Monday, October 15, 2012

Author Marketing and Promo How/Where-To's

I've had a few people ask me where I bought my banner and promotional materials shown in the picture posted below. 

Here's a quick run-down of costs and where to buy.

  • The banner came from VistaPrint  and cost $25. It would normally have been closer to $50 but VistaPrint  routinely runs 50% off sales and I waited until I had a coupon code to buy my banner. They run promotions throughout the month so keep checking back until you see the item you want is on sale.

  • The rack cards came from Zazzle. They're great quality and printed front and back. $11.25 for 25 cards. Zazzle  also does a different promotion each week along with a special 4 hr sale every friday where something is discounted at least 50%. They do free shipping and I've never received a bad product from them.

  • I loaded e-books onto pencil and pen shaped USB Flash Drives  which I purchased on e-bay for $3.99 to $5.99 each. Keep in mind, you will need to report the e-book sales to whichever publisher holds the rights to the book you sell.

  • The payments I took via credit/debit cards were done on my phone through the SquareUp  program. SquareUp  gives you a free app to download and sends you a free card read which plugs into your phone. I was unable to get the card reader to work, but I simply punched the card numbers into the app and completed the transaction that way. The money was deposited straight into my checking account.

I think that's about it. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them.

Most important: RESULTS

I setup this booth at a local street fair on Saturday, October 13th. I brought only fifteen paperbacks of my recent release because I honestly didn't think random people at a street fair would buy them. At 8:30 a.m., I sold my first copy. The fair didn't actually start until 9:00. I took this as a good sign. By 2:00, I'd sold out of paperbacks and had sold 3 e-books on flash drives.

By noon, I was completely out of the promotional pens and bookmarks which one of my publishers, Eternal Press, had sent to me. People absolutely loved them. I gave away 2 gift bags in exchange for email addresses and they were a huge hit. The free candy I offered was a great icebreaker. I gathered about 75 emails for marketing purposes. I'm counting this as a success. I probably could have sold another fifteen paperbacks if I'd had them in hand. 

Within 24 hrs after the street fair, I've had a marked improvement in the Amazon rankings of a couple of my books. I've also received a few emails from people who took my promotional materials home, found me online, then purchased a book of mine.

I guess the moral of this story is, get out there, take a chance, make an impression. :-)