I haven't been out at a street fair trying to sell books for quite a while. I haven't given any library talks for a year or so. Whenever I tried one of those venues, sales were few or none. I had fun when there were other authors with me because I got to chat with them. However, attempting to get passersby to pick up a book is discouraging.
When giving a solo talk, I enjoyed answering questions from the audience, though most of the time the people who came to the book talks were fledgling writers who wanted to have their own books published. They came not to buy my books, but to ask how it's done. I don't mind giving out information on publishing, but it would be helpful to be compensated. If I sold some books I could at least make up for the cost of the gasoline I had to put in my car to get to the event.
During the past year, I really had very little time to go off to book talks or street fairs. Instead, I started advertising more. I've posted ads on my Facebook fan page on a regular basis, but I've found the most successful ads are the ones I've placed in book newsletters like Ereader News Today. I haven't gotten into Bookbub yet, but authors who have claim it is definitely worth it. I've tried BookSends and Fussy Librarian, too.
I was unimpressed with the sales figures when I enrolled a few of my books in Kindle Unlimited. I even bought a Kindle ad, which was expensive and did not seem to make any difference in sales. 😖
Many authors rely on their own list of fans and send newsletters to those individuals.
How about you? Do you buy ads? Do you rely on your own fan newsletter to get out the word about your books? Do you pack up your books and head out to a street fair, book fair, or other reader event?
What works for you?