Publicity can be one of the biggest challenges for an Indie author. The competition is fierce with about 500 books dropping onto the market on any given day. When you add all the current ills of society and the world into the information mix, getting noticed can seem impossible.
Marketing is expensive and, if you don’t hook up with the right marketing team, it can be money down the drain. There are many traditional approaches to marketing. However, a majority of those 500 authors per day are using them. You are still one in 500. Many authors attempt to charge in headlong to world-wide marketing. Why not think local world? If you can capture your community, you may have a better chance of capturing the world.
The tip I am about to share came to me by accident. I started volunteering with a local charity and found myself chairing an event committee-one of the biggest events of the year. An element of the event was a drawing for donated items. The charity was facing some challenges with donations and sponsorships due to lack of manpower and I was coming up short for donations to the drawing. To help fill in the gap, I donated one of my paintings (I am a painter as well as an author.) and a signed copy of my book, Blood and Magnolias.
To say that I was amazed by how much attention my book and my painting received would be putting it mildly. I was suddenly a local celebrity. My name was getting in the paper, people were taking my picture, people started buying the book and asking me to sign it. This started reviews and referrals.
You may be surprised to see how many non-profits are in your area. Their numbers have grown as the economy has tanked. Just do an Internet search for charities, non-profits, or volunteers in your local area. Contact organizations that you feel are appropriate for you AND your book. Example: Do not select a religious organization if your material is anti-religion. Explore the charity before you make contact. Offending people is not your goal. Know who they are and their mission. Approach them by email first then do a follow-up phone call.
Sample verbiage: Good day. My name is (author name). I am a local author and would like to support your organization by offering an autographed copy of my book, (book title), for your next auction or drawing. If you are interested, email me at (email address) or call me at (phone number). If you would like more information on my book, it can be found at (website address). Thank you for the work your organization does in the community. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, (author name).
Ah, so you have an electronic book and think you cannot do this. Oh, yes, you can. Print out a book size copy of your cover art, using a good quality heavy brochure or promotional paper stock. On the back, print your blurb (leave enough space for you to sign). Print or write a thank you note and include the coupon/access code for a free copy. Example: Thank you for your support of (charity name). Here is your access code for your free electronic copy of (book title). Be sure to include the website information where they can use the code and any special instructions. Securely attach the card to the back of the cover copy.
A simple display easel can be made from cardboard covered with wrapping paper, or use a clear acrylic photo display frame the appropriate size.
If you have the time/ability, offer to attend the charity event and personalize the signing of the copy for the winner. If you cannot attend, be sure to sign the copy before you deliver it.
You also might want to consider volunteering to one of the organizations you contact. It is amazing how many people you can meet. You never know which one of them could turn out to be the key to your success. Besides, it is your community and volunteering has its rewards.