Regional Book Marketing

book marketing

Today my guest is the indie published historical novelist Celia Hayes. Celia is going to share with us how she promotes her titles regionally.

U. S. residents may comment on this post by August 9 to be entered to win a signed paperback of Celia Hayes’ latest historical, Daughter of Texas. Subscribe via Feedburner for extra points. If you are an author, please comment on the regional marketing that you do for your books. If you are a reader, please comment on whether you have been to a presentation by an author who travelled to your region.

book marketing


Regional Marketing of Historical Fiction

by Celia Hayes

As an author of historical fiction written with at least half-an-eye towards educating the general reader, I market my titles through historical societies and museum bookstores.

My first historical novel was To Truckee’s Trail, a re-creation of the journey of a pioneer wagon train. I pitched it to a number of different museums along the Oregon-California Trail, making the case that my retelling was extensively researched and as accurate as I could make it.

My follow-up novel grew into an epic trilogy, a family saga about German settlements in the Texas Hill Country. Again I marketed it to the local historical societies and museums, this time in Fredericksburg, New Braunfels and Austin, where a large part of the story took place.  The basic research was done at Gillespie County Historical Society in Fredericksburg, where I sought out a locally eminent member to review the manuscript.  This liaison brought me immediate credibility, historical accuracy, and an influential fan.

Through my website and personal contacts I made it known that I was willing – and qualified through my immersion in the research materials – to make book club appearances and talk about the historical background for the Adelsverein Trilogy. This paid off in invitations to speak to groups such as the German-Texan Heritage Society in Austin, the Gillespie County Historical Society, the Daughters of the Republic Lindheimer Chapter in New Braunfels, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Camp in San Antonio (as well as just about every library in the Hill Country with the title in their stacks).

Every event meant a renewed burst of sales, either directly, or through local bookstores and online. This type of effort is a gradual process, but I believe that it has paid off for me. I have an established fan base of knowledgeable readers who enjoy my material and are passionately interested in educating people about local history. These readers are also eager to recommend my books to friends, family and neighbors who want to painlessly learn about history.

The next nut to crack on the marketing front for me is to get the reenactor community interested.  I’m still working on that one.

Visit Celia Hayes at

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  1. I’ve not been to an author presentation, but I have met an author at a signing before.

  2. You know you’ve created good characters when their story can’t be told in one novel.

  3. Do you know about the Single Action Shooting Society? They might be a good place to promote your book.

  4. As a former museum volunteer, I remember how well related fiction sold in the gift shop. This is a great way of marketing historical fiction–displaying it where you know people with an interest in the background and location are going to be shopping.

  5. I think you are doing a wonderful job! I look forward to reading your book. I am from Texas and have been away for a little more that 20 years but always love books about home and even more so the historical books that speak of the way it was.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. When I visit historical sites, I long for stories, particularly when I walked through the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma. What a great idea this writer has had!

  7. I love historical fiction about strong women. Sign me up for this one. I’ve never been to an author presentation and it’s not that I don’t want to hear what they have to say, but that I WON’T hear what they have to say. (deaf lip reader) However, like Chelsea, I like a good book signing every now and then.

  8. I have never been to an author presentation in my area. This book sounds very intriguing since we have traveled to Texas several times. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Celia, great article! I got some ideas from you that I can use for my historical novel set in southeast Texas during WWII (A War Of Her Own). Lots of luck.

  10. This wonderful novel sounds memorable and special. I have been to an author presentation where I live. It was fascinating, interesting and the author had a great sense of humor. Stanley Hordes spoke about the Crypto Jews of NM.

  11. I would love to read this novel…thanks for the chance. I have attended book signings in my area…and have enjoyed listening to and speaking with the authors.

  12. I am looking forward to reading this book. I love historical fiction!!! I am excited for the opportunity to try to win a copy! Thanks so much!!

  13. I absolutely love historical fiction and being a transplant to Texas (having grown up in Ohio), when I saw this book, I marked it as a to-read in GoodReads. Thank you Stephanie for noticing and pointing me this direction!I would love to read and learn more about Texas history. Strong women characters are always a plus in any story. I did luckily get to attend a local author (in Shreveport LA) presentation and it was wonderful!
    I noticed Ms. Hayes mentioned trying to market to the re-enactor community. Having done CW reenacting while living in California, I would say that would be a wonderful idea.

  14. Thanks for a great post! I’ve been to book signings before, but not in a while. I really need to get back out there 🙂 I am a confirmed email subscriber 🙂

  15. I have not yet attended book signings in my area. This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the chance.

  16. Ms. Hayes has found her niche and she is correct in stating that historical fiction is a painless way for readers to learn history. I respect her dedication to research. Contacting historical societies to present talks about her books is also an excellent idea and underscores her commitment to research. I have been to many book presentations in Texas, especially in Abilene, and have met many famous writers at the West Texas Book and Music Festival every September. Meeting and hearing an author talk about his or her book is almost a sure fire sale when I am the listener. I’ll look forward to reading her current book and look for others she has written. Also, another point, including Texas in her title is certain to draw readers from all over the world.

  17. I’ve never been to anything like that but it sounds fun and very exciting! I love the sound of this book and thank you for sharing!!
    Am a subscriber!

  18. I like that she markets her books through historical societies and museum bookstores. I am a Feedburner subscriber.

  19. At several different venues, I have listened to a variety of writers of regional fiction.
    Most recently I attended a talk by Kelly O’Connor McNees for her book THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT. This was at Malaprop’s, an independent book store in Asheville, NC. They have about a dozen authors a month speaking and signing plus events for writers and other groups. Unfortunately, it is about 1 1/2 hours away and I don’t get over there as often as I would like.

    Our local Barnes & Noble store has had events for teachers and librarians with a variety of local authors there. We are lucky to have local authors writing historical, paranormal, straight history, romance, and children’s books.

    When we travel, we have been fortunate enough to have authors talking about and selling their books at historic sites and national parks. I take every opportunity I can to listen to authors talk about their research, stories not included in the book, and the books they write. We are often more likely to purchase books at these places, with or without the author present. We figure they are accurate, of good quality, and it helps support the site as well as the author.

    We were lucky enough to visit Texas a couple of years ago, the Hill Country area. Of course in just 1 1/2 weeks we barely scratched the surface. Whenever I travel, I bring books about the area with me to read. The books are more real because you are there. It also gives you insight into the area.
    Am an email subscriber.

  20. This novel looks great, and since I am a lover of historical fiction I can’t wait to check out this title as well as her others. She seems like an amazing author! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win her book, and thanks for messaging me on GoodReads! I am very appreciative 🙂 – Lindsay

  21. Thanks Stephanie for the comment on GoodReads. Daughter of Texas looks like it will be very interesting and I look forward to reading it.

  22. Please enter me in contest. Sounds like a very good read.

  23. No I’ve never been to an author’s presentation. But I really want to. I think it would be really cool.

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