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.
11/28/2011 01:48:49 am
OMG I LOVE #9! Hahahaha! Another "great" one: get 212 people you know to post 5-star reviews of your book on Amazon, detailing how it doesn't have A SINGLE FLAW and how you're the NEXT STEPHEN KING/STEPHENIE MEYER, and then when real people post genuine reviews (especially if they're 3 stars or less) have these same 212 people immediately go and vote their review as unhelpful and/or post snarky comments below them. Great marketing tactic! :D
11/28/2011 02:07:13 am
This was great! I'm posting a link on my Facebook page!
11/28/2011 02:20:20 am
Okay, I was totally cracking up! So many serious posts on this subject that yours was a fresh of breath marketing air!
11/28/2011 02:31:15 am
So many good ideas! I'll be sure to do that!
11/28/2011 02:57:32 am
Hilarious! I loved it. I actually think #10 is a good idea. Buy a book, get a free hot dog! (wow... have I really sunk this low...) lol
11/28/2011 03:42:17 am
ROFL!! I was going to get a tattoo on my butt and just moon everyone I saw, but the fotehead idea is much better. LOL!!!!
11/28/2011 05:41:26 am
haahahah ok will not lie. I am doing#4 and 9 lol
11/28/2011 05:56:50 am
11/28/2011 07:31:00 am
Where was this list when my book first came out two years ago? Damn these are great ideas! Wish I had thought of at least one of them.
11/28/2011 10:22:26 am
Great ideas, but you forgot a good one. I wear T-shirts with things like WARNING: be careful what you say or you might end up on my next novel. It is amazing how my larger sized bust can draw attention. Why not advertise your book on the breast????
11/28/2011 10:28:16 am
Hilarious! You are a funny gal, can't wait to read your "real" work.
11/28/2011 10:29:39 am
This was a great post and they just kept getting better as it went on. Thanks for this laugh today. I enjoyed it more than you know.
11/28/2011 10:45:25 am
Not sure how many books I'll sell, with your excellent advice, but the laughs were entirely worth it. Thanks for the smiles.
11/28/2011 10:57:16 am
I was all prepared for a serious blog and to maybe learn something new that I hadn't heard before. Instead you made me laugh out loud and I so needed a laugh. Great job!
11/28/2011 11:08:09 am
Loved this....totally loved this! Good luck with your book! Here's to lots of sales for you.
11/28/2011 11:36:38 am
OMG, I love this. Since my son is a very talented 'tagger' I could get his services for a decent dinner.
11/28/2011 11:38:22 am
Love it! Hilarious! Of course, in a moment of desperation, who knows what I writer will do! :)
11/28/2011 02:04:47 pm
If my blog posts were half this funny, my audience would probably be three times as big as it currently is...
11/28/2011 08:57:02 pm
Love all the ideas! I'll have to try these to get the word out about my mystery book series - latest one is "The Las Vegas Lambada". Any suggestions for this one?
11/28/2011 10:13:53 pm
This was great. Thanks for the good idea...er...laugh!
11/28/2011 11:13:07 pm
Wonderful! I'm also posting a link on FB!
11/28/2011 11:58:10 pm
I wonder if they can do full color, on scale tattoos of a book cover? On the back maybe? Then you could hang out at the beach in a bikini...
11/28/2011 11:59:33 pm
LOL This is a great post Angela. You had me spitting coffee...very funny.
11/29/2011 07:16:05 am
Love these suggestions! Actually... I have done a variation on advertising in a public restroom. I used postcards and flyers and tape, but it was essentially the same idea. Did it work? That book still sells... Must have done the trick! :)
11/29/2011 08:24:39 am
I like number 3 the best.
11/29/2011 10:39:11 am
The kicker is that most of these ideas probably WOULD be effective. Of course, the time, effort and materials would cost more than you'd net in sales!
11/29/2011 06:42:55 pm
I want you to know that this post made me laugh SO hard that it inspired me to create my own little "Top 10" list. Check it out on the blog. :)
11/30/2011 12:23:13 pm
Great advice about "Git-ing R Dun" LOL!
12/1/2011 05:32:05 pm
I love these ideas, they're hilarious. In fact, I might just try the bathroom one. Wish I had access to a monkey though...
12/1/2011 10:32:46 pm
LOL, you're a riot. I'm seriously considering the tattoo idea. At the very least, it would be a conversation starter at parties.
12/16/2011 12:31:29 am
The balloon thing sounds so tempting ;-).
12/18/2011 09:41:08 pm
Incredibly funny!! One of those ideas has to work. lol
5/10/2012 02:56:05 am
I have made more than my fair share of mistakes trying to market my book. The balloon one could actually work. The tattoo one too, if you have enough kids to get them to get each successive book tattooed on THEIR heads. Keep it in the family. ;p
10/23/2012 09:02:19 pm
Considering how poor my sales are I may have to implement all 10 just to raise some interest.
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