Thinking outside the box - how to get creative with your marketing
Marketing is not all about adverts and social media. Marketing is about making your product (book) relevant to customers and getting them interested in it.
Honestly, we know that most authors don’t have powerhouse publishers behind them, able to splash out on press adverts, sponsored reviews and substantial PR. And that is why it is great to think creatively about how to market your books.
A few ideas to get people interested in reading your books are things like...
- leave copies in a few local strategic places for people to read (hospital waiting room, cafe, hairdressers)
- create a hashtag about your book and create an imaginative way to get people tweeting about it
- set up a real or virtual book club
- post a copy to a famous person who you think might enjoy it (better if one who tweets!)
- speak to local library about running a talk, event, book reading
- get small stickers with your book cover printed on them. Use them to seal envelopes etc.
- write and send out an interesting press release - what makes you or your book newsworthy?
- create a pinterest board around the main character of your book
Once you’ve exhausted all the usual ideas like those above, then it’s time to think outside the box! As a marketing services company, this is the stuff we love! Lift all restraints. If money, contacts, time were no object - how would you go about marketing your book in interesting ways? Then make a plan to make it happen for real. Fundraise, pull in favours, ask everyone you know to help. Think as abstractly as you can. Advertising works if it is interruptive and so makes you stop and think.
● Would you project an image of the book cover on a famous landmark? - fake it in photoshop and try and get the image viral on social media.
● Would you sponsor a sporting fixture? - ask a load of friends to go to a football game wearing boldly printed t-shirts about your book. If they are bold, random or interesting enough then they might cause some ripples and even get on TV!
● Would you try and get the Metro to serialise your book so millions of commuters could experience it? - take a few days off work. Dress up as your main character and go around London acting as them, or riding the tube obviously enjoying the book to the extreme.
A few key pointers…
● Consider what makes your book unique and interesting? Then use it!
● Draw on your own experiences. Think of how you’ve been introduced to books. Can you replicate?
● Remember that book title and cover are key to your marketing.
● Be reactive. If your book links well to a particular event or time of year then be prepared to really push your book by linking into this (e.g. if it’s a romcom, do something relevant to push it around Valentines Day)
● Whilst there is a lot to be said for social media accounts, a great website, and interesting blogs, we at 4 Feet Marketing still love marketing in real life too. A bit of effective local marketing can be a great thing. Consider a good old fashioned flyer drop, or using chalk to decorate a key strip of pavement with cryptic messages linking to your book.
Remember, marketing is about knowing your customer. Consider this when planning any marketing activity.
Thanks Dorothy, some good advice there. I certainly cashed in on promoting my romcom book (now out of print) around Valentines Day, and I really believe in a strong personal branding image. It's really useful to hear from a professional marketing advisor, though - and any writer could learn something from this post. You're welcome back on MISS WRITE anytime.
Until next time,
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