that doesn’t stand for all points bulletin. It stands for Always Be
Promoting. It is important to promote your work year-round,
but it is imperative to promote during the holiday season. According to
the holiday season starts after Halloween and
ends New Year’s Day. It is most important to promote your work during
this time of year, because the holiday season is the biggest
gift-giving season of the year, with birthdays, anniversaries, and
Valentine’s Day close behind. Just prior to the holiday season,
customers are thinking of gift ideas for family members, friends, and
coworkers. A book is an excellent gift.
All day long we see ads on
television, in the mail, and in the local newspaper promoting holiday
sales. Store promotions are not one-trick ponies. They promote and
advertise from the beginning of the holiday season to the end. Some of
them even start in July, calling their promotions Christmas in July. If
you have not already started, now is the time to promote, promote, promote.
Now more than ever, an author
has several promoting options. My favorite option is FREE.
• Facebook: Promote heavily using Facebook. Many potential customers
are using Facebook as a multitasking tool for e-mail, instant
messaging, and other forms of communication, advertisements, and news.
In addition to your Friends page, set up a Fan page. The customer base
build on a Fan page is unlimited. Also, for a small fee, users can set
up e-commerce on their Facebook pages and do something they call
“target marketing.” For information visit either Facebook or Google
using the keywords advertise on Facebook.
• Twitter: Tweet your promotions to your Twitter list. If your current
Twitter ID is your name or something fun and snazzy and you want to
promote a certain item, create another Twitter account using a branded
URL. For example if you are promoting your novel Last Chance
at Love, you may want to use that as your Twitter ID for that
promotional product. Brand your profile. Twitter allows users to
customize their backgrounds, so if you were marketing Last
Chance at Love, you can put the cover of the book along with
any other information on the profile or even use it as your profile
background. Follow people or friends of people whom you think might be
interested. Make sure you participate on “Follow Fridays,” hash tag
#FF. This is a great way to gain more followers. When tweeting your
promotions, make sure you add the correct URL so that a potential
customer can go straight to the source.
• A Website is a great way to advertise your book. Authors can have a
Website that is either their name (www.yolandamjohnson.com)
(How Not to Live is the
title of one of my client’s new novel.) You can promote your Website on
the social media sites mentioned above. You can add them to your
business cards or marketing material. If your Website is a WordPress
site, potential readers and customers can interact with you via the
site. Authors can also “blog tour” on their Websites and other hosting
• Ads: Take out an ad in your local paper or neighborhood publication,
or in a national newspaper, or even on an online venue. Or place a
flyer in your local library or networking venue.
• Website ads: Contact the owner of other “like” or related Websites.
Some will place your ad on their sites for a small fee, while others
may not charge anything.
Newsletters: Constant Contact and other e-mail marketing tools allow
authors to promote their work with e-mail marketing campaigns. Also, do
not sleep on your local networking and entrepreneurial center, because
some of them put out monthly or quarterly newsletters.
• Business Cards: Business cards are easy to obtain. Sites like Vista
Print to Twig One Stop create custom business cards at reasonable
prices. Who says a business card should have only name and contact
information? Why not display a photo of either yourself or your book
cover on the front and display information about your book on the back.
You can include information such as the ISBN number, publisher, number
of pages, genre, and pricing info.
• Bookmarks: In addition to advertising your book on bookmarks, you
give the reader a tool they can use to mark their places in their
books. How cool is that? A bookmark should, at the very least, include
the book title, ISBN, and Website.
• Postcards: Postcards pretty much serve the same purpose as the
bookmark, except it is a little more bulky. However, they are a good
tool to hand out, leave on counters in stores or libraries (always ask
first), or on the advertising board of local grocery stores and
• Tote bags: With the world trying to go green, totes are an excellent
idea. You can custom screen your book cover title and contact
information onto the canvas of the tote. I have bought many a tote bag
because I saw someone else with it and thought it was cool.
Word of Mouth
• Word of mouth is by far one of the most effective ways to advertise
your product. If you have the gift of gab, you can promote your book by
just having a conversation. I recently sold a book at a boutique where
purchased a purse. At the checkout, I simply handed the owner my card
asked about the books that I write. I gave her a brief description of
each and she bought one. It was that simple.
• Speak about your book every chance you get. Always have a small pitch
about your work and always be prepared to speak. You will never know
when an opportunity may present itself. Always be prepared.
Have fun promoting, and make
sure you are always promoting. Always keep an ample amount of supplies
on you, in your purse, in your car, or wherever. If someone asks if you
have a bookmark, business card, or book on you, your answer should
always be, “Why, yes!”
May you sell to your heart’s
content this holiday season, and may you sell so many books, you exceed
your wildest dreams. Happy Holidays!
Vista Print http://www.vistaprint.com
Twig One Stop http://www.twigonestop.com
Marketing for Authors 2.0