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475 Posts tagged with the marketing tag
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Do you have a mailing list of readers who enjoyed your writing? If so, good for you! Whether it's through a newsletter program or email, reaching out to your fans is a good way to keep a connection with them. The question is, what do you tell them?


In my semi-regular newsletter I include one piece of "news." Here are some examples:


  • Photos of my events such as book signings, book clubs, speeches or panel discussions
  • News about upcoming translations of my books
  • News about sales milestones
  • Promotions for signed copies (this is good to do around the holidays for gift ideas)
  • Photos of fans holding up my books at home or at stores (they send them to me sometimes!)
  • News about distribution agreements, e.g., in certain bookstores or wholesale clubs
  • Awards my books have won


In each newsletter I also include links to my recent blog posts as well as a note about my consulting services. I also encourage my fans to tell their friends about my books, so I can afford to keep writing them.


While I like to keep my newsletters strictly about my professional life, some author friends of mine have chosen a more personal route. One recently sent out a message about her engagement, while another tackled her feelings about the presidential election. Yet another addressed with humility how hard it was proving to be to get people to buy her book.


There's no magic formula for any of this, and every author's pot of potential "material" is different. So play around with it and see what works best for you. And if/when you begin working on a new book, include your fans in the process! I once had my fans vote on two cover options for a book, and it worked out so well that I'm considering asking them to vote on the title of my next one.


-Maria


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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Make it easy for readers to find you

The power of a personal connection

971 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, marketing, writing, promotions, newsletters
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Keep it simple

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Dec 14, 2016

 

    When you sit down to outline your marketing strategy, there is one thing above all others that you want to keep in mind. Keep it simple. Don't feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. The tried and true work; otherwise, they wouldn't be tried and true. Here are three reasons why keeping your marketing strategy simple makes for more effective results:


  1. Keeping things simple offers the least number of obstacles. If you try to overthink it and come up with something never seen before, you are creating impediments that will likely frustrate you and could lead you to not follow through. Study what others have done before you and repeat.
  2. Overcomplicated planning usually makes for overcomplicated outcomes. Being creative with your marketing strategy isn't bad, but being too creative can confuse the readers you are trying to reach.
  3. Keeping things simple most likely means you are incorporating strategies that have been tested before, which means you most likely have data to justify your strategy. It worked before. It will most likely work again. The hard work has been done for you. Most of the obstacles we discussed earlier aren't there. You can just plug in your book and go.


Of course, keeping things simple with your marketing strategy doesn't mean it will be easy. You are still going to have to do your research and determine what will work for you, but the good news is that the research is usually just a search engine away. Good luck, and keep it simple.

 

 

 

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Exclusive versus inclusive

 

The Grassroots Marketing Ripple Effect

 

 

 

 

1,119 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, writing, author_tips, writing_tip
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Previously, I talked about the importance of setting your author brand apart from others. What makes you different from the author brands out there--particularly those who share your genre? Today, I'd like to talk about the opposite strategy. What makes you similar to other author brands, or what makes your book like the best seller that was at number one for ten weeks?


Back in the "long time ago land," I wrote screenplays. In fact, I wrote twelve of them. I only talked to various production companies and studios about two of them, and neither were ever produced, but enough of the sad part of the story. The relevant part of the journey is that what I was asked most consistently by these companies was, "What current film does your script resemble?" This was important for a number of reasons. Primarily, they wanted to gauge what kind of box office they could expect. But they also wanted to know what kind of interest they could expect from financiers and A-list actors. I always tried to stress the originality of the screenplays, and that turned them off. The word "originality" connotes risk. Risk is not something Hollywood is really known for.

 

In the indie publishing world, originality is expected. It's cherished. It's rewarded. But, I maintain that it's also OK to compare yourself to other authors and your material to other books. Don't emphasize it, but make it a part of your pitch to give readers a taste of what they can expect.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

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Brand modeling

 

Building an author brand: the author brands you promote

 

 

 

 

1,088 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, author_marketing, author_brand, author_tips, author_platform
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We are approaching 2017, and we still don't have flying cars and food replicators. Nope. The utopic Jetsonian future has yet to become a reality. And yet there have been advancements in the last 10 years that have been truly inspiring--a lot of them in the publishing industry. We can now read books on our smartphones. We can carry devices that weigh less than an average sized children's book that hold thousands of titles. We truly are living in a golden age of indie publishing.


The one thing that hasn't changed is that the best way to sell books is through word of mouth. Recommendations from friends and other trusted individuals is the number one way readers discover new books to read, and it's not likely to be supplanted by another method any time soon.


Your job is clear. Engage your readers. Find the influencers in your group and let them know about new reviews, upcoming events, awards, etc. The more information you feed them, the more they have to pass along to their spheres of influence. You're not bragging or begging for attention. You're keeping highly persuasive members of your volunteer sales force informed.

 

Your goal is to find as many of these influencers as you can. The best way to do that is to be an active member within your genre's community. Find groups online and even locally that discuss other books in your genre and/or films, and be a valued member of that community. Once you get to know all the personalities, you'll know who to enlist in your volunteer sales force to be crucial cogs in the word-of-mouth campaign.


-Richard


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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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What Ignites Word of Mouth?

 

A Marketing Tool You Control

 

1,263 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, self-publishing, writers, genre, social_media, engage, influence
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If you want to raise your marketing game, you have to be a leader. I'm not talking about leading in sales. Sales come as a result of your leadership role. Your aim is to be a leader in your community in the arts, and more specifically, in writing groups.

 

I've talked frequently about getting involved in the local arts scene to broaden your networking. You can more than likely find groups in your area for various artistic disciplines just by searching online. I was surprised by the number of writers' groups in my area, and I don't live in a big booming metropolis.

 

Once you join a group, be an active participant. Writers' groups in particular often involve members bringing in their latest work to read or have read by others in the group. They are there to get your opinion, so give it. Be gentle. Be constructive. Be encouraging. You know how sensitive we writers can be.

 

The strategy here is to become a regular participant in the group and even volunteer to help with whatever events the group has planned. Work your way into the inner circle and position yourself to take a leadership role.

 

When you do become a leader of the group, you are seen as competent and confident, and your networking circle will expand exponentially. That circle will include not just fellow writers but readers as well.

 

Raising your marketing game means putting yourself out there in real-life social events and showing your worth as a member of the arts community. Show your value, and you will be valued.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Mingle Marketing

The Marketing Maze

1,305 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, author_brand, author_platform, writer_group
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Elections can excite voters. They can enrage voters. They can disgust voters. They can inspire voters. Elections are orchestrated chaos that remind most of us that nobody really wins when we talk politics. That's why I don't want to do that here, but I would like to try to do the impossible. I would like to talk about the elections while avoiding the political nature of elections.


    You see, I think elections provide us mega-sized examples of concentrated brand-building efforts, and we, as authors, can learn from them--both from the successes and the failures within an election season. Here is a list of successful tactics by candidates that authors should keep in mind as they build their own brands:


  1. Consistent messaging wins the day. Forget the substance of what any politician says. A message that is repeated over and over again influences hearts and minds. It's an old advertising strategy. Seeing an ad once doesn't move a consumer to consume. Seeing the same ad/message over and over again moves a consumer toward consumption.
  2. The more you're seen, the more you're heard. Politicians who succeed are politicians who get the most coverage. They seize every opportunity they can to own the narrative of an issue.
  3. Frequent contact is essential. Politicians are not shy about reaching out to their followers for either financial support or help in spreading the word. Email lists, social media platforms, and good old fashioned real world glad-handing keep supporters enthused and engaged.
  4. Personal appearances are crucial. No politician sits in his or her basement making YouTube videos, forgoing the opportunity to be seen in public. They get out and speak to groups of people. They literally put a face, style, and voice on their brand. They encourage the dissemination of these appearances far and wide via the internet and mainstream media outlets. They make themselves a product, and focus on the most optimal placement of the product so it can be seen by as many voters as possible
  5. Speak to your demographics. Politicians know their typical supporters inside and out, and they spend a lot of time and energy making them happy and getting them fired up.


Not everything is a lesson worth learning from a politician building a brand, but there are a lot of proven strategies that authors should modify and adopt for their own brand-building efforts. You never want to lose yourself in building a brand. You just want to showcase yourself and your work. Whether you agree with them or not, that's exactly what successful politicians do.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Repeat, repeat, repeat

Book marketing is a numbers game



829 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, author, publishing, brand, author_brand, marketing_strategy
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In developing a marketing strategy, you may have overlooked two approaches that could help you create a more effective plan. Is your book better suited for a marketing campaign built around the concept of exclusive or inclusive?

 

Exclusive: The word is pretty scary when it comes to marketing. In fact, it sounds counterintuitive to the purpose of marketing, which is to raise awareness about your book and move as many people as you can to purchase it. But the truth is, you may benefit greatly by having a book with narrow appeal. Remember, in a country with over 300 million people, "narrow" is a relative term. Even in the narrowest of terms, we are still talking about a lot of people. If your book focuses on fringe material, you have a book that is better suited for an exclusive marketing strategy. If you have a book that caters to one political or social viewpoint, you have a book that is right for exclusive marketing strategies. If you have a book that is about cats...you get the point. Singularly themed books about topics that have well-defined supporters and detractors are tailor-made products for exclusive marketing strategies.

 

Inclusive: Books with wide appeal will do better under an inclusive marketing strategy. Believe it or not, books that fall under this category are fairly rare. Mass market books are actually few and far between because they usually all fall within the guidelines of a genre. A genre by definition is a narrowing of the market. But in the world of publishing, genres can have broad appeal. If you've written a book that fits under the umbrella of a certain genre, but doesn't really belong in any of its sub-genres, you've got a book that has the potential to sell more copies under an inclusive marketing strategy.

 

Frankly, exclusive marketing strategies are easier to manage than inclusive marketing strategies, and I suggest, in the beginning at least, to find something about your book that gives it narrow market appeal and focus on building your reader base with an exclusive strategy, even if you think it's a mass market title. You can always change your strategy and move into more inclusive marketing strategies later on.

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Mingle Marketing

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1,038 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, book_marketing, marketing_campaign, book_advice
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The will

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 5, 2016

I don't know if you're ready to hear this, but I feel the need to tell you the hard truth. There is no magic marketing formula that will make your book a bestseller. You've probably seen ads to the contrary, and some of the strategies you've read about may even make sense to you, but I'm here to tell you, absent a huge marketing budget that gives you access to advertising agencies, media strategists, and high-dollar branding gurus, becoming a bestselling author isn't something that will happen over a four-day weekend.


That doesn't mean you can't become a bestselling author. You can, and I know the best strategy to make it happen. It's not complicated. It's not necessarily easy either. It takes one very important element to achieve: will.


Will is a short word, which is remarkable, given the power it possesses. Will gives you the endurance to carry on even in the face of self-doubt. Will gives you the strength to be persistent, to keep writing and honing your craft, and to keep building your brand. Will gives you the confidence to keep striving to reach your goals.


 

It's not a glamorous strategy, I know. Some people expect the riches to follow simply because they wrote a book. On the rare occasion, a single book will deliver such an outcome, but those occasions are so rare they are newsworthy. They do not reflect the reality of most authors who make it in the publishing industry. A majority of both commercial and indie authors achieve success after finding the will to put in the effort to establish a brand based on good writing and persistent marketing effort.

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Is Marketing a Talent or a Skill?

 

Marketing Based on Content

 

 

1,460 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, self-publishing, promotion, branding, marketing_advice
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     For your next release, assemble a crack team of book enthusiasts to help you get the word out. Here are five tips on putting together a book launch team.

 

  1. Know your strategy: Before you approach anyone to join your book launch team, have all your ducks in a row. Know what your strategy is and how you plan on implementing it. You are going to start working on your plan before you've even finished your book. You should have a written strategy in place at least three months before the date of your official book launch.
  2. Choose the right folks: Enthusiasm is the key word when assembling your book launch team. You are going to draw from your social networks and reach out to those friends and followers who've been most vocal in their support of your writing career. If those friends and followers have expansive social networks, all the better, but remember, that's a secondary concern. Enthusiasm is your primary concern.
  3. Communicate often: A relationship is only as solid as its communication. You are the managing member of your book launch team. As such, your team will rely on you to be in constant communication with them. Set up a schedule and stick to it. Let the members of your team know wha's expected of them. Keep them in the loop.
  4. Compensate your team: I'm not suggesting you provide them with a salary, but provide them with some sort of reward for being a member of your book launch team. They are putting in valuable time to help you out. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
  5. Prepare your team: Let them know what they will be helping you launch. Give them a copy of the book at least six weeks before you launch, so they can read it with plenty of time to spare.

 

 

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Book Launch Sponsors

 

The Book Relaunch

 

 

 

 

665 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, author, promotion, promotions, book_launch, book_launch_party, marketing_team
1

 

As you set out on your journey to build your author brand, you will experience many stops and starts. You'll run into brick walls. You'll break through those brick walls. You'll find success, but you're bound to stumble and fail, too. It's just part of the process. While you're taking the steps to become a successful brand, here are three pieces of advice to keep you on task and headed in the right direction.


  1. Master your craft: I'll start with the same piece of advice I always give to authors trying to build a solid brand that has a significant following. That advice is to write well. Constantly study the craft of storytelling. Know your chosen genre inside and out. Commit to improving. Push yourself. Challenge yourself to create completely original material every time you sit down to write.
  2. Engage with readers IRL: You cannot succeed with online strategies alone. Take your brand-building efforts offline. Step out into the real world and meet your readers. Attend book fairs. Go to writer's conferences. Arrange book signings. Look into attending conferences and conventions that are genre appropriate but not necessarily for authors. In short, find as many opportunities as you can to interact with readers and potential readers in a real world environment.
  3. Be consistent: With your message, with your style, with your level of activity, with your outreach, keep at it. The persistent bird gets the worm. It can be discouraging trying to build a brand in a sea of brands. A lot of times, the most effective thing you can do is never give up. Dig in and fight through the struggles and lulls. Your time will come if you keep on keeping on.

 

 

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Book Marketing Advice around the Web

 

Be Authentic to Build Your Brand

 

 

 

 

2,015 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, branding, author_brand, author_platform, marketing_adivce
1

Reader profiles

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 24, 2016

You aren't just an author. You are a special agent, a very special agent. Your mission? Become a top-notch profiler. Who will you be profiling? Readers. The best way to reach your readers is to know who they are, and building a reader profile is the best way for you to know them.


    Here are the demographic categories that will help you in your profiling efforts:


  1. Age group: We are divided into groups based on common experiences. There is perhaps no greater cohesive grouping than those that are defined by age. People in the same general age range share a lot of cultural similarities, especially when it comes to music, movies, and literature. If you can clearly define your genre, you'll be able to fairly easily find the average age range of your readers.
  2. Gender: In the world of publishing, knowing the gender of your average reader can help you spend your marketing dollars more effectively. Certain genres appeal to one gender over another.
  3. Region: In some cases, what you write has geographic appeal. As an example, Southern thrillers will obviously have wider appeal below the Mason-Dixon Line. That's not to say it won't have fans that extend outside the region, but the greatest concentration of your readers will be Southerners.


You can parse the demographics down to even finer points. Hobbies, careers, politics, marital status--all of these are identifiers, and you can probably find information online that will help you build your reader profile. The more details you have, the narrower you can make your focus, and the better results you'll have with your reader outreach.


-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The Marketing Maze

Mingle Marketing



880 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, selling, promotion, readers, target_audience, marketing_research, marketing_appeal
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Embracing selfies

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 17, 2016

As a person who inexplicably refers to himself as middle-aged, despite the fact that I'd have to live 24 years beyond the average life expectancy to actually be at the halfway point of my life, I feel comfortable speaking for my generation when I say we hate selfies. Loathe them. We don't understand them. We question the need for them. It's not a particularly rational objection. But it is the purview of older generations to not understand trends embraced by newer generations.

 

 

Here's the thing: selfies are excellent marketing tools. The criticism is that they are a bit self-indulgent, and they certainly can be, but they are for the most part, innocent records of one's journey through life. In your case, you would be recording a writer's life. Not self-indulgent as much as self-promotion.

 

 

I acknowledge that most of us are uncomfortable with that particular aspect of being an author. Promoting oneself does not come easily. It's downright painful in most cases. That is the beauty of selfies. It's a picture with a caption and you're done. At a book signing? Snap a picture of yourself with a few readers and post it to social media with a description that states how thrilled you are to meet your readers. Encourage your readers to do the same. In fact, post a sign that says, "Selfies with the author encouraged"

 

 

Never pass up the opportunity to snap a selfie. They are fantastic marketing tools, and they require very little effort. Just a little tip from an author who longs to be middle-aged again.

 

 

-Richard

 

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

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Building an author brand: your appearance

Six-second branding with apps

800 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, book_signing, book_marketing, promotions, social_media
1

When I speak with indie authors about their marketing efforts, one thing I hear quite often is that they have no idea how to find people who will review their books. For many this is a huge source of frustration, not to mention disappointment, which is completely understandable given all the time and effort they spent writing the book.


If you're in that boat, one great way to secure reviews is to reach out to book bloggers. Book bloggers love reviewing books, and most of them don't care who the publisher is. As long as the genre is up their alley, they are interested!


Here are some useful links for finding relevant bloggers for your book:

 

 

Book Blogger Directory

Book Blogger List

100 Best Blogs for Book Reviews

Blog Rank

Book Bloggers International

 

The key is to send each blogger you contact a personalized note that makes it clear you aren't just spamming everyone in the universe with the same request. You can use a templated blurb about your book, etc., but always begin your email with something specific about the blogger in question. Doing so takes extra time, but it's well worth it as you're much more likely to get a response.

 

Here's a useful trick: once you identify a blog that's perfect for your book, check to see which bloggers that blogger follows. Most book bloggers post links to their favorite book blogs, so why not contact those book lovers too? It's an easy way to find more target readers, and you can repeat this process over and over and over.

 

Another great thing about book bloggers is that if you ask them, in addition to posting their review of your book on their blog, they will usually post it on Amazon. Just remember to ask! In my experience avid book readers are very nice people, so there's no reason to be afraid of them. They love books, which means they love authors. And that means you!

 

-Maria

 

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Get Reviews for Your Indie Book

Marketing Tip: Reach Out to Bloggers

17,762 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, social, book_reviews, bloggers, author_marketing, author_advice
2

     You can promote your book without spending your life savings. Think locally. Design an ad that highlights both your book and its local author (you). Now find outlets around your community to promote your book. That's it. It's that simple. Okay, see you next blog post...I guess I could make a few suggestions on where to promote your book. Here are five businesses to approach about promoting your books:

 

  1. The Stage: Communities large and small have at least one playhouse that produces four to six shows a year. Each one of those shows has programs with bios for the cast and crew. They also sell ad space in those programs, and it's quite affordable.
  2. The Silver Screen: Find the nearest independent movie house and look for promotional opportunities. You may be able to create a slide for those pre-show images that cycle through on the screen, or you might even be able to hang a flyer/poster near the concession stand for a nominal fee.
  3. The Weekly: Metropolitan areas in particular have weekly alternative papers that offer advertising space at a reasonable rate
  4. The Coffee Shop: Independently owned coffee shops and/or bakeries may let you hang a flyer/poster in their establishment. If not free, the cost would most likely be negligible.
  5. The Farmers' Market: The Farmers' Market has become a staple of most communities these days. Horticulture artisans and craftsmen of every ilk set up tables and sell their wares. If you don't want to set up your own table to sell your book, perhaps individual vendors would rent out a corner of their tables for you to display your flyer/poster.

 

That should give you a head start in finding inexpensive local promotional opportunities. I'm sure you can think of even more on your own. Don't forget to share your marketing efforts on your social media accounts.

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor

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Small marketing steps: alternative newspapers

Coffee and books

1,343 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, self-publishing, promotion, marketing_strategy
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I'm a big fan of applying for awards, but like every book marketing strategy, it has its drawbacks. I asked Lauren White of the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) for her honest take on the pros and cons of applying for awards, and here's what she had to say:


Pros

 

Book awards are so effective because they judge books based on merit, and buyers and readers understand how rare and valuable that judgment is in today's age of paid reviews and social media self-promotion. And for self-publishers, the legitimacy and publicity that follow an award win can be unfortunately crucial to getting in the door with booksellers, librarians, and readers; with thousands of books to choose from, that shiny seal of approval from a reputed contest can make a world of difference.


Not to be overlooked is the morale boost and affirmation that come with an award. A panel of judges has understood and valued your unique message, and your work has not gone unseen. For many, that is the impetus and inspiration to continue writing and sharing stories.

 

Cons

 

Like many marketing services, awards cost money--usually an entry fee from $50-$125. Winning a prestigious award is absolutely worth that fee; relative to other marketing options, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your title. But there is a catch: unlike other marketing options, there is no guarantee your money will result in anything, as there is no guarantee you will win. If you are operating on a very tight budget, that $100 might be best spent on a promotional service that is less of a gamble.

 

Furthermore, not winning can be disheartening. Always remember that the competition is fierce, and that your words have value regardless of the contest's outcome!


Thanks to Lauren for her candor! To learn more about the IPPYs, click here.


-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Book marketing tip: apply for awards

Should you attend a writers conference?

 

 

 

 

 

 

848 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, author, promotion, book_awards, awards
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