How to Market Your Book on a Budget
Blogger: Rachel Kent
I did a series more than a year ago on some easy, inexpensive book marketing ideas. Here are links to those posts, but I’d also like a add a few new ideas today.
Idea 1: Doctors and Dentists
Idea 2: Mail Marketing
Idea 3: Newsletter Marketing
Idea 4: Interest Group Marketing
Idea 5: Book Club Marketing
Here are some additional ideas to hopefully spark some creative marketing for your book.
1) Tebowing, Owling, or Planking anyone?
Have you heard of these photo crazes? People have been taking pictures and posting them online with viral results.
Here are some examples:
Tebowing: Copying Tim Tebow’s pose around the world.
Planking: Making your body into a plank in different locations. This one is not a recommended location.
Owling: Perching like an owl.
So my suggestion is that you ask your fans to start Planking, Tebowing or Owling with your book in hand. If they post the photo to a public blog or webpage and tag it as Tebowing, Owling or Planking the picture will come up on an internet search. Your fans will most likely love it and be sure to do one yourself too!
Cost: Free or the cost of a small prize to offer in a drawing for all fans who participate.
2) Photo Mascot
We have a couple of clients at Books & Such who have consistently taken pictures and posted about things and it has “branded” them in a way. Author Sarah Sundin posts about her dog, Daisy, all the time and Daisy has even advertised Sarah’s books. Author Judy Christie has a green couch that she has made to be an icon of her writing career. Click here to see a pic of Judy on the couch.
Because Sarah has built Daisy up as an important part of her life, she could easily ask her fans to take similar pictures of their pets with her book and post them on Facebook.
In Judy’s case, I know that she brings the couch with her to some book signings and she takes pictures with her fans while sitting on the green couch.
Is there a creative way you could create a photo bomb to advertize your book? Do you have something in your life that could act as a “mascot” for your writing career?
Cost: Free again unless you want to host a giveaway or drawing to go along with the photo mascot challenge.
3) Help your community and share about your book.
This one is a little tricky because serving others should always be done without ulterior motives but I do think there’s some merit to the idea. Please feel free to change it up to make it work best for you and your beliefs.
I suggest hosting a sales drive for a new release where you donate to a charity a certain amount for every ten books sold or so. It doesn’t even have to be a monetary donation. You could donate food, books, clothes, time–or whatever seems to be the best fit for your book and circumstance. This way you are giving back to your community and helping others while promoting sales for your book. Setting a time limit for sales is a good idea. A month might be a good amount of time for a promo like this.
I think this idea actually sounds a lot less selfish than many promotions because while you are pushing sales of your book, you are also giving back with the money that you will be making from the book sales instead of just pocketing all of it.
The other tricky part of this idea is figuring out how to track the sales. Teaming up with a certain local bookstore or even your publisher might be the way to do this or you could just ask book buyers to inform you of a purchase and use the honor system. I’m sure that if you think this idea through that you can make it stronger and more God-honoring.
People like to know that purchasing something is going to help a good cause and they might buy more because of it. Just make sure your heart is in the right place though.
Cost: Depends on what you decide to give. Maybe 10% of book sales?
Feel free to take any of these ideas and make them your own. You can do a lot of marketing for very little money if you get creative!
Do you have any creative ideas to share?