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4 Creative Book Marketing & Promotion Ideas for Indie Authors and Self-published Books

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ALLi Author Membership entitles you to share best practice in our closed Facebook groups

As we move into the second half of the year (where did the first half go?!), with Facebook adverts and Amazon AMS still high profile in any discussion of marketing self-publishing books, and Bookbub feeling for many indie authors like the Holy Grail of book promotion, here’s our usual monthly round-up of less obvious book promotion ideas.

All of these have been volunteered by author members of the ALLi Facebook group (one of 21 reasons to become a paid-up member of ALLi, rather than just following our blog.) While these ideas are more geared to selling single copies than sending you soaring up the bestsellers’ list, they’re all good fun, and easy ticks to achieve – and such small successes may give us strength to persevere with our bigger, long-term marketing goals.

Work Visa Pre-empted with a Book Sale

Photo of Alison Ripley-Cubitt

Alison Ripley-Cubitt writes as one half of Lambert Nagle (Image from her website)

Multi-genre author Alison Ripley-Cubitt sold a book to a visa officer and fellow writer at the US embassy, while waiting to find out if her work visa had been granted.

Moral: Always have a copy of your book about you and use it to open conversations. You never know when or where you might meet a potential new fan – and those personal encounters are the kind that the reader will tell all their friends about, thus becoming your roving ambassador, free of charge.

With a Little Help from Our Furry Friends

Illlustration of Marianne and Spike

Marianne Su Yin’s dog Spike is her secret marketing weapon (Image from her website)

We’re all familiar with the plethora of pictures of cats and dogs on the internet, and Marianne Su-Yin has gone one further by using her dog Spike to sell her books online! She explains:

My first self-published children’s book set in London during World War II features my dog Spike who has over 400 Vizsla followers on his Instagram account, @spikethevizslaplus, 400 other dogs and a few humans too. I know, he’s got a better social life than me!   Also he sent a book to a Vizsla in Sydney, Lilac, who will be sharing with her Vizzy network of sixty Vizslas there! It really is a dog’s life in our house. 

The Power of Asking

Andrew Emery headshot

Politeness cost Andrew Emery nothing – and netted a great result! (Image by Andrew Emery)

Writer and journalist Andrew Emery demonstrates that if you don’t ask, you don’t get – and vice versa:

I asked a friend of a friend for a TV comedian’s contact details. I thought my book would be up his street. Sent him a polite message this week asking if I could send him a copy – he got straight back to me, said he knew my journalism and was a fan and has invited me onto his podcast this autumn. Incredibly pleased!

How Far Would You Go?

Image of Jane Austen photoshopped to include Jonathan's book

Another of Jonathan’s japes – Jane Austen enjoying his book (Image supplied by Jonathan Hope)

How far are you prepared to go with your creative marketing ideas? Jonathan Hope‘s come up with more than one cheeky one.

I got a friend in the US to write to the Bath Chronicle complaining about large posters apparently adorning the Roman Baths and the Pump Rooms. He attached (and they printed) photos of the offending posters, which were for an exhibition running to accompany the launch of my illustrated alphabet book, A is for Donkeys. I got to reply in defence of the posters, of course. No such thing as bad publicity!

OVER TO YOU What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done to draw attention to your book and would you recommend it? We’d love to know!

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3 Responses to 4 Creative Book Marketing & Promotion Ideas for Indie Authors and Self-published Books

  1. jo Nicoletti July 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    I used to be in the Hotel Industry for many years and now hoping that my connexion s might persuade hotel managers to put a display box of my three slim paper back books in his /her reception area as I believe they would make great holiday reading
    I would, most of all, like advice on how to price up my books.the illustrator and I will be sharing any profits and like me is not hell bent are making a fortune, just in being well received. What mark up is acceptable?
    I am not following the Amazon trail nor the the chain shops, preferring to see my books in the small gift shops or “boutique” book sellers. As I do public speaking on a variety of subjects I will in future be accompanied by my collection . The Hearing Dogs for the Deaf will also benefit along the way.
    So, thank you for your ideas. Keep them coming
    Jo Nicoletti
    Honiton, Devon UK

  2. Paige Elizabeth Turner July 3, 2017 at 7:44 am #

    Alison Ripley-Cubitt’s experience mirrors one of my own. Recently had my car MOT’d, and ‘coincidentally’ had some of my ‘Beyond all Doubt’ on the back seat. Turned out proprietor was an avid reader and bought one!

  3. Wendy Jones July 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

    You always get such great ideas here. Thanks for sharing

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