As a debut 2012 author (of What She Left Behind, Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster), one of the questions I love to ask when I’m doing author interviews is what marketing tips other authors have. So today I thought I’d share some of my own marketing adventures!
GIVEAWAYS: This has turned out to be one of my favorites. You can do a giveaway on Goodreads for up to six months after your release. During my Goodreads giveaways, I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people who added my book to their to-read lists. I’m currently using a Goodreads giveaway to find a home for one of the German copies of my book. In Germany there is also a site similar to Goodreads called Lovelybooks. (Although the title sounds English, it’s all in German). I was able to do a “reading circle” with my German version on this site – my German publisher agreed to provide 15 copies of the book for this. Once the reading circle members received the book, they would post comments about different sections of the book. They could also post questions for the author, which if they weren’t able to translate into English, the moderator would do for them. Speaking of giveaways, don't forget to enter the YAFUSION GIVEAWAY for the ARC of All the Truth That's in Me - it ends JULY 5!
CAR MAGNETS: I slapped a couple of car magnets on the driver and passenger side doors of my car last summer before heading out on a cross-country trip. People all over surprised me by asking questions about my book because of them – from a toll booth operator to a woman at a national park. I had signed bookmarks in my glove compartment, which I handed out to people who asked about the book. On this same trip, I plotted out my route to hit a dozen bookstores across 400 miles in one day, quickly running in and signing stock at each one (I checked on line first to make sure that the stores had copies of my book in stock).
BOOKMARKS: This has been my favorite giveaway (I sign them with a grey Sharpie) though I had some T-shirts, tote bags, and notebooks with my book’s cover on them as well. I also had a small amount of bookmarks made with my German cover on them since I have some friends and contacts in Germany. (If anyone has a YA reading friend in Germany who would like one, you can send me his/her address through the contact form on my website).
POSTCARDS, LETTERS, and POSTERS: The month my book released I sent postcards to lots of public and school libraries in my state (Michigan). I also sent letters to high school English teachers in Michigan (first I found the school addresses on-line, then I used the school websites to address them to a specific English teacher). I enclosed discussion questions, signed bookmarks, and a letter summarizing my book and mentioning my launch party details. In the letter I mentioned how teachers could enter a poster giveaway by e-mailing me. It’s hard to know how effective this mailing was, but it did lead to some school visits which I really loved.
BOOK TRAILERS AND YOUTUBE ADVERTIZEMENTS: I had a book trailer made (which I absolutely love!) To me, this was definitely worth the cost as it’s a great little commercial for my book. It’s also fairly inexpensive to advertise your video on YouTube. I often use the book trailer to introduce my book when I’m giving a talk at a school, library, or conference.
I’m always interested in more marketing tips, so please use the comments section to add your own!