Marketing 101

I’ll admit I don’t know much about the whole marketing/promo scheme of things when it comes to books. I’m familiar with going to cons and finding row upon row of tables stocked with all kinds of things – bookmarks, postcards, light-up boobies, pens, feathers, candy…anything and everything to get people to stop and pick them up, on the off chance another book might get sold.

Of course, the big question here is does such marketing actually work?

And no one really seems to know the answer. Plenty of people insist that it does and plenty don’t. We’ve all heard stories of writers who spent a small fortune on marketing gewgaws that seemed to make no difference…and then did almost no marketing at all next time around and sold a ton.

Was it because of the venue? Or perhaps nothing more than the fact that by the second book, people knew who the author was? Maybe it was just a better written book?

It’s probably a complete crapshoot, honestly, but it’s something I’m going to have to start thinking about – if nothing else, then for the author signings at the various cons I’ll be attending next year. But I decided to take the  plunge last week with some pretty snappy bookmarks – most of which are heading to a table at World Fantasy Con, which I can’t attend due to my Nov 1 deadline. However, I have *awesome* author friends who are going to put my stuff on their table. My stuff being bookmarks and business cards. Maybe I’ll give away an ARC. I’ll have to see.

I haven’t been on this side of the table yet…but I do have to admit I’ve never bought a book from picking up a bookmark about it. That being said, I’m sure there are plenty of people who do and I’m more than willing to give it a shot to see if helps at all. At this point, I just want to at least get the word of my book out there, (without being obnoxious about it, of course), and this seems like a nice way of going about it.

And btw, I’m throwing a plug out for Robin Ludwig Design for awesome turnaround time and gorgeous design. Folks – I hit up Robin on Twitter on Monday afternoon, sent her my cover image and I had 1000 brilliant bookmarks by Friday. You cannot beat that with a stick.

And just an FYI – I do owe a few people ARCs and I’m hoping to get those out this week too, so thanks for everyone’s patience.

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14 Responses to Marketing 101

  1. LaTessa says:

    Very snazzy looking bookmarks Allison. They look great. 🙂

  2. katiebabs says:

    Nice book marks! *jots down site for my promo needs*

    Promo is muy tiring.

  3. Julie K says:

    Fabulous bookmarks. I'm with you on not knowing whether or not the promo items work. I'm attempting (if the damn guy ever gets back to me with cost) to do something that would be more for my "brand" than a specific story before I go to RT in April. From things I've read, that can be effective. 

    I guess I'll let you know if/when i figure anything out 🙂

  4. Scopique says:

    Mmm…I guess if the freebies actually TELL me something about the product that I might not know otherwise, it could be a wise move. However, using "chimp attract" tactics to draw someone to a table in the hopes that the person will feel guilty about taking a freebie and looking the author in the eye without buying a copy of the book…do you really want THAT to be your experience?

  5. mynfel says:

    Well. No. Duh. LOL. 

    These are more just for stacking in places, I guess. And they *do* have the cover blurb on the back, so in theory they tell you what it's about.

    However, I think there is a certain element of "buy me" when you sit in an author signing. (At least for those of us just starting out.) However, if you buy my book, you will get entered for an awesome pair of bacon panties or something. I have no idea. LOL.  I will think of something, though I've heard rumors of some of the early ARC readers muttering things about Team Phin T-shirts. *cough*

  6. mynfel says:

    Would love to know! I hate muddling around like an idiot. (Which begs the question of why I do it so often, I know. ) Le sigh.

  7. mynfel says:

    It is. I have to go to the post office tomorrow and I'm just shuddering at the sheer amount of crap I have to mail out.  

  8. Kay Theodoratus says:

    Congrats on the progress you've made.  Your hamster wheel must have been burning its bearings.

    Yeah, I bookmarked the site for the future … when my pipsqueak effort gets published.

  9. Danielle says:

    They look fab!!

  10. Sara McClung says:

    I think bookmarks work… Well. I think anything that gets the name of the book out there helps anyway. I know when I'm in the store, I'm probably more likely (if that even makes sense, lol) to pick up a book I've heard about before picking up one that's random. 

    LOVE your bookmarks <3

  11. mynfel says:

    Thanks! And yeah, I think that's the point. Not trying to do a hard sell, just hoping someone might recognize it in the store later on…

  12. mynfel says:

    I'll send you a few too! Got some thank you notes to send you anyway. 😉

  13. mynfel says:

    My hamster wheel is running on nothing more than pure stubbornness, atm. LOL.

  14. Sandy Williams says:

    Promo/marketing terrifies me, actually, but I've started paying attention to what other authors are doing and why I become interested in the books I buy. Lately, I think it all has to do with how many times I see an author's name and their book. The more I see it, the more I want it, so I think those big blog tours authors go when their books are released helps a ton. Grave Witch, Haunted Honeymoon, Venom, and Poison Kissed are all emblazened into my memory because they've been everywhere these last two weeks.

    But I love bookmarks! They're so, so pretty and shiny and useful. 🙂  I don't know if they work or not, but I'm totally going to do them, too.

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