Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More on Marketing

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.


Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Joe Pulizzi said...

Hi Cate...nice post. Many authors I talk to are also hesitant to give their content away "for free" and want to get paid for writing.

That's how we market today, by giving away our knowledge, building a relationship with a person, and then getting them to crave more.

More writers are learning this, but it still surprises me how many don't understand the power of building a business by giving away knowledge.


Cate Masters said...

Cristina: Thanks so much for the kind words.
Joe: Thanks to you, too - especially for providing guidance to clueless writers like me! Your expertise is so valuable. Thanks for sharing it.

Anastasia St. James said...

Very interesting blog Cate. I'd missed the blog from BookEnds. Tks for the heads up. :)

Unknown said...

I'm one of the authors with about a zero budget for ads. I maybe do two ads a year. But I blog daily and sometimes on more than one blog. I try to post on loops and do interviews, book trailers, etc.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks, Anastasia.
And Ashley, I hear ya - my marketing budget's less than zero. It's great to be able to get the word out in as many blogs and email loops as I can access!