Bookmarks…jewelry…spa items…promo items in general…
You can put your book cover or author name on anything nowadays and though these items do get a lot of attention (Who doesn’t like free stuff, huh?) are they a worthy investment? Are you wasting your money on these items and not seeing a large return on sales?
Here are 3 Dangerous Book Marketing Ideas which Drain Your Bank Account...followed up by suggestions on how to better invest your money, get more attention for your books and still get the write-offs.
Electronic Gift Cards
Gifts vs. Bribes
What to do Instead
- Intro Post – Announce who you are, what you do, and give a link to any free eBooks you might have. Therefore, the first post you make gives people something FREE right out the gate. AND be sure to include a link to join your mailing list. If you don’t have a mailing list or don’t know much about them, please read my Mailing List Articles for tips and ideas.
- Subsequent Posts – Each time you do an additional post, you should be engaging readers to interact with you. Here are some great suggestions:
- Tweet about the event they’re at – As a form of entry into a contest, have readers tweet or share the event to help bring more people to the event. ClickToTweet.com is your friend or provide a link to something you’ve already tweeted or posted on your timeline to help with your metrics. Commenters will be entered into the drawing.
- Follow you on Amazon – Ask readers to follow you on Amazon (then Amazon will send them an e-mail whenever you publish a new release) and ask them to comment when they’ve done that.
- Follow you on your favorite social media venues – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, InstaGram…whatever. This is great for boosting those social media numbers, which tend to make you look good for your author platform. Those don’t necessarily lead to sale, but if you visited an author and saw they had 14,000 LIKES on their FB page, doesn’t that make you think they’re pretty popular? There you have it.
- Do some kind of game – I would recommend you have the game connected to your books in some way (e.g., if you write about vampires, then have people post their favorite vampire pictures).
- Ask a question about what they love or hate about the genre in which you write or a facet of the genre (e.g., What is your favorite vampire ability? What vampire abilities do you like the least? What do you like most and least about paranormal romance?). Such questions actually give you insight as to what readers like and don’t like – good information for when you write your next book!
- Final Post – For the big grand finale, you might want to give away a bundle. “One lucky winner will receive the complete collection of my series in an eBook format of their choice.” Have them do something that will really help or count – such as send out a tweet encouraging people to check out or buy your latest release (ClickToTweet.com is your friend!) OR give them the RT link and you’ll get a bunch of retweets on a tweet you did, helping with your metrics.
- QR Code – Click here if you don’t know what a QR Code is. If you don’t know how to create your own QR Code or you’re looking for a free QR Code generator, click here OR here if you’d like to see a list of other QR Code Generator options. Basically, a QR Code can be scanned by someone with a smartphone (with a free app) and it will immediately take the user to a specific URL on their phone’s browser – aka wherever you have your free eBook available for download. If you’re doing free days on Amazon, then be sure to link directly to your eBook’s page on Amazon. If you’re trying to get someone to join your mailing list, where you’re giving away a free eBook or story, then create the QR Code to link to that page so they can sign up. Ye ken?
- Website Address – If you have a mailing list or reader’s club that gives away freebies to members only, you might want to put that direct address on the SWAG. For example: “Get vampire FREEBIES now at www.arialburnz.com/vip-club” If you have a short link to a free eBook, use that address. To shorten a link, you can visit a number of free services, such as Bit.ly, Hootsuite.com, TinyURL.com and more. Use these links or Google “shorten url free“. Also, if your book is free for Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscribers, that would be a nice thing to include on your SWAG: Get this eBook FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Then provide the short address/link to your Amazon book or page. You could do the same for a book on permafree.
- Coupon Code – For self-published authors who have used Smashwords to publish their books, they have the option of creating a coupon code for a specific book. Give that code to someone and they can download your book for free at Smashwords. Many of you may also do this for bloggers and reviewers. The nice thing about coupons is you can not only control the duration of the download (e.g., only the dates during the convention or some expiration date – if you wish; you could just keep it open forever, your choice), Smashwords also tells you how many times your eBook has been downloaded with that code. This helps you judge the attention your book received at a particular event. There are no limits to the number of codes you can create.
|QR Code for Arial’s VIP Club|
How to Use Your ACX Audiobook Codes More Effectively
- Get the e-mail address of your winning reader or blogger/reviewer.
- For US readers: Go to Audible.com and find your audiobook; for UK readers, go to Audible.co.uk and find your audiobook. In both cases, you can use your usual Amazon.com account login to access the Audible websites.
- In the search results where your book shows up, click on the GIFT AS GIFT link.
- This will open up a pop-up interface that will allow you to choose the purpose of your gift (e.g., birthday, congratulations, etc. – I usually choose “Congratulations”), compose a custom message, and provide the e-mail address to the winning reader or blogger/reviewer. You can also put your name in the FROM box.
- When you add the gifted audiobook to your cart, you can apply your code at the time of checkout (i.e., the one you would have given the reader to use at Audible)
- Doing so will give your account a credit and automatically apply the credit to your shopping cart item. Your balance due should then go to $0.
- Complete the checkout process and your reader will receive an e-mail with a link for them to download YOUR book…and no one else’s.