Creative ways to slang your book during COVID...

My journey from internet sales to hand to hand sales

2020 - My year of greatness

2020…2020 was supposed to be my year! My first book, “Black Boy, Black Boy, was scheduled to be released in March and my life as I knew it was supposed to change. March came, and my life did change, but not because of my book release. 

My plan for 2020 was to quit my regular job and travel the states attending book fairs and comic cons. Hand to hand sales are always ideal. And I had cultivated a list to keep me busy selling books all summer and well into the fall, but March shut everything down. 

March 2020 came and COVID hit America by storm. By this time, Black Boy, Black Boy’s release date had been moved to April and then May, but remember March had shut everything down, and by the time April had rolled around everything I had booked for the summer and the fall was canceled. 

Fast track us to May 12, 2020, I had 1’500 books and only the internet to sell them. The panic set in quick. 

What was I going to do? Internet sell can be great, but for a newbie like me still building a fanbase, hand to hand sales were where it’s at for me. 

slang books
slang books

By any means necessary

After the panic wore off and my strategic mind finally kicked in, I noticed pop-up events being advertised everywhere on Facebook. Events for social justice, events for helping the community repair, events to make up for all the canceled events. Most importantly, events calling for vendors. I thought I could be a vendor. I have something to sell, so why not sell it. 

So, I started responding to these organizers and booking events. Then, I brought all the needed supplies, like a table and a tent, because all these events were outdoors (COVID), and I stocked up on my at-home inventory of books. I didn’t know what I was doing or how I was going to sell these books, but I knew I had no choice. 

Here goes nothing!

So, I set up my tent with my tablecloth and all the items I wanted to sell, and I waited. I didn’t have to wait long before the packed event had created a line of people inquiring about the book and asking for an autographed copy.

That first event was eye-opening and exhilarating. I learned all I need was a table and a tent, and I could sell this book anywhere.

That’s what I did. 

That night I went home and search for every pop-up event in my area. I found one for every weekend through June and July. During that search, farmers markets kept popping up. Every other event was about a local farmers market. So, I said to myself; it doesn’t hurt to try. I cold emailed every farmer’s market I could find, and I lucked up on a few, booking me out until October. 

slang books

Mid-Town Farmer’s Market

Slang that book!

When I got the email from my warehouse that my books were in full stock, I had only one option of selling my book—the internet. Now, as we end July, I have done an event every weekend since mid- July and am booked out until October. 

Every event doesn’t always yield sales, but it always yields exposure and networking opportunities. Get out there. Research local events that have open calls for vendors and shoot your shot. You’ll never know how much you can sell or who you’ll meet until you get out there. 

Slang your book by any means necessary. 

Internet selling options:

Amazon, Esty, Groupon, website, Facebook market place.

 

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