Marketing: What is it, Really?

Marketing shouts the news that your story or book is available to be bought and read by others.  It is a part of the business side of a writer’s life.  I used to work in advertising and marketing, but that doesn’t make this work any easier for me.  I’m happiest writing my stories, not immersed in the business of writing.  But writers need to market their creative work.  At the moment, I’m looking at what I can do to get the news out there and encourage people to buy my novel, Perceval’s Secret.  (Have you bought your copy yet?)

Designed by Christopher Bohnet, xt4, inc.

Designed by Christopher Bohnet, xt4, inc.

Internet Marketing: I’ve sent out e-mail blasts to announce my novel’s publication and where to buy it.  I’ve announced publication on both my blogs.  I’ve created a Facebook public page for the series of novels and update it often.  Announcements have tweeted out on Twitter.  This marketing has been my first wave.  Now I need to move on to what I consider really hardcore stuff.

To my fellow writer/bloggers: I will provide you with a free copy if you will write a review of Perceval’s Secret at your blogs.  Just send me an e-mail at the address under “contact” with the name of your blog and detailing your interest.

The Postcards: My marketing budget is miniscule.  I decided to pick one tool that I could use in different ways.  So, I put together a postcard, book cover on front and short synopsis on back,  and printed it at VistaPrint (great prices!).  I will use the postcard in the following ways:

  • To mail out to people I know who are not online.
  • To mail out to orchestra musicians and staff — I need to make a list of the orchestras I want to target and assemble my mailing list
  • To use as a “business card” that I hand out everywhere I go — I keep a stash on hand when I go out
  • To use as a bookmark to give to people — this seems counter to the whole e-book experience, but I’m thinking that people still read regular print books, too.

Advertising: As I said, my marketing budget is miniscule.  Any ads I place I must create myself using the book cover art.  At the moment, I’m looking at the following for ad placements:

  • My college alma mater, plus a mention in the alumni magazine
  • Any clubs or associations of which I’m a member and their print publications

Promotion: I plan to write and distribute press releases to book sections of a selection of newspapers, probably those in the same cities as the orchestras I’ll target.  I’m available for book club meetings also.  I don’t own an e-reader, so doing in-person readings are not on my schedule right now.

Word of Mouth: Tell everyone you know about Perceval’s Secret!  I am.

Marketing Help: With the little money I do have, I plan to contact AuthorBuzz to find out what they can do for me.

Additional online marketing: I need to revamp my Publishers Marketplace webpage to promote the novel, and do some postings at the websites of clubs and associations I’m a member of.  Additional e-mail blasts, a contest for a free e-book, posts about the novel at LinkedIn and other websites with forums, and exploring the Goodreads possibility.  Do any of you visit Goodreads on a regular basis and write reviews there?

I’m open to other ideas, as long as they don’t cost a lot of money.  Perhaps with traditional publication a publisher would also help me with this, but I kind of doubt it.  I’m not (yet) a blockbuster author, or a prestigious author (yet), so a traditional publisher probably would not have an effective marketing budget for me.

So, Perceval’s Secret is available now.  Please buy it!  And I hope you enjoy reading it…..



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