Marketing Does Not Have to Cost an Arm and a Leg
by Cait Collins
So the book is completed. You have it sold, but the publisher isn’t kicking in a ton of bucks for publicity and marketing. Don’t panic. There are good deals and good ideas out there. A huge budget is not absolutely necessary to promote your book. Check out these ideas.
Post cards, brochures, and business cards are readily available at your local Office Depot. I rely on the team at the store in Amarillo, Texas. The staff is well trained and able to help me make good decisions on my promotional materials. Recently, they printed post cards made from a couple of my photographs. They are really nice and well represent my current work. Two scenes, 50 cards each cost approximately $22.00. They saved the set up on my flash drive to make reprints easier. They also offer mailing and shipping services. Since the store is open later than the Post Office, UPS, or FedEx, they are able to assist you with your shipping needs on your time tale. Kinkos, Office Max, and most large office supply stores offer good quality printing services.
VistaPrint, an on-line print service company, also offers promotional materials at very reasonable prices. Many of my writer friends rely on this company for quality products.
Takeaways are nice for book signings and writers’ meetings. One friend gives out small tote bags. When fellow Wordsmith Six author Natalie Bright, made her first Chicken Soup sale, she provided small cups of Goldfish crackers to promote her story. I’ve seen small boxes of chocolates, ball point pens, and note pads. I even met a wine salesman who would use my book cover and name on a wine label. The wine is a bit more pricy, but a great idea for the folks who helped you along the way. Little gifts keep your name in front of the book buyer. Even after they have read the book, they will remember clever marketing and keep an eye out for your next publication.
Web presence is necessary. You may not have a website, but a Face Book author page will give you exposure. Twitter and Linkedin are other good vehicles.
With the popularity of EBooks, book signings may not be the big draw they once were. That said readers like to meet authors. They want to know about the process and why we write. You may not sell cases of books, but the exposure is priceless.
Seize the opportunity to speak at conferences, and schools.
Most of these ideas have little or no cost. The real expenditure is your time. You must decide how much of yourself you are willing to give toward your success. You are your best promotional item. The items covered here are suggestions. They are clever, but unless the writer is willing to step up and sell himself, sales may be lackluster.