I went to visit my parents in western NY state for Mother’s Day weekend. For the plane ride there, I wore Angie Fox‘s Kiss My Asphalt tee.

On the way to the house, we stopped by the local library where I worked in high school and where my mom works now. Both Mom (right in the pic) and the library’s director, Mrs. V. (left) were taken with the shirt and it got us talking about Angie’s books.

Fast-forward to Saturday when Mom & I are in Wal-Mart and see a copy of THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR DEMON SLAYERS

“Oh, isn’t this from the T-shirt you were wearing yesterday?” she asks. 

“Yup. That’s the one.” I show her the acknowledgments.

“I’m buying this,” she says. 

“Mom, really, I can send you one.”   [Shh, don’t tell my Sales dept.]

“No, I’m buying this to support your author, and then I can donate it to the library for others to read, too.”

So there you have the actual point (finally): That promo t-shirt directly led to a sale.  From there, who knows how many more people will read the book and pick up Angie’s backlist.

The same thing happened to Gemma Halliday on the way to a workshop we gave in Topeka a few years ago.  She had a canvas tote with the cover for SPYING IN HIGH HEELS.  The woman she was sitting next to on the plane asked about it and ended up coming to Gemma’s signing the next day and buying all the books she had available.

Quite often with marketing efforts, it’s incredibly difficult to tell what’s effective and what has enough impact to lead to sales. But anything authors do has a much higher chance of ROI when it’s actually being used and as visible as possible.  Especially around chatty plane companions and inquisitive librarians.