As an author with a book coming out early next year, I've spent a great deal of time researching the BEST ways in which to promote and market one's book. Because lets face it, just because you write a book doesn't necessarily mean people will buy it--especially if they have NO idea it even exists.
There are kabillions of sites out there offering tips and guidance, so I'm jumping on board the band wagon and offering SURE-FIRE ways in which to create some buzz and increase your book sales.
These methods, if applied correctly, will boost your visibility around the globe.(Warning: These methods have not been tested, but I'm pretty darn sure they'd work. I almost guarantee it).
#1) Purchase 10,000 helium filled balloons (color of your choice; number of balloons is not. You need a minimum of 10k) and have your book title and purchase information printed on the face of the balloon. If you can not afford to have them printed, buy a Sharpie marker and get busy--keep in mind, you will lose a few balloons to this process, so take that into account when placing your balloon order. Once your information is on the balloons, release them into the sky. Everyone loves balloons. People will be excited when they find one tangled in their trees or when one falls, deflated, into their yards. Balloons have been known to travel for miles and miles. This is a great way to find more fans.
#2) Don't underestimate the power of a good tattoo. The most ideal place to have your book title and information tattooed is somewhere on your body that is visible and not hidden by clothing. Preferably, your forehead. Everyone HAS to look at your forehead. Not everyone has to look at your bum. So keep that in mind when putting the tattoo portion of your marketing campaign to work for you.
#3) Everyone LOVES free stuff. Nothings better than receiving a free gift! So why not offer a free pint of whiskey with the purchase of your book? You are bound to get repeat customers and book sales will soar. You will have devoted fans who will skyrocket you to the top of the best sellers list. If you know how to make your own whiskey, all the better.
#4) Public bathrooms are a great place to advertise. Every bathroom stall has a wall or two. Take a moment while your sitting there and carve your book title and sales information into the walls. Not much of a carver? Use the Sharpie marker from tip number one to get your information out there. You could also take the first week or two after your book launch and travel around visiting various restrooms across your nation or put your passport to use and "go" (pun intended) market around the world. Don't get caught. if you get caught, deny, deny, deny. Blame it on a crazy fan.
#5) Everyone knows that people who love to read also love monkeys. Not the big, scary gorillas, but the cute little spider monkeys (Have you watched "Night at the Museum" or "Curious George"--so cute). Hang out in your downtown area with a box of your books and a super smart (non-aggressive) monkey. Have him hand books out to people passing buy on the street. No one, and I mean NO ONE, can deny a monkey. Then charge $40 bucks per book. People will pay.
#6) This kind of goes in line with the bathroom stall tip above, why not hire a graffiti artist to spray paint your book title on long distance trains (not just local transit. Think Amtrak or cargo trains). Many people get stopped at railroad crossings and would love seeing your "ad" fly by. It breaks up the tedium of just sitting there and counting box cars. It may be pricey at first, depending on the talent of the graffiti artist (you do tend to get what you pay for, keep that in mind) but the investment will be worth it.
#7). Bumper stickers! Everyone loves bumper stickers. Get a few thousand printed up and go around town, or hire some kids, and place bumper stickers on parked cars. People might get ticked when they find the sticker on their bumper, BUT do you know hard it is to get those suckers off? Real hard.
#8) Hit all your local games--football, baseball,basketball--and stuff your pockets with business cards with your book info on them. Each time someone scores, doesn't matter which side, toss a handful of cards into the air confetti style. Then move to a new area and do it again. Just keep rotating through the bleachers.
#9) Go around town and superglue several quarters to the ground. THEN superglue your business card with your flashy book cover next to it. People will bend over to pick up the quarter (and can't) and will see your book cover in the process. Maybe you could try in the quarter them by saying, "For only a few quarters, you too could get your hands on a copy of this book."
#10) People love food and EVERYONE has to eat. For minimal cost, set up a hotdog stand in the busiest part of town around lunch time. Advertise by saying, "Buy a hotdog for $9 (or whatever your charging) and get my book for free! Again, people like free things. Why not combine the love of food with a free book?
Marketing your book will be hard work. Think outside the box. Be creative. And good luck.
(This is only a spoof. You if take on any of the above tasks, this here blog owner is not responsible. You do so at your own risk. It could be worth the risk though. Just saying.)
What marketing tactic do you HATE? What tactics do you think actually work best? What crazy things have you seen authors do to promote their works? I'd really love to know.