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Marketing Tip Madness!

Here’s the list I think everyone has been waiting for!  And special thanks to all of those authors out there who contributed.

We asked for your best (and most bizarre) tips, and we got them.  It’s a nice mix of internet based and in-person tips.  From the most obvious like joining MySpace to a website to personalize Mardi Gras beads…there’s definitely something here for everyone.

So without further delay, and in no particular order, here’s 50 marketing tips for authors - some free, some cheap, and some even not so cheap.

Market away…

  1. Make tee shirts with your book cover, website, or just your ISBN on them.  Cafepress is an inexpensive and user friendly site to customize tees and more.  Wear the shirt everywhere you go.  Make all your friends wear the ISBN shirt and  go browse your local bookstore.  All the booksellers will definitely be taking down your number.
  2. Bookmarks and Postcards.  We’ve covered this necessity in previous posts.  The bookmark is the writer’s business card.
  3. Send press releases or a copy of your book to local newspapers.
  4. Donate a copy of your book to your local library.
  5. If you wrote a children’s book, volunteer to read aloud at a storytime at your local bookstore or library.
  6. Send a press release to a regional or literary magazine.
  7. Contact or email local radio stations who do author interviews.  Don’t forget internet radio stations!
  8. Customize plastic cups with your book cover or website on them.  Pass out the cups at a parade.
  9. Custom Mardi Gras Beads.  Donate the beads (or plastic cups in #8) to one of the parade floats to toss to the crowd.  “Throw me something, mister!”  Perfect calling card if you went to the Saints & Sinners Lit Fest!
  10. Wrote a cookbook? Ask a local grocery or restaurant to feature it.  Book signing opp!  Pass out edible samples!
  11. Email campaign - create an address book of friends and families, another for bookstores, another for magazines, newspapers, and radio stations.
  12. Snail Mail Campaign - mail postcards to bookstores - indie stores and chains!
  13. More snail mail campains - put together a marketing kit (copy of your book, author bio, tear sheet, bookmarks, freebies, etc.) and ship to bookstores or other businesses of interest.
  14. Wrote a book about animals?  Ask a local vet or pet store to feature it.  Book signing opp!
  15. Wrote a regional interest book?  Ask a local hotel, bed & breakfast, or community center to feature it.  Book signing opp!
  16. Were you inspired by a musician or particular artist?  Send them a signed copy of your book with a note letting them know.
  17. Wrote a travel book?  Ask a local travel agent to feature it.  Book signing opp!
  18. Leave a copy of your book in a obscure place - cafe, train station, back of a cab…you never know who will pick it up.
  19. Traveling Book Campain!  Check out Where in the World is Misfit McCabe for a perfect example!
  20. Before publication, offer a free sneak peak online or a free Ebook version to readers.
  21. Free MP3 of your book!  Check out Seth Harwood’s site for a perfect example!
  22. Visit a bookfair or conference.  Pass out bookmarks or copies of your book.
  23. Get reviewed! Search out and submit to book review blogs or email Amazon.com Top Reviewers.
  24. Don’t forget print advertising if you can afford it!  Posters, 8 x 10s, author bios…
  25. Free stuff at book signings!  Don’t just let readers walk away with a book.  Invest in key chains, sticky note pads, ball caps, or ink pens with your name, book, and ISBN imprinted on them. Search the web for suppliers or try Vista Print.
  26. Speaking of  book signings, they aren’t just for book stores.  Contact community centers, libraries, book clubs, coffee shops or churches or any place where people gather and might take interest in your book.
  27. Search the web and join groups!  Yahoo Groups is a great place to start to find book lovers of all genres.
  28. Make a book trailer and post it on YouTube.
  29. Start a blog!
  30. Hold a contest on your blog to get readers involved.  Give away a copy of your book!
  31. Join Facebook.  Create a page just for your book.
  32. Join MySpace. Create a page just for your book.
  33. If your book is available on Amazon.com, get an Amazon Connect author blog.  Blog posts will appear right on your book’s page.
  34. Submit your book to Tag My Book on Amazon.
  35. Claim your author page at FiledBy.
  36. Don’t forget E-customers.  Load your book to Ebook sites like Smashwords.
  37. Promote yourself in Customer Communities on Amazon or start a discussion about your book.
  38. Hold a viral video contest!
  39. Tweet about it!  Learn how to use Twitter to your advantage.
  40. Wrote a book of poetry?  Attend poetry readings and open mic nights in coffee shops. Read right from your book.
  41. Virtual Book Tour!
  42. Donate free copies of your books to waiting rooms - doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentists, law offices, or other places of interest.
  43. Contact local schools or universities about readings, lectures, or book signings.  Don’t forget their student run newspapers or mags.
  44. Invest in a good book about book promotion!  We suggest The Frugal Book Promoter!
  45. Invest in Google Adwords so your book will come up first in keyword searches.
  46. Join the Author Program at GoodReads.
  47. Make your book available on the Amazon Kindle.
  48. Devote a blog to one of your book’s characters.  Blog in character!
  49. Sell signed copies on your website or blog.  Set up a merchant Internet account through your bank or accept payment through Paypal.
  50. Promote your book on Flickr. Upload pics from book signings and author appearances.  Take random and creative pictures of people reading your book.

The list doesn’t have to stop here!  If you have more tips of your own you’d like to share, add them to the comments section of this post!

4 Responses to “Marketing Tip Madness!”

  1. Love the list. Great job with it. Now I need to make notes and see which ones I’m not doing, so I can cover ALL bases. I particularly like #’s 16 & 19

  2. Great stuff.

    Another idea is to create a window decal for your vehicle that shows the book cover and/or website.

  3. Wow, really good advice. I want to try out making the cups. Sounds like a lot of fun!

    And the virtual book tour…that’s really cool. The guy’s really good at making videos.

    Dawson

  4. I love the list. I signed up for Tag my book, and I’m heading over to flickr.

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