One of my favourite activities as an author is selling one-to-one. It's not an activity that scales, but it's nice to talk to readers, and it's always a lot of fun.
My writing partner and I feel like we're pretty good at it. We try not to be too pushy but toss enough hooks to draw a person over and interest them in the book.
We've heard some pushy tactics, like guilting a person into a sale by signing before the reader decides they want the book. That doesn't feel right or genuine.
We lead with, "Do you like murder mysteries?" and if they say no, we try not to push it any further. I'd much rather spend time selling to someone actually interested.
After doing it enough times, you get a good feel for how the sale is going. People give enough signals to know if they're interested or ready to walk. Again, if they're not interested, I'd just want them to say "No" so that we can focus on those who are interested. (You're always aware of the people walking past your booth while in the middle of a sale or conversation.)
As I said, it doesn't scale well, but I'd also be happy doing it regularly. The goal is to figure out how to translate our one-to-one sales into online sales. We haven't quite mastered that one—yet.
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