Late in 2008 and almost all of 2009, I wrote a regular column called Killer Campaigns, focusing on the various venues for marketing yourself and your book.
Through my research, I learned along with you, the cost of each marketing strategy and whether I thought it would work.
I didn't always agree with the running favorites, like bookmarks or book trailers. But I gave them a fair shake to see how they held up to my litmus test of exposure and profitability.
And I examined them all, whether I planned to use them for myself or not.
In the end, I learned, both from research and experience, that you had to choose your battles carefully. There's no benefit in running yourself ragged trying to cover all your bases with promotional pens, bookmarks, chat rooms, interviews, contests, etc., etc.
You can't do it all and even if you could, you probably couldn't do it well--not without spending an extraordinary amount of money.
So I concluded that the best promotional plan for us are the ones we're most comfortable doing--and the ones we do well.
Look at me. I live in the middle of nowhere. It takes me an hour just to reach the fuzzy edge of Dallas on a good day. (Don't even ask me how long it takes on a bad day.) I have to rely on the internet to get my name out. I can't afford to go to book signings, attend conferences and give speeches.
Worse yet, I have no talent for chat rooms, no time for Twitter, and no money for loads of goodies. What's a new author to do?
You do what you can, with the resources you have and your natural talents. I like to blog. I think I do it well. So for me, blogging is a way to reach out to a myriad of potential readers.
I like to write articles too. Even though I haven't had one published in a while, I still get visitors from the sites that carried my articles. Google my name. I'm everywhere!
This year, I'd like to do an update on Killer Campaigns, giving tips on how to complement your promotional efforts. I'm thinking we might do a series of what-if scenarios.
• Money is tight and all I have is $50 to spend on marketing this year. What should I spend it on?
• My book is erotica. What are the best ways to find my audience?
• Ack! I self-published, now what do I do?
These are just a few ideas, but I'm open to suggestions. If you have a particular quandary, you can leave it in comments, or email me if you'd rather keep your superhero identity a secret.
I'll do this series twice a month if you show enough interest. Of course, if no one comments, I'll assume it's not important enough to make it a series.
Drop me a comment, email me a question, or send up smoke rings. I'll bet we can have a lot of fun brainstorming this and getting everyone involved.
I want to color outside the lines and not fall into the same old marketing routine. You ask the questions and I'll start the ball rolling by analyzing it for public scrutiny and putting it up for discussion.
For those of you who are new to this blog and don't know my background, I recently retired as the art director for an advertising department of a major corporation where I saved the world from bad advertising.
My specialty is print advertising, but no matter what you use to market your book or your brand, the elements are the same, and so is the goal.
What do you say, guys? Should I bring back Killer Campaigns as a new series? What questions should we tackle?
For past Killer Campaign articles, go here.
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