If you read my post last month on inexpensive ways to market your novel you learned how you can promote your work for free. If you have a promotional budget set aside – even a smallish one – here are some options for how you can stretch your marketing dollar.
Order some business cards. They’re cheap and worth every penny.
Bookmarks. Some authors swear by them. If you’re especially savvy, you’ll print part of a reading group guide on the back.
Speaking of guides …. Print up some copies of your teacher and reading group guides and mail/distribute where appropriate.
Bookplates: You can purchase inexpensive sticky labels from the business supply store and design some with the included software. Great for school visits and responding to fan mail.
Bring candy to signings. Nothing encourages Q&A more than a sugary treat.
Beef up your website. Purchase some economical do-it-yourself software and register your domain name.
Join SCBWI and attend regional conference. See, you’re ahead of the game!
Make up press kits and mail as needed. Carry extras with you – they come in handy!
Order postcards and send to indie booksellers, librarians, reviewers, etc. This can potentially blow your budget, so always ask your publisher if they’d mind paying for postage. You get the added benefit of their mailing list!
Create speaking brochures and mail to schools and libraries. Speaking gigs get your name out, help sell books and (ideally) act as supplemental income.
Throw a launch party for your book. You’ll definitely need to keep it on a shoestring budget, but this is a great opportunity to get the word out about your new book. Ask an indie bookseller to work the event (or provide the space) and be sure to invite any teachers and librarians you’ve befriended.
Take some influential people to lunch. Identify some of the kid-lit leaders in your community. Ask them if they’d mind letting you pick their brain for ideas of how to be more involved. Once you both start talking shop, you never know what opportunities can become available for you and your work.
Make your own creative book-themed giveaway. Take them to your events, and make sure to send some to your editor.
Commission a book trailer. This is the hottest new promotional tool, and it costs way less than you think (hint: with the right software, you can even make it yourself!). Upload the clip to MySpace and YouTube. Announce its launch on listservs and blogs.
Create a podcast. Buy a microphone for your computer and record away! Podcasts can be uploaded to iTunes for free and are another way to beef up your web content.
Laurie Faria Stolarz’s author website: www.lauriestolarz.com
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