Posted on 11 Comments

Promo For Print Books

As I said last week, I’m a relative newbie in this arena.  The first point I’d like to make is that everything builds.  All the promo I’ve done for e-books, like blogging, free reads, etc. will help the print promotion, too.  

Some readers of the e-book may want the print copy too.  However, there’s a whole other market of readers that opens as soon as the book is in print, that have no idea the book has been released over a year in electronic format.  Those are the specific readers I’m trying to target with my print promotion efforts.

The most helpful article I’ve found was an interview Sherry Thomas did (here).  My books are coming from the electronic world to print, and so I don’t have an advance to use for my promo budget.  However, I do have my royalties.  So as money comes in each month or quarter, I decide what I can spend on promo.  Since I work full time, pretty much all my royalties are going back into the business as promo.  The more I earn electronically, the more I can afford to do for print, and eventually, I’m hoping those royalties will help fund the electronic release of future books.  It’s a cyclical process that I’m trying to build.

So here are a few things I’ve done specifically for print releases.

  1. Ordered extra copies at my author discount, as many as I could afford.  I ordered two full boxes of Rose (I had to take my own copies to the library signing back in Dec.) and I have a full box coming for Dear Sir any day, because my 10 author copies are long gone. 
  2. Lots of giveaways.  I’m still a new author and I’m published by small presses compared to the NY big guns.  One of the ways I’m trying to reach new people is to simply give away my book.  I know, that sounds crazy, but I’m banking on the hope that they’ll love it so much, that they’ll tell at least one friend about it.  If I give away a copy and at least one person buys a copy because of that, then I’m breaking even, and I’m reaching a person I never would have found otherwise.
  3. I bought Pat Rouse’s romance list mentioned in Sherry’s interview.
  4. For Rose, I ordered a butt load of flyers (cover flats) from VistaPrint.  I still have a ton of them if you’d like one (ordered waaaaaay too many — Vista Print does a “but wait, double your order for only $10 more!!” thing which I totally succumbed to!).
  5. For Rose, I used those flyers to participate in the RT Booksellers who care program.  At this time, I can’t say how effective it was, and it was rather pricy.  I have not gone this route for Dear Sir.  I had planned to participate in the bookmark RT mailing, but money got tight and I chose to buy another box of Roses instead.
  6. I used Pat’s list and sent out at least 20 copies of Rose to her high-interest ARC list, including flyers and a few bookmarks I had left over from when Rose first came out electronically.  I can see a payoff from this effort:  several reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are directly attributable to that mailing, and another club added my Free Reads page to their listing.  This is something I will definitely always do as funds allow.
  7. For both Rose and Dear Sir this year, I ordered a box of bookmarks from PrintPlace.  Deena created some lovely bookmarks for me that look way more professional than anything I ever did myself through VistaPrint.  As I run out, I’ll just order more.
  8. For Dear Sir, I’m participating in a Samhain RT ad (July), hoping, of course, that it is reviewed (I sent the review copy last week).  It was extremely pricy.

As soon as my box of Dear Sir arrives, I’ve selected my top priority list from Pat’s of places to send ARCs.  I’ll also do a broader mailing of just bookmarks using her list.  And of course, I’ll continue to giveaway copies, here, on Twitter, and in person.

Of course, I’ll continue to write free reads, too, especially as Victor’s release nears.  I’ve promised Thanksgiving at Beulah Land, after all.  I just have to decide who’s there.  I’m pretty sure Victor and Shiloh will be together, but Vicki will be alone.  I also have to decide on POV.  It’s a hard one, because technically, Thanksgiving will be a sequel to Victor’s book, not a prequel like Letters for Conn (so I can’t spoil Victor’s book!!).   But I will write something this spring/summer once it all falls into place.  Maybe I can come up with a different idea that happens prior to Victor’s book, use it as a prequel, and then write the sequel too for later in the year.  We’ll see.

Readers, is there anything else you love authors to do for promo?  Anything you especially hate?  Authors, is there anything additional you can share about promo you’ve done?

11 thoughts on “Promo For Print Books

  1. I’ve only really started following authors in the last couple of years. In those years I’ve been lucky enough to win a box of books (an author cleaning out her shelf), read and review a few ARCs, and feel like I’ve made some friends.

    Generally, I don’t follow promos. If I see a contest or giveaway…sure I’ll drop my name in the hat but I don’t go looking for them. I’ve received bookmarks and business cards from authors before and I think I could put my hand on one today if I had to. So while pretty and interesting I don’t know that either of those go far with readers.

    I found PBW through her free reads and found you through her LB & LI *shrug* It sounds like you have a good plan. I’ve certainly been talking you up, LOL

  2. Free reads are a great thing for an author to do! And thanks for sharing this promo info, Joely! Really appreciate it. 😀

  3. I like free swag from writers:) but i’m weird that way. My thing is buttons. Whenever an author has buttons to give away i’m there:)or i try to be, but not every author does buttons for promo so i think they are probably pricey. They are so cool though and you get people to be walking advertisments for your books:)Also pens are pretty cool and I like Joely’s idea for character cards. I know some authors use zazzel also.

  4. Give-aways work for me. 😀 Both free reads and contests and random swag.

    On that note… I’ll be doing a contest in May. Might do a “Dear Sir” print book as a prize, haven’t decided yet. Also – whenever you want a contest highly publicized, go visit my friend Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos and let her know about it. Tell her that Nicole of BookWyrmKnits sent you, and I’m sure she’ll treat you right. (She also hosts very widely read contests, if you wanted her to give one of yours away for you to a new audience.) 😀

  5. (Yes, I realize “both” doesn’t really apply to 3 things. I kinda lumped “free reads and contests” together in my mind. It doesn’t read that way onscreen, though.)

  6. Sherri, I found PBW through her giveaways (I won a galley of If Angels Burn) and I’ve been hooked ever since!

    You’re welcome, Jenna! Hope it was helpful.

    Stephanie, buttons, what a cool idea! I’ll have to check around and see if I can find them cheap somewhere. That’d be really cool if I can ever get to a con.

    Nicole, I’d be tickled to send you a signed copy of Dear Sir to give away — once I get this next box. Thank you, Book Pimp Friend!!

  7. if you ever do get to do a con i highly recommend DragonCon.

  8. Stephanie, where’s DragonCon at?

  9. it’s held in Atlanta,GA on Labor Day weekend. here’s a link

  10. Doh, I should have googled it!! Thanks, Stephanie. Is this one you typically go to?

  11. yeah I really like going as much as my husband lets me drag him:)Won’t be able to make it this year sadly but i’m hopeful for next year

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