indieBRAG @ IAC


The information and ideas I would like to share with you come from many of the 800 authors that have received the B.R.A.G.Medallion.  They are eager to share the “off the grid” ideas they have used!

The thing that will make any book a bestseller is word of mouth.  Donating or giving your books away selectively is a way of generating word of mouth chatter.


1.  Contact high traffic stores, cafes, shops to leave behind books.   Authors have had success in leaving their books in any place that have “open” bookshelves like Starbucks

Make new fans by leaving your book!

  • One author left his books on the reading shelf at his fitness club and was pleased to see in go in and out frequently – hopefully winning new fans.
  • If you only have an ebook- leave bookmarks or literature about your book and how to purchase it.


2.  Join with other authors to do promotions or events

Three of our mystery authors got together and did a promotion calling themselves “The Mystical Mystery Sisters”.

Here is what they did:

  • booked places on book blogs to host their guest posts and promote their giveaway
  • ran a giveaway on Rafflecopter (to win a print copy of each of their first-in-series)
  • reduced their ebooks to $1.99
  • spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

They each pulled their weight and played to their strengths.
They have since written more books and have discussed doing a boxed set together, even having a joint website!

This allowed them to share:

  • expenses
  • email contacts
  • Social media sites.
  • Tripling their reach!

                                               Virginia King                                       Amber Foxx                              Marion Eaton


3.  Think about contacting persons or groups that share your book theme.

  • Two authors donated children’s book to a children’s hospital and clinics.

  • One author placed his book about rescued dogs in Vet clinics.
  • Books specific to a health concern have been left in Doctors offices – One of our humorous books on Breastfeeding was a hit in an Ob/gyn office!

Breastfeeding is a Bitch by Cassi Clark

  • Picture books have been welcomed in Pediatric offices

Places such as these are often thrilled to get donated books

Think about it- A bored patient picks up your book and becomes interested.  They won’t be in the waiting room long enough to read it in its entirety (Hopefully!) so they go home and buy your book.  A Sale!


4.  Be willing to seek out places to showcase your books that are not usually known for books

One authors idea of getting her Romance book in a lingerie shop was so successful that it has caught on with others of our Romance authors!  Think about – Thrillers in a Smoke Shop; Children’s Books in a Daycare; Be creative!

The author of The Dating Dilemma of Delilah Dunnefield, Victoria Thurman approached a local store that sold fragrances – they not only let her display her books and do a book signing, but they created a scent just for “Delilah”! It is still being sold along with her books.  Wouldn’t this be a great gift sold together for Valentine’s Day?  A sale in a small shop can be mutually beneficial so be sure to ask.

The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield

by Victoria Thurman

5.  Awards on your book’s cover increases sales

Our authors have found that having an award on their book has not only increased sales but gotten them a few other perks. This goes for all respected awards and obviously not just the B.R.A.G.Medallion.

  • An award grabs the attention of someone who is browsing books. If they are considering 2 books, they will more likely pick the one with an award.
  • Authors have also noted that having an award helped them get onto online book sales sites that review books before accepting them such as Bargain Booksy and BookBub.
  • BookBub did a survey last year and said a book that features a respected award gets nearly twice the number of click throughs.

6.  Consider working with a charity

This has become a popular idea with our authors.

  • Two of our authors who wrote books about dolphins, joined together to do a promotion for esteemed conservationist Rick Barry’s The Dolphin Project. They each promised to donate at least $50 or the amount of their sales (whichever was larger) for a specific amount of time.  The organization promoted their books and the information on their sights and promos, as did the authors.  A great way for our authors to reach their targeted audience.

The Tempest’s Roar by RAR Clouston                   Ripple by Tui Allen

Other charitable ideas others  have used are:

  • Preparing a basket for auction – your book along with related merchandise for a silent auction.
  • Offer them your book for their online fundraiser.
  • Sell books at one of their events and donating the proceeds.  Churches, schools and clubs are often happy to have something different to offer.

7.  Special events can be special!   Renaissance fairs, battle reenactments, Christmas fairs, county fairs all offer tables to Rent

One of our authors is a reenactor at historical events – a perfect place to get a table to sell books.

B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree author – Paula Lofting.  Author of the Sons of the Wolf Series.




  • Christmas fairs have been successful sales sites especially for our children’s books.  Books are great Christmas gifts- besure to market them as such.

  • One of our Wisconsin authors rents a table at the Wisconsin State Fair every year with fantastic success.  People are always interested in “local” authors and artists.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


  • An author of Civil War books attends Civil War events and successfully sells books. Visitors to these events are usually enthusiasts and wanting to take home a remembrance of the day – why not your book!

  • An author, was asked to have a table outside of a small local bookstore for the towns summer street fair and sold out all of his books- in fact he sold more books that day than he had all year!

 B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree Author

R.A.R. Clouston


8.  Creative blogging – Work with bloggers to create interesting ongoing blog series.  I have to say, that this one really got the audience chatting!                 

  • Working with bloggers is usually very successful. One of our very earliest authors, Darcy Chan, became a best selling author.  Darcy credited the fact that several book bloggers picked up her book, spread the word and her book sales took off.
  • One of our best selling authors, who also has a very popular blog, is now doing a great blog series – Novel Conversations – interviewing the main character instead of the author.   This is a fun and “Novel” approach to getting interest for a book!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Novel Conversations by Helen Hollick


  • The Expand the Table Chef, does a Foodie Lit segment on her website.  She reviews a book and works with the author to come up with a recipe that fits with the book – time, theme, etc.  It is a great way to reach an entirely new audience and has been very successful

                                                         Both of these blog series are booked into next year!

Susan Weintrob – Foodie Lit Blogger

* A word of advice – when working with a blogger, plan to work!  There is nothing a blogger hates more than doing the work and then not having any input or appreciation from the author.  Once you have committed to doing the blog, do not make the blogger chase after you to get the information they need on time, show some enthusiasm.  You will be expected to share the blog on your social media, respond to comments and check the blog everyday.  Ask the blogger if there is anything they specifically want you to do.  It is a fact that bloggers help bring attention to your books and most often are doing this for free.  Don’t miss an opportunity by not committing and engaging.

Next:  Promo Stacking

The comments, advice and opinions expressed here are those of authors whose books have been honored with a B.R.A.G. Medallion. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners, management, or employees of indieBRAG, LLC.

7 responses to “indieBRAG @ IAC”

  1. Florence Osmund says:

    Lots of good ideas here! In today’s market, we have to think outside the box. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Janet Oakley says:

    Good stuff. With my WWII in Norway IndieBRAG novel in hand, I go to Scandinavian fairs, give talks at Sons of Norway groups and work to get reviews in Nordic newsletters. A wonderful review in the Norwegian American Newspaper that goes out to 10,000 readers in USA, Canada and Norway has not only led to more sales, but an invitation to speak at the Sons of Norway in DC this June. I always think outside the box.

  3. Geri Clouston says:

    That is fantastic! When you plan to be in DC, please let us know because that is where we are located and we will plan to attend or at least get together for lunch if you have time.

  4. Stephanie Ling says:

    I would love to try my hand at attending book fairs, craft fairs, or other events. I just wish there was a good way to discover the existence of them!

  5. Geri Clouston says:

    email me where you are located and I will see what I can find in the area. Around the holidays, you can contact a number of places to see if they are doing anything – churches, social clubs, town offices. Ask about what events they are planning and ask if you could participate. Put this out on the Group FaceBook page also and other authors may be able to help with ideas and suggestions.

  6. Lynne Kennedy says:

    These are great ideas. I’ve had luck leaving my books at local independent bookstores on consignment. I get checks every once in a while, so it works!
    Also, try your local library. They love local authors and will order a copy of your book!
    Both the bookstores and the libraries are open to speakers, so offer to give a book talk!

  7. Geri Clouston says:

    Great ideas.
    I think libraries love to have author offer to talk to their groups. I also once(years agao) belonged to a mothers group that tried to have a speaker each month. I know they would have loved an author to stop by! I know one author maid a deal with a local indie book store that she would do a book signing, advertise and guarantee a certain number of “guests” – these were mostly friends and family but a crowd seemed to form when the saw something going on. This might be fun for a couple of authors to do together. Maybe offer coffee and cookies – a happy visitor is a buying visitor. They will be thrilled to have met an author and likely tell others about your book.

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