Monday, November 16, 2009

Marketing something other than your book that might help sell your book.

Here's something that'll get me to buy, really. A website that is NOT about you, not about your book, but about something I'm interested in that might be connected to your book. Give me something for free that I value (that is, not author biography, which I find counter-productive often enough... I really wish I didn't know that Ezra Pound was an anti-semite Mussolini fan).
Photos of Norman castles.
Advice on how to get stains out of the carpet.
A compendium of different methods used for time travel. Well, okay, used in books. Or that could be used for time travel.
Southern dessert recipes.
Irish toasts (original language and translated).
Funny titles for country music songs.

I mean, really, there are websites about everything. And if I'm reading your website about Scottish plaid patterns and you have an excerpt from your Scottish historical novel and a link to Amazon, I might very well buy. After all, I've already gotten something from "meeting" you, if only the knowledge that the Todd (my family) tartan is actually the Gordon tartan, and so I'm related to Lord Byron (a Gordon). So I might repay it by buying your book.

That's the premise of the book The Long Tail, which I bought after reading his free advice on his blog. Give something away, and many recipients will buy something else. (Think of how many CDs and albums you paid for -- before Kazaa, I mean :-- after hearing a song for free on the radio.)

What else has worked for writers?



Wes said...

Country music titles! Now that hooks me. Two of my favorites (yes, they are real) are "At Two I Went To Bed with a Ten, and At Ten I Woke Up with a Two". AND, "Her Teeth Are Stained, But Her Heart Is Pure".

Livia Blackburne said...

Don't some authors get sales by giving away their books for free? Or portions of them?

Wes said...

On a more serious note, I absolutely agree with you that giving people something of value on a website or newsletter is necessary. Not many people are interested in an author's bio or pics of their kids or dog. My day job is in marketing and sales. I've used newsletters successfully to develop leads, but the newsletters contained information that prospects could use to to make themselves more successful. Examples are articles on best practices and new research in the industry. Give people information that will help them achieve their objectives, and they will read your promotional materials.

Cathy in AK said...

Great idea! Maybe I'll have links related to famous cons and bank robberies when I get pubbed. Cuz of my MC, I swear : )

My husbands family is Gordon too. Adam was my m-i-l's maiden name.

Cathy in AK said...

That should be "husband's" not plural "husbands". I can barely deal with one as it is.

Edittorrent said...

Cathy, I would definitely go to a website about famous cons. I have a soft spot for clever felons.