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Book Marketing Shots In The Dark

Book Marketing Shots in the Dark


A much more subtle and elegant version of the advertising sandwich board?

Three fun tips in this month's light-hearted post in our series of off-the-wall, outside-the-box book promotion ideas from our members.

1) The Walking Advertisement

First up, English novelist Anne Allen has a wonderful necklace with matching earrings made up of her (very beautiful) book covers. I spotted her sporting these at the Romantic Novelist Association annual conference earlier this month. They even included tiny barcords on the reverse! I loved the way she was wearing complementary colours that showed them off to best advantage too. I'm willing to bet that plenty of other romantic novelists went away to look online to find out how to order their own versions afterwards. Anne told me she got hers from the Etsy website.

2) The Targeted Columnist

Cover of Celebrating Grandmothers

Ann Richardson's book cover

Meanwhile Ann Richardson, an American author living in London, highlighted via our Member Showcase (don't forget that exclusive ALLi member privilege, folks!) that she's landed a great gig that will enable her to subtly plug her book Celebrating Grandmothers – a regular column on a blog that reaches 30,000 subscribers aged 60+, www.sixtyandme.com. I'm guessing that many of their readers will be naturally receptive to her theme. You can read her first post, published earlier this month, “Becoming Grandma Can Change Your Life”, which when I looked just now has already had 312 shares, and counting… Given that her bio at the end of the piece includes links to both her book and her website, she should be gaining lots of new readers this way. Is there a similar website that might match your books as well? Definitely worth searching for!


3) Books That Think They're Greetings Cards

cover of Instead of a Christmas card

Back and front cover when the book is opened out

I had already come up with the idea of turning a couple of short festive stories into Christmas cards last year – it's just about viable to print a slim book for the price of an upmarket greetings card via CreateSpace.

But I missed a trick with my wedding-themed book until a reviewer kindly contacted me out of the blue to say she was planning to use Marry in Haste as a wedding card too! It's already stocked as part of the wedding gift range in a couple of local gift shops, but it's slim enough and cheap enough (£5/$8) to use as a card too.

Cover of Marry in Haste

Fun alternative to a wedding card

An added bonus was that when I then nipped over to Amazon to remind myself what I was charging for Instead of a Christmas Card, I discovered that Amazon, moving in its usual mysterious way, had on the UK site at least reduced it from £3 to less than £1, though still paying me the usual royalty of more than £1 per copy. I instantly stocked up with copies (it limited me to a maximum of 8), so I am now in the bizarre position of my Christmas card book being my July bestseller! But I'm not going to complain about that.

And speaking of Christmas – though I hate to mention it in July – if anyone would like to share wacky ideas for festive marketing, please do email me (debbie {at}allianceindependentauthors.org), as I'd love to feature them in this slot in the autumn. After all, bookstores will be already starting to plan their Christmas stock then, so we should too. 

3 outside-the-box #bookmarketing ideas for indie #authors from @DebbieYoungBN & ALLi friends Click To Tweet



This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Great list. I think number two probably isn’t that far off a lot of writers’ marketing strategy lists. Getting a columnist spot on a well-trafficked blog will bear fruit, most definitely! Jay

  2. Brilliant ideas Debbie. I think the shorts for cards idea has really inspired. Must rise from this slough of despond and anticipate living until Christmas. Stories are ready ,covers might be fun!

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