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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Killer Clowns & Killer Campaigns

Many years ago, I went to university with a young man who had a hilarious idea for a comic book. He called it Killer Clowns From Outer Space. I kid you not, it was so funny I would have tears in my eyes.

He invested in the idea and created the comic book. I still have the premiere issue somewhere. I bought it for the princely sum of one dollar. I think my favorite part of the book was the back page. There was a "killer" clown holding a precious little puppy by the scruff of the neck. In the clown's other hand was a 45 caliber pistol. The caption read: Buy this book or the puppy gets it!

Blackmail! And with a puppy. Did the guy have no shame? He really knew how to pull my strings.

Alas, even with the clever advertising, he couldn't sell enough comic books to get back his investment, so he pitched his idea to a big publishing company, and they bought it.

I never saw Killer Clowns again though. I heard the company mass produced it for a while and then let it disappear. --which goes to prove that sometimes even the big guys can't win all the time either.

It made me realize, too, that no matter how good an idea is, it will sit in oblivion without the proper engine to give it exposure. Comic books and novels are much the same.

Now that I have my own book coming out, I knew I had to dig in and pull out all my resources to see what would work for me.

This morning, I sat down and listed every single promotional venue I could think of. I came up with 43 different ideas. I thought it would be interesting to post two or three at a time and discuss the pros and cons for each.

Next Friday, I'll post the master list and that will give you a timeline on when I'll discuss each set of promotional vehicles.

I was amazed there were so many ways to get the word out. But what was even more interesting was when I broke them down not only by their cost effectiveness, but by their audience reach. I began to see why some ideas worked for certain authors and not for others. It also gave me a basis on which vehicles would fit best to my personality.

There's still a lot more research to do, but I hope to examine these ventures week by week on this blog. Hopefully, it will be useful to other authors as well.

I should note that I actually came up with 45 promotional ideas, but two, (affiliate programs and Google ads) required more study than I'm willing to donate at this time. I'm also not very convinced of their effectiveness for authors, but that's just an opinion.

In honor of my friend and his comic book, Killer Clowns, I am naming this new series of posts, Killer Campaigns. It will run every Friday until I run out of ideas.

And unlike my friend's book, no puppies will be harmed in the making of these posts.


My friend KS Augustin is giving away free reads! Go here to read the prologue and first chapter of War Games. Then be a dear and drop a note to Kaz here.


Touch Of Fire Update:
OMG, it's getting closer. Let me direct you to an excerpt here. If you like it, pass the link around. I need your help to get the word out.

More later!


Kaz Augustin said...

Can I just say, I luuurved your excerpt! Srsly. And thanks for the mention. Yep, folks, roll up, roll up! One space opera romance going cheap. I may do something with radiation-mutated puppies at some point in the future, but I haven't decided yet. Say, I may turn that into a marketing campaign:

Save the radiation-mutated puppies ... read War Games.

Maria Zannini said...

Believe it or not, years ago, Greg and I created a character for a comic strip. It was a radioactive super hero dog. We called it Boomer, the Radioactive Dog. It was followed by Son of Boomer.

LOL! Good times.
Thanks for reminding me. Now he's going to bug me to resurrect them.

J.K. Coi said...

Oooh, Maria. Very nice excerpt!

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, JK!

Marianne Arkins said...

Great exerpt! And, I'm excited to see your marketing ideas.

BTW, thanks for your dog-pulling suggestions. Tomorrow, I will try it out and make my neighbors think I'm nuttier than they already do!

Maria Zannini said...

Let me know how Dakota does. I guarantee you, it has worked on every single dog I've ever had.

Allie Boniface said...

I can't wait to see your promo ideas either!