When English indie author Chrissie Parker was seeking to market her novel set in the Greek island of Zakynthos, she thought laterally and came up with a great way of targetting a very specific market: the people who visit the Greek island where the book is set, Zakynthos in Greece. Here's how she did a deal with the local English-speaking radio station on the island, and how it worked out for her.
Zakynthos is quiet during winter months, but flights operate between spring and autumn, bringing thousands of holidaymakers to the island for their much needed week in the sun. 88.6 Island FM is an English-speaking radio station that operates on Zakynthos. As well as being listened to in restaurants, shops and hotels, the radio station also has an online stream where listeners can log in and listen from anywhere in the world.
I have listened to it online myself for many years, and I knew that they were looking for advertisers for the 2015 summer season, so contacted them to ask if I could buy six months of advertising. They agreed to host me for a six month period that would start at the beginning of April and finish at the end of September 2015.
Writing the Right Advertising Script
All I had to do next was write a suitable advert that was 20 seconds long and get a voiceover artist to record it. Writing the advert was extremely hard. How do you get all the information about the book, and where to buy it, in an advert of twenty seconds? It took a lot of writing and rewriting, with the help of a stopwatch to time the length. Eventually I got the text down to a reasonable length and then set about finding my voiceover artist. The station helped me by recommending someone they had used before. I approached her and she was happy to take on the job. I talked her through the details and within a few days it had been recorded, checked and agreed. One of the DJ’s at the station produced the final advert, adding background music etc. and it was ready to go.
The advert for Among the Olive Groves started playing on 88.6 Island FM in April, and it was great to hear it on the air. It was my first piece of mainstream advertising, reaching both tourists and residents on Zakynthos, as well as people living abroad. It cost me €200 for 6 months, and the voiceover artist only cost £25. Sales of the book went up in comparison to the first half of the year, and the book has sold consistently over the summer, and I recouped my costs in the first month which showed that the advertising really worked.
I now intend extending the advertising to run until the end of December and will be writing a new advert for 2016, as I think have now managed to find a local business on the island to stock paperback copies for sale.
I would definitely recommend radio advertising. Many local stations are always looking for advertising revenue. I would recommend using it if you have a selling point that would interest their audience. Mine was that the book was set on the island, so it was of direct interest to those listening to the station, so definitely a source of marketing that is worth pursuing.How to promote your #selfpub book on local #radio by @Chrissie_author #bookpromotion #Zakynthos Click To TweetIf you've ever used radio advertising to promote your books, we'd love to know how you got on. Please join the conversation via the comments box!
If this is not the correct forum to present my video interview and promotion idea, please advance these messages to the proper entities, radio stations, etc. Thank you so much!
In addition to discussing “The Blue Rose”, my wholesome romance story, I considered an idea for further promotion of that book, plus three other wholesome romances, all four of which I have published with Amazon Kindle for eBooks.
The idea is that I would offer a 5-pound box of chocolates, if the broadcast is done for Valentine’s Day, and an “I love you” balloon, along with a free eBook for the first 20 callers you could give my phone number to (in order to give me their names and email addresses).
Thank you so much for your consideration.
I am interested in doing another radio interview to promote my wholesome romance stories. I had an idea that Valentine’s Day would be a good time to discuss a love story. One, in particular, would be encouraging and uplifting entitled “The Blue Rose, which I was interviewed for in November for a Florida radio station ( I live in Texas). I will try to include that 9 minute interview. Here is the YouTube link. We had fun but were professional and personable.
My target audience would be Christian romance readers, but not exclusively and not exclusively women. I made the point that romance is for both and for any age, since love knows no age. The Blue Rose is about a couple who were forbidden to marry, but reunited years later in a sentimental ending with a twist.
Here is the YouTube link
“The Blue Rose” by LaVonne Thompson
“The Blue Rose” by LaVonne Thompson
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I can use all the help I can get 🙂
Good vibes to you!
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What an excellent, “outside the box” idea, Chrissie. Congratulations on the success, and much more for you!
Thank you Dana, it was exciting!
Interesting post, Chrissie. Am so pleased it worked for you and the island sounds delightful. I used to do regular radio advertising with my own voice when I had my estate agency business. The feedback was terrific. Radio is a brilliant medium.
Not sure how I could manage Melbourne (living in Tunbridge Wells) which is where my novel: Annie’s Story, book 1 of The Voyagers Trilogy is set!
Good luck with your books.
Thank you Denise, it has worked so well, and yes, the island is a wonderful place!
I did all of the work on getting my advert done remotely (I was still living in London at the time). So we spoke via message, and contracts were all done via faxing/scanning etc. I’m sure that if you did a search in Melbourne, you could find the relevant and contact them direct like I did? Worth a shot!
Thank you and good luck with your books too.