Guest Post: The Biggest Marketing Bang for your Buck

January 5th, 2012 • Kate

bang for your buckThanks again to Shelli Johannes-Wells for her guest posts on marketing! Please read on for her final blog in the series.

Hi everyone thanks for having me here!

Today, I’m going to talk through some budget-friendly techniques to get your book out there. Because let’s face it – we are not all Stephenie Meyer and we won’t all get much from a publisher. That means we either don’t have tons of money to spend or our publishers may not give us much.

First of all – you will spend some money. So, this is really about putting your money in the right place. To me, that is in designing any materials to be sure they look good and crisp and professional. But there are many things you can do that are fairly inexpensive.

Here are a few things I think you can do to push your book and save money.

Local avenues – You’d be surprised at the marketing support such activities can bring.

  • Local radio shows and television appearances are good but are often forgotten within hours of the broadcast;
  • Join local organizations that provide business-networking opportunities, or start your own.
  • Do volunteer work for a large charity. Partner with one that aligns with your book.

Reach out to your contacts – it’s about spreading the word

  • Any groups you are a part of
  • Any alum organization – high school, old jobs, college etc.
  • Friends and family
  • Rebuild older connections

Library or school visits

  • Start tours locally, by state, then move to regional and national. Driving is cheaper than flying.
  • Visit places where you know people that can help spread the word. Friends or family.
  • Come up with a talk that they might pay for.

Organize before you start – Focusing your energy will help you do the right things for the right people. Don’t waste money doing everything.

  • Figure out your top 3 target audiences
  • Create a marketing plan for each of those – who are they, what swag do they want.
  • Spend 15 min a day building out a detailed plan.
  • By starting now and focusing – you will prevent yourself from wasting money on the wrong things.

SWAG – Be sure to do the right thing for the right people.

  • Find out what is appropriate for each audience.
  • Not everyone will use a book marker or postcard.
  • Vistaprint and iprint – do inexpensive printing
  • If you pay – pay for the design aspect – not the printing

Email Marketing

  • Always be gathering email addresses
  • Use chimpmail or constantcontact to create pretty marketing email campaigns
  • If you pay for anything – pay for someone to set up the newsletter so you can populate it each month.

Online Marketing

  • Blog Tours – look for well-visited blogs that target your audience. Contact them and offer a post. Blog writers are always looking for content.
  • ARC tours – have an arc tour and have readers sign up – send an ARC around and require a post about it.
  • EZINE – same thing – look for groups that do ezines and offer an article
  • Press releases – Don’t underestimate the value of a good press release for making book sales.
  • Skype tours – reach more people.

Website

  • HAVE one – and make sure it is professional
  • Go daddy, blogger, word press – all free
  • If you have to, spend the money on the design to get you started.
  • Create online press kit – generic press release, bio, professional picture, flyer about book, reviews, etc Also, make sure it is downloadable from site. This will safe on printing costs and mailing costs.

A few Recommended Resources

I hope that gets you started. This ends the marketing series, but you can come visit me at my blog, Market My Words, where I continue to talk about how authors can best get the word out about their book, whether it be traditionally published or indie published.

Shelli Johannes-Wells (AKA S.R. Johannes) lives in Atlanta Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. You can find her hanging out online and visit her at srjohannes.com. Her first book, Untraceable, is a teen wilderness thriller that debuted last week on Amazon’s How New Releases.She has a new tween angel book, On The Bright Side, coming out Jan 31, 2012.

Thanks, Shelli! If there’s any marketing questions that Shelli’s raised that we haven’t answered, please leave them in the comments, and we’ll respond as quickly as possible! I also hope to have some great marketing news of my own to share shortly – stay tuned.

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3 Responses to “Guest Post: The Biggest Marketing Bang for your Buck”

  1. DaphneUn Says:

    You all may be interested to see this post on Agent Rachelle Gardner's blog, which also talks about marketing.

  2. @gryvon Says:

    Under the Website section, I'd disagree about using GoDaddy. They're not free (hosting starts at $5/month) and with all the bad press they've been drumming up thanks to their support of SOPA, hosting with them is seen as a negative move. There are a number of services just as cheap and with better service (as well as more usable interfaces) – Hostmonster is my personal favorite, but there's also Yahoo, Bluehost, 1and1, and countless others.

    In terms of free sites, a lot of authors seem to be fond of LiveJournal to host their blogs, or LiveJournal's clone site DreamWidth (has much of the same features as LJ but more user oriented in terms of development).

  3. Kristi Helvig Says:

    Thanks for the great info, Shelli. I knew I needed to start some sort of newsletter but had no clue how to start, so thanks for the tips. 🙂