In these days of smaller budgets, both corporate and household, publishers will increase pressure on authors to market their books to drive up sales. The holidays are an opportunity to do just that. As American Booksellers Association says, books make great affordable gifts. With increased potential for sales comes increased competition, making marketing even trickier.
Brenda Lyons provides some great ideas for creating a “spider web effect” in capturing readers, based on an author’s comfort zone and budget. Any author can use her list of 28 methods, though some are more cost-prohibitive than others, such as purchasing ads. I don’t necessarily agree with her idea of strategically placing promo items such as pens in public places – the person who picks up the free pen may not be a reader, or if s/he is, may not like the genre.
For those authors on a zero budget, the strategies that cost only time are imperative. Build a presence on Facebook, Ning or other social networking site. Joe Pulizzi’s Using Social Media to Launch your Book suggests setting up your networks long before the book launch. Content is all-important. Involve potential readers in the process.
BookEnds LLC Literary Agency asked authors for their over-the-top marketing strategies and posted ideas on their blog. While some are predictable (i.e., MySpace pages), others are inventive, such as the author whose characters blog, or the mystery writer who holds “How to Plot a Murder” talks.
Infuse a little fun into your marketing efforts, and it won’t feel so much like drudgery. Then you can get back to what you really love – writing.