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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Creative Marketing Ideas for Authors

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my upcoming workshops with the Alabama Writers' Conclave and the Alabama State Poetry Society being held July 20 -22, 2012. I'll be conducting two workshops. The first one is titled, Low Cost Creative Marketing Strategies. In this workshop we will discuss ways to market your book creatively and on a budget. I often come across aspiring authors who think once they publish their book, they'll instantly sell millions of copies, major publishers will come knocking at the door and they'll walk into a major bookstore and see their book on the New York Times Bestseller List. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Marketing is not something that often produces results overnight. It takes work, lots and lots of hard work and a lot of effort and consistency. Some of the ideas listed may not be right for your work and you will likely need to try a combination of ideas to see results. Just remember to keep track of what worked and what didn't and don't give up. Do something everyday to get your book noticed or read.

Marketing Ideas for Your Books

• Know the optimal publishing date for your book. College textbooks, cookbooks, calendars and diet books need to be published at a different time than most novels.
• Business Cards (carry them everywhere you go)
• Bookmarks (keep several on hand, leave several at bookstores and cafes)
• Join trade associations (Association of American Publishers, NAIP, SPAN & IBPA)
• Attend Trade Shows (Book Expo of America and ALA aka American Library Assoc.)
• Newspaper Ads
• Radio Spots
• Personal Letters
• Vanity Phone Number
• Professional Web Address
• Professional Website
• Start a Blog
• Postcards
• Forums
• Radio appearances
• Email Signatures
• Landing pages for your website, blog, etc
• Pay-per click ads
• Collaborative ventures
• Podcasts
• Video tutorials
• Books
• Ezine ads
• Reciprocal link exchanges
• Google AdWords (pay to be linked to specific key words in Internet searches)
• Public Service Announcement
• Free seminars
• Free workshops
• Speak at Schools, Churches, Book fairs, Colleges, Business Luncheons, Non-profit organizations, Rotary Club, Kiwanis, the Lions, Sororities, Fraternities, Alumni Associations, Chamber of Commerce, Writing Groups, etc
• Have Free Readings
• Become Friends with the Competition
• Publish Articles
• Webinars
• YouTube Channel
• Give Speeches
• Judge a writing or poetry contest
• Coupons
• Giveaways
• Guest Posting on other Blogs
• Bartering Services
• Create Folders of Favorites on (You can create a folder of favorite book covers, favorite characters, etc. Include your book in some of the folders.)
• Submit Books to Book Sites and Blogs (
• Newsletters
• Write a Column
• Write an article
• Send an editorial to the newspaper
• Free trials
• Free eBooks
• Presell your books
• Sell Your Books Door to Door (people get to meet an author and get it autographed)
• Have an Easy to Remember Email Address
• Give Away Sample Chapters
• Join Press Associations
• Submit Press Releases
• Solicit Book Reviews
• Get to Know the Librarians
• Sponsor a Contest
• Sponsor an Award
• Sponsor a Scholarship
• Attend Trade Shows
• Attend Writing Conferences
• Have an Attractive Book Cover
• Book Tours
• Virtual Book Tours
• Sneak a copy on a retail store shelf at airport gift shops, hotels and tourist shops. The store may sell it unknowingly and order more or if nothing else, someone read your book and may spread the word.
• Serialize Your Books or Create a Series
• Use Actual Stamps (People generally throw away junk mail unopened)
• Submit for Literary Awards and Honors
• Provide Free Waiting Room Copies
• Submit for Book Cover Awards
• Solicit for Blog Interviews
• Have a Launch Party
• Donate Books to Charity Events
• Be an Expert in Your Field
• Offer Free Shipping
• Product Placement on TV Shows and Movies (Creative Entertainment Services and UPP Entertainment Marketing)
• Participate in Local Theater (After the performance, you can sell your books and take photos)
• Send copies to Advocates
• Create a Fan Club
• Create a Facebook Fan Page
• Create a Twitter Account
• Direct Mail
• Include Sticker Bookplates with Books
• Use Classified Ads
• Submit Your Book to Home Shopping Network or QVC
• T-Shirts (walking billboards)
• Buttons
• Notepads
• Custom Book Bags
• Movie Theater Commercials
• Attend Book Festivals and Fairs
• Teach People to Do What You Do
• Have a Home Book Party
• Become a Consultant
• Register with Speaking Bureaus
• Speak at Churches
• Speak on Cruise Ships
• Get a Celebrity Endorsement, Blurb or Foreword
• Reply to Your Email
• Create Listmania List on
• Become an Expert on
• Write Reviews about Books and Products on
• Follow Up on Books Sold (send a thank you card a few weeks later)
• Promote Books to Local Bookstores, Gift Shops or Small Secluded Shops
• Mail Your Catalog or List Directly to the Book Buyer of a Bookstore (for a list of top 700 Independent Bookstores, contact Open Horizons at
• Sell to Places Other Than Bookstores: Supermarkets, Auto Part Stores, Banks, Beauty Salons, Drug Stores, Pet Stores, Gourmet Shops, Toy Stores, Arts and Crafts Stores, Fitness Centers, Museums, Newsstands, Novelty Shops, Office Supply Stores, Prison Commissaries, Travel Agencies, Tourist Shops, Stationery Stores, Print Shops, Hospital Gift Shops, Florist, Military PX’s and Discount Stores

Do you have any marketing ideas to share? 
Feel free to share this list, just please make sure to link back to my blog or give credit. 
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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at and You may contact me via email at:

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