Just as publishing is changing, so is book selling. I sometimes wonder if the current decade will, in some future decade, be called the Writer As Entrepreneur Era. Writers are publishing their own books, and not just as ebooks.
I'm on several indie author lists, and I'm surprised by how many indie authors are also publishing their books in print. I haven't done that, but I may in the future because I have received emails from readers wanting to buy a print edition.
Therefore, I thought I'd brainstorm a few ways to sell print books. After all, this isn't your parents' generation when it comes to book business. So let's look at marketing your print books.
Not Just Bookstores
My first suggestion is to model the synchronicity evidenced by the last decade when businesses other than bookstores started selling books.
All the local grocery stores in my area keep cookbooks stocked in their kitchenware sections. That's synchronicity. Pet stores stock all kinds of books about dogs. Sporting goods stores stock books about sports of course--fiction and nonfiction.
You can use this tactic too because the more places you can find to offer your book for sale, the more sales you'll make. As always, I urge you to start locally.
Look To Your Book
So where can you sell books other than in brick and mortar or online bookstores? And I don't mean out of the trunk of your car. Look at your book for marketing insight.
Find shops that lend themselves to some aspect of your book. If your heroine is a knitter, maybe you want to approach a boutique knitting shop about stocking your book.
If your book features a hobby, make a list of businesses that have something to do with that hobby--or fraternal organization or whatever. The more connections you can make; the greater the possibility of having a business accept your book for sale.
Does the setting lend itself to speaking to clubs and organizations that relate geographically? For instance, is it a mystery set in south Florida or on Louisiana's River Road?
Does it feature a protagonist who is a librarian, architect, doctor, chiropractor, etc? There are professional organizations for just about every career path that usually welcome speakers at their meetings and events. Does your protagonist match up to such an organization? That can be a successful specialty market for you to sell books.
What about any hobby featured in your book? The book world is rife with sleuths who are caterers, knitters, quilters, gardeners, etc. There are clubs in most towns and cities that celebrate hobbies. They are another specialty market to which you can market your book.
Another market would be the specialty shops and websites that cater to those hobbies and occupations. Just be sure that the link between some aspect of your book and the group you target is easily recognizable, not tenuous and a far reach.
#2 Must Try Harder
Indie authors have to be like the old Avis vs. Hertz TV commercials where Avis was always shown as trying harder because they were #2 in the car rental business. As an Indie Author, you're much lower on the food chain than publishers who have distribution deals and rack space. Be default, you must work harder.
Self published books can be successful if they are marketed effectively. Think outside the box, and go for it.