Monday, August 20, 2012

Advertising Your Book Sale

Today we are starting a series of ideas for improving a library or Friends of the Library book sale. Each topic will cover a new area, along with relevant resources and websites. The first topic, which we will cover today, is; Advertising  Your Book Sale.


People who frequent libraries are not the only ones in a community interested in buying books. Many people love to browse used book sales, but miss out because they did not know the sale was happening. Advertise outside the library as well as within! With flyers in public spaces, announcements in local papers and on local radio shows, and large signs outside the library announcing the sale, you are sure to draw in new people who do not frequent the library on a regular basis. Some great places to advertise are coffee shops, malls, bowling alleys, pet stores, and other small businesses. Use Google Maps' "Search Nearby" function to seek out these types of establishments around your library. Divide up locations between willing volunteers, and spend a day hanging up flyers (with the owner's permission, of course). Flyers can easily be made using Microsoft Word, and only need the words "Used Book Sale" and the price ranges of the books (along with all other relevant information) in order to entice the book worms of your community!

At your next sale you can collect e-mails of anyone interested in e-mail announcements of future sales and other FOL activities. You can also use this e-mail list to ask for more volunteers when necessary, and for general communication with the people who support you in your community. E-mail lists are a great way to get the word out, especially if you ask that recipients forward the sale announcements to anyone they think would be interested. 

Another great way to advertise your sales is through social media and other online outlets. Announce a sale in the weeks leading up on all social media platforms, but focus most of your attention on the ones with the most active members. If your library or FOL has a blog, this is a perfect place to start, since it can give all the details and easily be shared through Facebook and Twitter. You can also list your sale on websites like Book Sale Finder, which maintains a calendar of book sales, and will alert subscribers when book sales are happening within a prescribed distance of their home.

We hope that these ideas were helpful! What is your library or FOL doing to advertise book sales? Let us know in the comments!

Helpful Links:

E-mail Sign-Up Sheet and Advertising Templates Microsoft.com
Finding Local Businesses Google Maps




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