Tip of the Day: Keep a word document entitled “Marketing Ideas” open on your desktop all the time. Then, each time you see a cool idea from another blog, listserve, etc., copy/paste it into your document. Some day you’ll sit down to sort it all out (at least that is what I tell myself) and you’ll have loads of great information.
It’s getting about that time. The time when I need to start obsessing about how I will market my book. Only thing is, I haven’t a clue. Sure, I know some of the basics like have a Web site (though I really should work on a better one), have a MySpace, blog around (that sounds kinda dirty doesn’t it?), and I just recently joined Facebook (still not sure I’m doing that one right). But I haven’t thought of any really great marketing ideas for when my book comes out. Yeah, I have over a year before that time but being a true writer I must obsess about every little thing NOW. Right? It seems like everyone else has super fantastic marketing ideas all the time!
People make lots of cute bookmarks and buttons, postcards and pens, but what is really effective? Or does it all just become stuff that no one really pays attention to? I kinda like the postcards myself—because then I use them as a bookmark for that book when I read it (or other books by the author). But other than that, what kinda swag is really a good investment? (really dear readers, what kinda swag do YOU like?).
I know I should do some coffee related stuff—obviously. Just not sure what. Maybe give away free espresso mugs? Or have a party or some book signings in coffee shops? Drink myself silly on espressos before a reading to give everyone a good laugh? Hmmm…this stuff is hard.
And then, how do you market directly to teens? Maybe magazine ads would be a good idea but are they really memorable? And are they worth the huge cost? I wonder if Red Bull sells ad space on the back of their cans.
I’ve heard some authors say that marketing at all is a big waste of time. That your book is either going to be a bestseller or it isn’t (depending on how many copies your first print run is. And that is entirely decided by your publisher. Apparently you need to sell X number of books to hit the bestseller lists and if your pub hasn’t printed that many then your chance of hitting the list disappears). These authors say you should spend your time writing the next book. Which I do. Since selling Espressologist I’ve written 3 more books. Of course, I’m always revising them but that’s how it goes. I’d really like to do some kind of marketing but not get too crazy. And something fun.
Take YA author Stephanie Kuehnert (whose book comes out in July and I will be interviewing her for A2A in June). She and the author of Frenemies, Alexa Young, are setting up something called ROCK AND READ. They are going to host events combining readings with music. How cool is that?
I know I still have time to come up with something snazzy to do but I do feel a nagging pressure to work on marketing now. Or at least figure out what I’m going to do. What about you other authors? Do you worry a lot about marketing? Or just focus on writing the next book?
Kristina, Miss Soon-to-Pub