Marketing your book is the most time consuming portion of the author’s role. Whether you are traditionally published, with a small press, or self-published, you will soon learn that selling your book is ultimately your job. I have found that certain things are great to spread the word, but don’t necessarily bring in a ton of sales, while other things seem weird but are worth a shot. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
BOOKS ON SITE: If you are a salesperson (which you are) you should ALWAYS have books on you to sell. I carry a case in my trunk because if I count on people to go to the website and order a copy, I will be sorely disappointed. It’s not that they don’t want to, but life gets busy, funds get tight, and memories get short. Make it easy for people. Have books to sell. With that said, you should also have the capability to accept credit cards on your phone or tablet. The easiest excuse to overcome is “I wish I could but I don’t carry cash.” No problem. You take plastic. The Square is free, easy to use, and easy to get. There’s no reason not to have it.
THANK YOU CARDS: When I attend a school or museum, or visit an author panel and meet other writers, teachers, or librarians, I take the time to write and send via SNAIL MAIL a thank you card. I include my business card with a personalized note thanking them for their time, their questions, and I let them know that I am available for future speaking engagements. I am sure to include my phone number on the note, just in case they misplace my business card. Cost? A Stamp and a Card.
MOMMY BLOGS: Prior to my book release, I went through a directory of the top 500 Mommy Blogs (by doing a google search on the subject). I reviewed the brief description of each one, learning if they were PR friendly, reviewed books, and the ages of the children friendly products they reviewed. As a middle grade author and mommy, I personally emailed a few hundred of them, offering to send a copy of my book for an honest review. I made it clear that like them, I was trying to reach other moms with kid friendly products, such as my fantasy adventure book, and would they be willing to help spread the word. I had more than half of them agree to help and of those, half did giveaways on their sites. My total cost for a review was around $7.39 and a review plus giveaway cost about $14.78. But I was able to advertise all over the nation to a specific target audience, not to mention the more than 500 people who entered into the contests, that I would otherwise have never been able to reach. For less than $8.00 per website. Show me anywhere else you can advertise on that scale for that price.
GIVEAWAYS: Besides the traditional giveaways on Goodreads and my website, I offered giveaways on other bloggers sites, as detailed in the previous section. In addition, I brought books with me whenever I attended author panels or conferences to give directly to the speakers and authors, or I emailed them an ebook copy afterward. I asked if they would review the book once they completed it and thanked them in advance. These are people that I don’t feel would necessarily go out and buy a copy of my book, but each have their own circle of fans and followers. If they were to review my book, their followers may decide to check it out as well. Cost? Free- $4.80.
PLATFORMS: I have been so bold as to mail books to celebrities I think could be interested in reading it. I have sent my book to Glenn Beck, Jon Acuff, Matthew J. Kirby, Dr. Laura, Focus on the Family, Z88.3 FM Producers, and Chuck Sambuchino. Have any of them reviewed my book? Not yet. But I can guarantee you they won’t if they don’t get a copy in the mail. Cost? $7.39
If you found any of these ideas helpful, consider buying a copy of my book.