Monday, April 11, 2016

Outside-the-Box Promo #amwriting #writingtips

In what feels like another life, I was a Marketing major earning my Master's degree in Business.  I haven't worked in the corporate world in a long time, but my marketing background has been useful in terms of promoting my books.  Most authors don't really like's awkward and difficult.  I think we all wish our books would just go viral and promote themselves...but that only happens for a select few.  The rest of us have to work to make our books visible in a flooded market, even when we have publishers helping us with the process.  And visibility is key, because how could a reader who might enjoy a certain book even find it if they've never heard of it?

No one wants to see a flurry of posts on social media that just say "Buy My Book".  I always try to think outside the box to come up with better ways to connect with readers.  Here are a few of the marketing efforts and ideas I've been involved in or working on the last few months.

-Setting up a table at a Psychic Fair.  Obviously this is not a good fit for every genre, but I write ghost stories mixed with romance, and in one of my books, GULL HARBOR, the heroine actually *is* a psychic medium.  So this event dovetails nicely with the subject of my novels.  A psychic fair generally raises funds for a cause by allowing visitors to make 20 minute appointments with various psychic and readers for a less expensive cost.  So there is traffic all day, and the people coming are interested in the subjects in my novels.  As people wait for their appointments, they shop at the vendor tables, and not only did I sign and sell paperbacks, I handed out dozens of postcards with e-book information.  Throughout the day, I chatted with several new acquaintances and networked with the other vendors there.

These are easy to make at MyCustomCase!
-A new custom phone case.  Most people carry their phones everywhere these days.  My phone case is a fun collage of my four book covers, and it starts a lot of conversations.  If someone asks what the pictures are, I can tell them a little about what I write, and often people are excited to get more information about my novels.

-Teaming up with other authors for group promo.  Last summer, the editor-in-chief of my publishing house spoke at the Cape Cod Writer's Conference, and a casual lunch was scheduled during her visit for authors who write for The Wild Rose Press to get together in person.  Some authors traveled from quite far away, but three of us lived within a half hour of a central location and write in many of the same genres. Between the three of us, we have 14 books in the various genres of romance, suspense, romantic thrillers, paranormal romance, young adult, and women's fiction.  So recently we've been working on setting up events together, since several authors together often draw a bigger audience than one alone.  One event we're going to do is scheduled for the Halloween season, where we'll speak on the spooky elements of our paranormal books.

An author panel on publishing at a local
library a few years ago...a great event attended
by both writers and readers!  Hoping to set more up.

These are a few ideas to help think outside the box when it comes to marketing efforts!  More to come in a future post, and please chime in if you have your own tips.

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