5  Non-traditional Book Venues 

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Health and Wellness Expo – an unusual venue 

35-Day Author Blog Challenge, Day 26, Ultra / Ultimate Blog Challenge

Writing memoir lends itself to an innovative approach to sales. 

Memoir writers are niche writers, and seek to cull out various target audiences who will benefit from their experiences and expertise. Those who choose to publish their memoir independently, (referred to as “indie writers”) have that added creative control over their target reader. 

Memoir and indie writers often depend on non-traditional book venues for the majority of their book sales. Since last year when I published my memoir, Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith, I’ve discovered 5 alternative venues for memoir writers to sell their books.

1. Online Internet Sales

Both memoir / other niche and mainstream writers have one site in common:  the Internet. Whether it’s Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook,  Book Baby, Simon & Schuster or the plethora of other paperback and e-book publishers available, the Internet is an excellent place to sell your memoir.

Readers will find my book on Amazon.com in three formats: paperback, large print and kindle. I am currently producing a fourth version: audio. The more formats memoir is available–especially in my field with vision loss, the more it is able to meet the needs of your reader.

Websites are also essential in selling your memoir. It is an author’s personal online store. Mobility Matters is  available to purchase on my website. In fact, it’s currently on sale there!

The Internet can also be the source of other online sales.

Memoir writers can market their books to members of special-interest groups on Facebook or other websites coping with or interested in themes you highlight in your book. If you have gone through an experience others can relate to or are currently going through, your book will be a valuable resource to them.

For example, while I write about sight issues, I also combine that with expatriate life and travel. My memoir, Fading Light, will be of interest to an expatriate Facebook group that consists of members who have all lived in a specific city in the United Arab Emirates at one time.

2. Gift Shops 

The closest I’ve come to having my book on a store shelf are a few elegant gift shops in my hometown. The advantage to having them sold in gift shops, especially if it’s a small town, is that word spreads quickly about you, the local author. In bigger cities, there might be more customers. So, either way it’s a nice fit. The owner may or may not charge a consignment fee, so be prepared for that and perhaps raise your price a bit so you will still receive a fair price. 

3. Speaking Engagements

It’s helpful for a new writer to sit down and brainstorm a list of groups that could benefit from his or her message. This can be done at any stage–while the book is being written, when it’s first published and also after the writer has done some networking. But it doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Others can give insights into who can benefit from a specific message.

Again, think creatively! Even if it doesn’t seem that it would be a likely target, if the memoir writer looks at the angle, tweeks it, it might work.

 I didn’t know how my message of vision loss would work for a Soldiers and Sailors’ Home, a facility for aging members of the military to live out their days. 

Yet, I found that my background in teaching at Lackland Air Force Base and overseas travel experiences opened up the door to this particular group. When I added hearing loss, even more could relate. It was an expected find.

Other speaking engagements memoir writers can target:

4. Social, Civic and Governmental Groups

Your message could line up well with groups that focus on relevant issues, such as mental health, sports, health and wellness, leadership, twins and other special interest groups.

For example, my message was relevant to state- and national-funded organizations like the Bureau of Blindness (mentioned in my book) and the Office for Vocational Rehabilitation. It’s also suited to the Foundation for Fighting Blindness, and several other national groups that focus on sight.

With a slightly-different focus, my book appealed to leader and guide dogs, as well as Lions clubs. Because my memoir focused on orientation and mobility, this topic is of interest to these organizations because of the importance of those skills before a blind or vision-impaired individual can graduate with a guide dog.

5. Offices, hospitals and centers that specialize

Memoir writers need to think about the physical places that their readers habitat frequently.  Two specific types of places stood out to me: specialists’ offices in eye care and ministry.

Ideally,  my books should be sold in ophthalmologists’ offices, vocational. rehab or sight centers across the United States.  They should be found in retinal surgery offices and anyplace where glasses or visual aids are sold. There is a market there if I can convince these offices to stock my book.

I’m still in the process of trying this out. Caring about eye health and coping with debilitating eye diseases is essential to coping with the stress and mental health of someone suffering from vision loss. I want to reach those people, especially those who experiences depression. If I can share about my successful transition to using a cane, and all I overcame, it will demonstrate that they can succeed as well.

I would love to sell my books at ophthalmologist’s offices. rehab and vision centers across the United States. On the other end of the spectrum, it would be great to have them available for sale at churches as part of a ministry or outreach program to the blind

People at various churches often state that they know someone who is struggling with hearing or vision issues. If my book is available, they could easily partner with me in a ministry to these individuals.

What is my plan for doing that?

Writing a letter to them and including a description of my book and One Sheet (Bio and Description of my book and some key reviews on one sheet of paper). I’ve also thought about sending out a complimentary book to several offices so that they can decide for themselves if it is a good fit for their clients. I’m not sure if I’m at the point where I can do that and still support myself yet.

I still have so much to learn a year into my platform. So, I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you write or like to read memoirs? What kinds most appeal to you?

Or do you have a job / calling to sell non-traditional products? Do you prefer venues that differ from each other, ones you can share slightly different angles of your product, or do you seek out like-venues for your unusual product?

You have just read, “5 Non-traditional Book Venues” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright October 7, 2015. Please take a moment to connect with me on my topic. Please leave a comment! 

5 Non-traditional Book Venues
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8 thoughts on “5 Non-traditional Book Venues

  • October 9, 2015 at 3:55 am

    This is great! I’ve been looking for ways to help my mom read. She has macular degeneration and can no longer read her books. I’d like to find out where she could get large print books or some sort of really strong magnifying glass so that she could see the print. She loves to read so this is very frustrating for her. She is 94 years old.

  • October 9, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I hadn’t really thought much about nontraditional selling venues. Your post is quite thought provoking for me. Thank you.

  • October 9, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Hi Alice,
    Oh my goodness! 94. I have met many individuals this past year who struggle with macular degeneration. Yes, magnifying glasses help but depending on how badly she is affected. It would be great for her to receive a low vision exam and the low vision specialist could recommend the best devices for her. Also, there is an excellent book out ca;;ed Macular DiseaseL Practical Strategies for Living with Vision Loss. It is a Large Print book and focuses on AMD (Macular Degeneration). It’s written by Peggy R. Wolfe. Also, my audio book should be done soon. 🙂 Here is a audio sample from my book. Thanks for your comment. Good luck and stop by again!

  • October 9, 2015 at 7:04 am

    You’re welcome, Betsy.
    Thanks for taking time to comment!

  • October 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Complimentary copy or not? If I were to go ahead and try to write a memoir, I could probably fit it into kidney disease clinics, just as one example, but I see what you are saying.
    I was born blind, kind of on the other end of the spectrum from where you are and what your niche is.
    I am so bad at selling myself. It feels bad to me. It feels wrong. Maybe I just need to work at it. Everyone needs to make a living and survive. Not sure why I struggle with that so much.

  • October 12, 2015 at 1:11 am

    You only feel you are bad because you haven’t had to do it very much. I thought you did really well in sharing your book! It is learned, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. We do have to sell ourselves. It is the part that writers either hate or love. Use the same brainstorming approach and you will find your niche. Yes, definitely the kidney doctor, hospitals, all kinds of outlets will pop up you didn’t previously think of.
    It will come little by little. I know a writer who has outstanding craft but he doesn’t have a book out because he doesn’t feel comfortable selling himself. I think we just have to take a plunge and realize if we have to believe in ourselves.

  • October 12, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with others. Some wonderful points to share. Thank you so much for your time the other day as well!!

  • October 12, 2015 at 4:06 am

    You’re very welcome, Becky.
    It’s like that tether you sent me. The one who sees the way and knows the path ahead guides the one who doesn’t. 🙂 The tether connects the two. Soon both know the path. (that idea just hit me now). 😀
    PS I think I’ll use that tether in my talk tomorrow. I’m sure I can think of some symbolism for my listeners. I love such versatile real-life objects!

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