At the end of each month, we turn the spotlight on quirky yet effective ways that ALLi indie author members are marketing their self-published books. This month we're sharing military technology and history writer Russell Phillips‘ innovative idea for running a competition on his author website – an idea you could adapt for your own use.
How It Works
Over to Russell to explain the mechanic of his competition:
I've called it “Reconnaissance Mission” because that fits the theme of my books and website. Throughout August, five pages on my website will have a silhouette of a Warsaw Pact vehicle. When you find a silhouette, you click on it and receive a free preview of an upcoming article. Plus, for each one that you find, you can get one free entry to a draw for paperback copies of the first two books in my new series, “Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact”: Tanks and Combat Vehicles of the Warsaw Pact and Combat Engineering Equipment of the Warsaw Pact.
Here's a link to the start page of Russell's competition so you can see it in action.
Quite apart from the imminence of his books' launch, August also seems the perfect time to run it, during the summertime, when people in the northen hemisphere at least are more likely to be on their summer break and have more leisure for such things.
Planning ahead, this could work well as a Christmas-time promotion, if you can bear to think about that in August (and you should, as an authorpreneur planning your marketing at least a season ahead!)
And of course a further benefit is that it costs you next to nothing to run – in Russell's case, just the price of a couple of print books.
How Could You Adapt This Idea for Your Genre?
While Russell is obviously writing in a very narrow niche, his idea could also be adapted for other genres, e.g.
- mystery writers could plant clues on different pages of their websites
- authors of romance might seed their pages with names of couples in their novels which readers should find an unite
- travel writers might post photos of destinations featured in their books and invite readers to identify them
Says Russell, “I adapted the idea from another site, who do it at Halloween as “trick or treat”. They have pumpkins, and about 30% lead to something pointless or rubbish, the others to something useful/cool.”
It could also be used to offer your readers Christmas gifts – find an image of a gift-wrapped parcel to earn a free festive short story, or similar.
An additional benefit of this kind of competition is that it will encourage readers to visit multiple pages of your author website – something we all constantly strive for.
OVER TO YOU If you've formulated a similarly creative promotional idea that you'd like to tell our readers about, we'd love to hear about it!#Authors - here's a fun way to promote your books AND get more website hits - by @RPBook Click To Tweet
OTHER POSTS ABOUT UNUSUAL WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOKS – FROM THE ALLi ARCHIVE