The following post tells how one author sold 200 copies of a self-published novel in one venue in less than 8 months. Steve Miller, author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It, posted this story in a forum on the Book Marketing Network (http://bookmarket.ning.com).
I have a friend who self-published his first novel and has sold, in the past 8 months, over 200 books in a local (not chain) restaurant. A check-out person said, "Here's how I see it working: people are waiting in line to check out. One starts thumbing through the book. The person behind him says, 'I read it. It's great!' The person buys it."
Outcome: Maybe we should take a harder look at local, non-bookstore possibilities for selling our books. After all, there's no competition with other books in that restaurant. If someone's just finished a book and is looking for the next read, voila!
I recommended that he try to place it in similar restaurants (locally owned, where lots of locals eat) in nearby towns. He can tell the owners, "It sold over 200 copies in this other restaurant, making them this much money." Businesses are looking for extra income these days. If he found 20 restaurants that could sell 300 per year, he'd sell 6,000 per year.
Steve's recommendation to his friend is on target. If something is working for you, expand in that direction. Offer the same deal to more restaurants. Start local, then go regional.
200 copies is more than most self-published novelists sell in 8 months in all venues. Congratulations to the novelist for finding a good place to sell his books. Now he should go out and replicate his success.