.

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