Promoting locally is something that I feel to be very important for authors, and something that I think is often overlooked. Over the past few weeks, I've had articles written about me in several local and regional newspapers (most on the front page), and I have events scheduled at local schools, libraries, community organizations, and bookstores. I think that it's part of human nature to have a certain amount of community pride, and most people are very interested and excited to hear that someone in their surrounding area has written a book. It's viewed as quite an accomplishment.
These people see you at the grocery store and at community functions. They feel like they know you, even if they only have a thin connection to you. It's important for authors to remember that these people are far more likely to support you and tell others about your book than people that don't feel any kind of attachment to you.
But all of this can be very time consuming, and it’s only a few sales…right?
This is true; local promotion most likely isn’t going to transform you into a bestseller. But we can't forget the importance of customer ratings and reviews for online retailers. These ratings are an integral part of the new world of digital publishing. When local fans comment to you about your book, encourage them to post a rating and review. This, in turn, helps get the word out to the rest of the world. Those that feel a connection to you are more likely to take the time to post something because they want to show their support. So while promoting locally isn’t going to make you rich, it’s definitely not something to be dismissed or ignored. In fact, I feel that promoting locally can be one of the most cost effective and rewarding forms of marketing that you can do as an author.