Marketing to a captive audience

I'm still on the road, but all the new scenery has been great for firing up my marketing brain. Today's post is courtesy of my forgetful brain. While making a brief side trip to a hotel in Chicago, I realized I forgot my razor. The hotel gave me a free generic one that got me thinking.

Obviously I'm not the first to forget this essential item and I'm certainly not the last. Some razor manufacturer is missing out on an opportunity by not supplying these. I was a captive audience with a need and no opportunity for choice. I had to use whatever product they gave me. If Gillette or Bic had their razor as the only option, they could introduce their brand to someone who had never used them before and possibly gained a new customer.

Those companies missed an opportunity, but you don't have to. Time to think about all the places where your readers are a captive audience. Where are they sitting, waiting, passing time that could be spent reading your book. It doesn't have to be a long enough wait for them to read the whole book, just enough to grab their attention and hook them in.

Not sure where these places are? Here are a few ideas to get your brain juices flowing:

* School reading programs
* OBGYN waiting rooms (I'm looking at you, 6 hour glucose test)
* Maternity wards
* Nursing stations
* Surgery waiting rooms
* Firehouses
* Nursing homes

You can make your book a permanent item or add a sticker that tells readers they are welcome to take the book with them and then share it with a friend. Either way is fine since the main point is exposure for you and your work.

Always make sure you are asking permission before dropping off your books. Not only is this just good manners, it also gives you a chance to talk to the person in charge about your book. If you make an impression with your professionalism, you might create a new advocate willing to "hand sell" your book by pointing it out to your potential readers.

So what do you think? I'd love to hear if you've done something like this before.

Also, this is my last week of vacation so I should be back to my regular schedule next week. :)