By Jennifer Hallmark
Hmm. That’s an interesting question. For the past 12 years, I’ve worked on perfecting the craft of writing, making connections, growing my blogs, and finishing my novel. The time for marketing is drawing near. My debut novel will release in June of 2019, so marketing is foremost on my mind at this time. (Besides my edits)
How should I invest money for the greatest return? Here’s a few of my ideas:
(1) Talk to my already-published author friends, especially those in my genre. People that have been there, done that, can share expertise to help me make decisions. Here’s what three authors have already told me . . .
Betty Thomason Owens–One way I will use to market a new release is through a paid blog tour. By paying for the service, the heavy work is already handled for you. The blogs will be scheduled and you’ll have help when the time comes for the tour.
- What you get for your money: (1) A blog tour to generate publicity for your newly-released book. (2) Guaranteed reviews, though the reviews are honest, and not always positive.
- What it requires from you: This is a 14-day tour, so it requires a lot of planning and work. You’ll need to supply books up front for the reviews, either Ebooks, or print, as specified by the bloggers. Total cost can run several hundred dollars, weighed against whatever sales are generated by the blog tours. For more information, contact: Celebratelit
- I also seek out venues like conferences, craft fairs, and other functions in the area. There is usually a cost to rent a table or booth, but the personal exposure is well worth the money. I almost always earn the cost back in sales. One thing to remember about these, always have takeaways, like business cards, postcards and/or bookmarks, and chocolate.
Suzy Parish-My favorite way to spend marketing dollars involves little to zero investment dollar-wise. Research charities to see if one has a mission that falls within the parameters of the theme of your novel. Develop a relationship with the CEOs of that charity, send them a cover letter explaining how your novel dovetails with their mission statement. Offer to promote their charity alongside your book, after sending them an ARC for their approval, of course! This can develop into a beautifully mutual relationship with Christ, the ultimate benefactor. Sales might benefit also!
Janie Winsell-There are wonderful marketing ideas for authors, but narrowing it down to my favorite is hard. I had to ponder this question and really look at all of my marketing research to come up with an answer, but I have finally come to the conclusion that giveaways are the best way to get attention for your book. You can give away a five-dollar Starbucks card or even a fifty-dollar Amazon card. You dictate how little or how much you spend, which is great. People respond better to marketing that gets them something for free.
Let’s say you want twenty people to like and share your post with the link to your new release, what better way to achieve your goal than by promising a giveaway of your book once you reach your target. Then, you have twenty people see your book, share your book, and twenty more of their friends do the same. Selling books is all about visibility. People have to see it to want to buy it!
(2) Read multiple blog posts and listen to podcasts. There are great sources of information out there. Here are three of my favorites:
- Jane Friedman. Informative articles. https://www.janefriedman.com/book-marketing-budget/
- Novel marketing. Great podcasts.
- Edie Melson. The Write Conversation is a must-read blog.
(3) Make a plan. I’ll take the ideas I think I can work with, the ones that feel right and put together a strategy. What do you think of these?
- Local launch party
- Blog tour
- Book signings
- A social media blitz
- Research charities
(4) Follow through. When the time comes, I’ll schedule my plan into my calendar and see what works. I’ll save all my information of how each marketing idea worked or didn’t so I’ll have it for my next book launch. It’s never too early to plan ahead.
Writing prompt: Please share (in the comment section) what your favorite way to spend marketing dollars, the one that works best for you.