Friday, April 26, 2013

SYAWAN: Advertising

You've written a book, you've got it published, and you've even managed to get the perfect book cover.

Now you can just sit back and watch the money roll in while movie directors fight to the death for the honor of making the epic motion picture based off of it, sitting on your golden throne.

No, not that kind of throne.

You can't just throw a book out there and expect it to rake in millions. In reality you have to work really hard to make people aware that it even exists, and to do that you have to advertise it. There are several ways to advertise your book with the primary focus being on making your own advertisements.

Pay Someone Else to Advertise Your Book.

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: High

I'm not familiar with this outcome, since I'm a cheapwad, so I'm really only throwing it out there as a possibility to consider.

Give Your Book Away for Free

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Low

I kind of fought with the cost, waffling between Low and Medium. Medium because it technically eats into the profits of your book, but at the same time Low because many of the people snatching it up for free wouldn't have ever bought it in the first place.

Giving your book away for free is the fastest way to generate readers, and when people read your book, they are going to talk about it (this is especially true with teens). Word of mouth is your best friend in advertising when you're a small-time writer.

Make your Own Advertisements.

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Low

When making your own ads, ask yourself these questions.

Does it grab someone's interest?
Is it visually appealing? (From far away?)
Does it describe the book?
Would your curiosity be piqued if handed a similar advertisement?

I thought about making the difficulty on this one low, since all you have to do is print out some fliers or talk about it online, but you have to take several factors into consideration.

First, you have to consider the content and visual appeal of your advertisement. I already made previous posts about the book cover and blurb, so take those and apply them to the idea of an advertisement.

Second is, what kind of advertisement? Fliers and business cards are good ones to consider. I've made fliers for Dusted with little tear strips (A quick note about the tear strip advertisements. Put information on the main part of the flier, too. I once saw a flier about a math tutor, but there was no way of contacting them because all of the tear strips were gone.)

Ask Yourself, Would This Interest Me?

Does your advertisement draw you to it? Try to remove the bias you have of it being your own book. Consider showing it to friends and family, or even people you don't know.

Know Where to Advertise

You have your advertisement, and it's fantastically designed, but where to put it? Libraries are good places, as well as local colleges (I've tried putting them up in my local college, but they keep getting torn down.) Also consider the competition. Barnes and Noble probably won't put up your flier if you're advertising a book for Amazon Kindle, instead you should keep an eye out for independent or used bookstores.

Look for more than just places that sell books, too. Keep your audience in mind. If you have a hard-core apocalyptic survival book, you could think about putting up fliers in your local gun range or sporting goods store. If you have a fantasy book, there are gaming shops or comic book stores.

I'm talking gaming with dice, but whatever works for you.
There are, of course, places you shouldn't advertise your novel. The previously-mentioned apocalyptic survival book shouldn't be advertised in a children's toy store (but it would be a great place to advertise a children's book.) Again, keep your readers in mind. What else is your audience likely to do and where might they go when they aren't reading?

Something very important to mention: Always ask permission before posting a flier. How would you feel if McDonald's suddenly plunked down a big picture of their golden arches right on your front lawn one day?

I'm hatin' it.
Unless the place is totally public and anyone can post anything they want (this is unlikely the case, even in the most public of areas), always ask for permission. If in doubt, definitely ask permission.

Nobody said writing a book was easy, and nobody ever said it got easier once you finished writing it.

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