Saturday, August 29, 2009

WORKSHOP: Marketing On A Budget Part 2

Novel Approaches to market your book

by Debra Owsley

Things are very tight for us all right now and marketing your book is an additional necessary expense. No longer are the days when publishers give out huge signing bonuses and marketing expenses. The self published authors have an even tougher time because all of the costs are out of your pocket. We are all trying to make a dollar out of .15 cents, and I have a few suggestions on how to do just that. One of the challenges I enjoy is making a tight budget work with optimum results. Sometimes because you, the author are in the middle of everything, the simplest idea may pass you. You can't see when it’s right in front of you! I am an avid reader and a huge fan of literature. Even though, I'm in this business from a different angle, I'll see things that you may miss. And also as a fan, I know what fans like. Many times authors forget to think like a fan.

One of the things authors can do literary for .15 cents are CD’s.

CD’s are very inexpensive marketing tools that can be used in several clever ways.
You can purchase CD’s, and cases or envelopes, at any office supply store. 100 pieces will be about $15.00, and sometimes you can get them buy one get one free. Most computers have the burn to disc capability. Any mp3, jpeg, wav, wmv, formats can be burned to the disc.
Using a program like Audio Acrobat, this is about $20.00 per month, but there are others for free.

Programs like this allow you and others to record and create a file. If you have a microphone on your computer, which allows you to record you can also create a file this way too.

On the disc you can add;

A recording of you reading and excerpt from your book
A soundtrack of music pertaining to the story. Set the time, era and tone with music
Any interviews and podcasts you’ve done online that is a mp3 file
Reviews for book clubs and fans
Your trailer or slide show with a music background
The file can also be emailed to your data base
Have a contest all clues are on the CD and enter on your site

Things that you can do with the finished disc;

Add to gift baskets
Mail to fans
Pass out at events
Send to others asking for promo material
Send to book stores
Send to publicists Mail to radio and television shows as an introduction to you and your book
Use as a product along with your elevator speech
Play on your laptop at festivals and book events
Add a coupon Use your photo or book cover as an insert and add synopsis

Don’t forget to add
PASSION in your voice
Add your site addresses and contact info
Keep it interesting
Don’t make it to long

You can also
Upload these files to your sites, blogs, and social networks

Those extra book covers

I’ve always wondered why authors give out their book covers. It makes more sense too make them into something like Post cards and booklets.

Take those EXTRA BOOK COVERS you have and turn them into booklets or chap books with excerpts. You can print out double sided sheets with a chapter, contact information, and a sales order sheet. This can be used as teasers for readers, encouraging them to pre-order and purchase.

Make postcards out of them! Autograph them and write by hand, a note of thanks. Highlight the release date. This is a pleasant surprise for a fan to get in the mail

Staples and office depot reward cards

Signing up for these cards can get you free printing, discounts on ink and other things they offer.
You will also get coupons in the mail for free printing $10.00 copies free and $10 off of $50 or $10 off $25 or even $15 off of $15, which will help you pay for the chapters you print for your booklet.

If nothing else you’ll always need mailing envelopes, shipping labels, ink, and paper.
It can save you several hundred dollars a year.

Ad space

When figuring out your budget whether it is $100.00 a month or more, choose sources that bring repeat business and that get more exposure. Several sites like SORMAG, RAWSISTAZ, EDC-Creations, APOOO, and other blogs, have a following, mail out newsletters, and are go to sites. Buying ad space with a link is great, and budget friendly.

60 things you can do for free to promote your book

1. Make a phone call to a fan or book club meeting
2. Get a blog talk radio show
3. Ask your local libraries to let you do a book signing or discussion
4. Email your data base what your doing
5. Create a memorable internet signature and tag line
6. Run a contest
7. Join social networks like face book, library thing, Shelfari, good reads, and twitter
8. If you have windows movie maker on your computer make a trailer, add to your sites
9. Create slide shows of different events you’ve done add to your sites
10. Create a soundtrack for your book as a theme song and a giveaway
11. Start a blog
12. Write articles
13. Pass useful information with your tag attached
14. Create a 50 word elevator pitch
15. Use Skype to connect with book clubs
16. Post chapters and excerpts online
17. Create your own “fan wear” on cafĂ© press or zazzle
18. Create and send out an online press kit
19. Trade swag with others
20. Barter services
21. Create your profile page on Amazon
22. Create a paypal account
23. Create sound bites and commercials for your book
24. RSS feed all of your sites
25. Do a brainstorming session to plan and organize your strategy
26. Write a catchy blurb, ask for one form authors you know and admire
27. Become an expert on your topic and be a panelist
28. Rearrange books in the book store
29. Do an online book fair and invite others
30. If your books are in Target, Wal-mart, Sam’s club BJ’s hang out there, and sign
31. Create a coupon, have a sale
32. Go to salons and barber shops
33. Create postcards and chap books with extra book covers
34. Pitch angles to different markets
35. Create an interactive site on
36. Create a scene for your displays, Presentation Is Everything
37. Have a “Happy Book Day” party on line
38. Look for venders and service providers you’ll want to use when you have the money
39. Take pictures of your displays and upload them
40. Try trial services
41. Use your laptop at events to show your trailer
42. Build relationships with people you want to know
43. Leave promotional materials at book stores and everywhere you go
44. Create a game around your book
45. Use your web cam, to do a visual postcard
46. Do a newsletter
47. Create an e-book version
48. Sponsor a cause
49. Hang out at community events, with radio remotes
50. Download and post all of your interviews
51. Create a demand (limited time only)offer incentives
52. Create a go bag so you can set up at a moments notice
53. Use what you already have
54. Create a list of Blogtalk radio shows and blogs your like of fit and join in
55. Record readings and post on your sites
56. Do an online journal of your book life
57. Do a Google alert for book marketing on a budget and free book marketing ideas
58. Create a calendar of up coming holidays and Awareness months and figure how to tie in your books, start early
59. Add another hustle; things you can sell along with your book
60. Use Vista Print or club flyers for free promotional materials, you only pay postage


Simply Said Reading Accessories said...

Hello! I hope you'll find my post useful. I'll be checking in later today to offer more tips and answer questions. Please feel free to visit my sites or drop me an email
Debra Owsley

Jeanette Hill said...

Thanks, Debra. With the tightening economy we need cost-conscious and effective ideas for marketing and promoting ourselves and our work.

Susan Falck said...

Thanks, Debra.
This will come in handy when my day comes.

Unika Molden said...

Thanks Deb,

This is awesome information! Wonderful workshop.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Debra, your information is very important. My next project, along with researching where I'll publish, will be to create a CD about my pending novel. I think I can do that. I will do that!

Rachel Berry said...

I plan to print all your info out. I feel richly blessed to have all this information.

Thanks so much

Lyn Cote said...

Lots of good ideas! Thanks!

Author Shelia E. Lipsey said...

BRAVO! SUCH VALUABLE INFORMATION!LaShaunda, this year's conference has been superb!

Unknown said...

I loved several of your ideas, but 1 especially connected. Since my book series is called Gems of Wisdom and the first book has lots of pirates, I think I can create a great Treasure Hunt game and run it at least for one month. See how it goes and maybe run one every month or every other month.

I think there were several other ideas that could work out well for me too!
Thank you,

Unknown said...

I also need to understand RSS feeds better. How do I learn more about that?


Simply Said Reading Accessories said...

Thank you all for the wonderful comments! I hope you use these tips to further market your books.
@ Angela you can google RSS and you'll find many great links. I went to your blog and if you enter your web address to feedburner your posts can come to your subscribers as a newsletter. you can set it for weekly or monthly.

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