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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Essential marketing tools for writers

So, I've been meaning to get this post out for quite a while.

Your book is written and you're in that stage where the cover design work may be happening, the copyediting may be happening and during all this, you want to be marketing you book.

You need to build your brand -your platform.  Your readers need to know who you are and what they can expect from you.  The first two suggestions I have are, in order of importance,

1. Have some photos taken -yes, of you, the author! by a professional.
   I sucked it up and had it done and felt like a fool the entire time but in the end, folks identify me with this picture, which was my goal.

I'm no Tom Cruise. I realize that.  I also realize that readers need to be comfortable that I'm a real person and not a drawing or other image.  Reader's parents need to be comfortable that I'm a real person. Get some photos taken!

2. Make a logo. (or have one made) I honestly hadn't even considered this until my photographer handed me his packet and I saw logo design was one of the services he provided.  Why can't you use your book cover? You could, but it limits that image -that one book, to your brand, which is what you don't want.  My logo represents my entire series and the bottom text can be changed if necessary.

 Was this cheap?  No. It cost just under $700.00

Does it look professional? Absolutely

Worth it? Absolutely!

I had the designer tie in the pocket watch (something mentioned in my book on several occasions and will continue to be mentioned as the series progresses)

My designer and photographer is Jeff Morgan. (Tell him I sent you!)
Check out his website HERE

View all my logos HERE

Okay, now that you have your logo and your photos done, it's time to visit Vista Print

 Every successful, professional businessperson has business cards. Why should writers be any different?

They shouldn't!

Here was my initial card design. This was before I had the logo.

I also got some pens just for the heck of it. (they were extremely popular)

Then, after the business cards, I decided to have bookmarks made.  Again, this was before I had the logo. These shots are before they put the tassels on. I created the designs from photos I had taken previously.

After I had my logo created I had this second business card design created.

And I had more bookmarks created. These are a HUGE hit and they were well made by BookmarkCreations.com (Tell them I sent you)

I've been taking the bookmarks to libraries and bookstores and asking them if they would put them out on a surface near the YA section and offer them for free.

Then, I created my cafe press shop.  Another great way to market your book via your cool new logo.  I donate all proceeds to a great charity so it is a win-win.  Don't forget to throw in some catchy phrases on your merchandise. Remember, everything in the shop is FREE.  You upload the design and products are made on demand. The customer pays for shipping.

Here are a few of my better selling items:

Finally, my cover design was done!  Back at Vista Print I went and had some posters made.

Most of my posters are going to bookstores and libraries.  The balance are for give-aways.

I also updated the products at my cafe press shop

I use the cafe press shop stuff as prizes for my writing contests, give aways, gifts and just to wear around.

These are some of the easy, effective marketing tools I've found along the way.  Take what you want from my ideas.  I'm here to lift others up, not hide my little secrets (that aren't really secrets anyway)

Enjoy! Oh, if you're a reviewer, Exiled is on NetGalley. Check it out!

P.S. I'm giving away a Kindle on my Facebook page!

As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my re-vamped website.

In bookstores 6-5-2012


  1. Good points!
    I think my biggest difficulty in promoting my book has been determining which paid advertising opportunities are worthwhile—I've had (very) mixed results and thrown a great deal of good money after bad in attempts to publicize my book, only to find that many of the free opportunities (blogs, word of mouth, book readings) were the most successful!

  2. Nate,

    Great input! You can spend gobs of money but you won't get anything out of it without a good product and a good 'on the ground' strategy. 'beating the street' putting your face in front of your readers and generating buzz are essential and supersede all other forms of marketing -again, assuming the product (book) is good...of course, the only way to find that out is by getting it to the readers and thus the cycle begins.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Thanks for commenting