Daddy's Christmas Angel

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Do Art and Writing Mix When It Comes to Marketing?

what_works_IIIFor several years, I have tried cross-marketing ideas of promoting my books at art events. For example, at art fairs and festivals, lots of people come with plans to buy something. A book is less expensive than a piece of art, so this is a good place for book sales.


Not necessarily.

I've read about authors who have great success selling books at these types of events. However, I have achieved a limited amount of success. Often, I find those attending the festivals are not readers, or they are readers who no longer buy books and use their e-readers instead. Now at these events, I'm experiencing more success selling cards with images of my art on them than selling my books. That is disappointing for the writer in me.

Non-fiction books with a local connection appear to do better at art fairs, festivals, and crafts shows than novels. A local tie-in is ideal if an author can create one.

Occasionally, I have tried selling books in my art gallery spaces. This also has met with limited success. Those who come in for open house events often are only interested in the food and are not readers. Even when advertising as a book signing event, there is little interest from the art crowd.

From my own experience, art venues offer limited opportunity for book sales. What about your experiences with cross-marketing your work in other ways? Were they successful?

Thank you to the co-hosts of this Online Marketing Symposium about what works and what doesn't:

Jeremy Hawkins -


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You would think those who are artistic types would be readers. I'm sure eReaders have taken a chunk out of all physical book sales.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

More e-books all the time, so it's a new world. Thanks, Alex.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Mary, I'm trying to get round to the marketing posts... learn as much as I can...
I'm not familiar with your books, but just wondering if there are any art elements in your story to attract these artistic types at the art galleries...?
I'm just thinking... there has to be a way to get book sales in your art gallery spaces...

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Monty,

Sorry to hear that art lovers aren't readers. Funny, I am an artist and LOVE books and prefer to read books than e-readers.

Thanks for your input. Good to know, since, like you, I write as well as do art.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monty - if I went to an art sale I'd want to look at the art and probably not buy books and vice versa ..

.. yet if I go to a Museum and look at the exhibition, I almost always go into the shop and buy the guide ... and perhaps other things ..

So I guess there could be some leverage ... perhaps telling the story a little under each artwork .. then noting the book ...

I can quite understand though .. but you could get a name for both - and then things would take off ..

Cheers Hilary

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Michelle, there are art elements in several of my books. Perhaps I should have more to get a better tie-in. Thank you for the suggestion!

Michael,thank you. Another thing about being both into writing and art, we are extra sensitive!

Wow, Hilary, you have given me yet another idea! Love it! Thank you!

Sharon Himsl said...

Not part of this hop, but interested in everyone's experience. I agree with Hilary. I wouldn't give up so soon. Another thought would be a 'buy two discount'. People love a good deal.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Sharon. People do love a good deal!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've done shows with both my photography and my books and you're right they don't mix. But overall, no physical appearances are doing well now. People just aren't buying print books.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

You are right, Diane, about physical appearances not doing well right now. More and more, I'm enjoying putting books on my iPad. Thanks for visiting.

Arlee Bird said...

Interesting bit of insight. I still think there are some possibilities in this and might be worth pursuing from different angles.

A musician friend of mine started marketing his CD's at swap meets. He found that he was presenting something so different from what the other booths had that people were interested in his product. Plus he worked with the swap meet organizers to perform at intervals throughout the day. He started selling tons of CD's and building a fan base. Now he now longer goes to the swap meets but performs at malls and other public venues where he can sell his many CD's that he has recorded since he first started.

Innovative thinking combined with personality can get sales churning.

Thanks for your contribution to this event.

Tossing It Out