Something that I have learned from watching the world around me–particularly as it relates to my career–is that the landscape of the Publishing Business is an ever evolving one. Years ago, when being professionally published was merely a dream, I was very much aware that print was king. As for marketing, you bought ad space in a magazine or newspaper, because a television ad was far too expensive for most writers.
To some extent, these parameters still apply, but the advent of the internet age has restructured the landscape extensively.
For one thing, print media is no longer the “be all and end all.” In fact, most magazines and newspapers are struggling to survive in a physical format. Instead, they are going digital. The internet is full of web sites tied to news media. And there are even more entertainment sites that offer marketing opportunities. Say you write speculative fiction–there are web comics galore that offer ad space. For example, Least I Could Do (admittedly, not to everyone’s taste, but one of my favorites) parented by Blind Ferret Entertainment offers advertising opportunities. Penny Arcade (an extremely popular strip) also has an email address to inquire about advertising on their site: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, some of these sites will be better fits than others when it comes to your content. Also, only you can decide your advertising budget–Penny Arcade is probably beyond the reach of most independent authors. Keep in mind, though, that these are proven entities with large pre-built audiences for your ad.
You wish you could afford a book trailer to run on television. Why not put it on YouTube instead? With proper build up and networking, you will likely get much more “bang for your buck” than you would with a paid spot on television (especially since YouTube has world-wide exposure, and even local TV spots will probably be thousands of dollars for anything but the wee hours of the morning.
The social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are also good for publicizing your upcoming releases. Get your audience engaged in the process. Post an excerpt on Facebook. Tweet in the style of your main character. Throw a contest. Give away prizes.
Visit a convention and have bookmarks or postcards with information about your book.
(And remember, many of these tips can have the “book” serial-number filed off and work for any other kind of business as well.)
Brainstorm ways that you can “think outside the marketing box” and post them in the comments. I’d love to see your ideas.
Remember, you may have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, but you don’t want to drop them all on purpose. Split your marketing dollars (within reason) into two or three areas of focus instead of expecting one type to fit all.
On an unrelated note, join me tomorrow for my first monthly blog post on the Mocha Memoirs Press blog. It is another look at the freedom of rejection.