Another Party Book Promotion
by L. Malaika Cooper
It’s 50 or so days after publication of my indie urban fantasy novel Flung and I’ve hit a wall with ebook sales. I’ve talked my book up to all of my family and friends; hit the social networks with publication announcements, limited-time price drops and excerpts; and am in the review queue of fellow authors, blogs and websites. Now its time for a concentrated campaign tailored to the mature YA reader. On a limited marketing budget, I’m going to start with what is hopefully attention-grabbing, street-level marketing.
I’m fashioning a campaign that combines the blitz-like approach of party promoters to direct potential readers to online content and promotions that will give “Flung” a little street cred. I got the idea while watching a group of 20-somethings moving through a parking lot. As they walked talking and laughing, a party promoter was placing flyers on the windshields of parked cars. One of the group members plucked one of the flyers from a nearby car, read it, passed it on. This one read it, then pulled out her phone and appeared to be inputting something from the flyer. After a few minutes, she passed her phone around for others to see. Two others punched the code into their phones. That was a triple pay-off from one glossy promotion card.
So my idea is this: order 500 promotion cards featuring the cover of my book; a brief, punchy synopsis; and a link to a free excerpt plus a promotion code for up to a 100% discount (I’ll adjust the promotion code for a 25%, 50% and 100% savings over the three days following a distribution effort; then set it at 10%). It could be a long shot, but if 10% of my promo cards fall into the curious reader’s hands who likes it and tells a few friends, then the word has gotten out. Going viral has to start somewhere.
Distributing the promo cards will take some effort. I’ll target parked cars on nearby college campuses and book stores; entreat my three college-aged nieces into placing a few cards around their dorms and in other appropriate areas; and keep a few for random handouts by me, of course. Making direct contact with potential readers is still important even for the cyber-indie. Overall, the time-away-from-the-writing-I-should-be-doing is minimal and a little manual labor will free my mind. I’ll monitor book sales in the three days following a distribution to see if there is any activity attributed to the promo cards, which I’ll be able to track through the promotional pricing.
There is still the question of how many readers will actually download and read a book on their mobile iBooks or Kindle app, or remember to look for it once they get to their preferred eReader? You never know what will work until you try it and this effort will cost less than $100. I’ll let you know if this targeted street-to-digital marketing makes even the slightest blip in Flung’s book sales.
L.Malaika Cooper is an author, freelance writer, yogi, runner, hiker and world traveler. She lives in Atlanta, GA. and is currently working on Book II of The Whirlwoman Trilogy. Flung: Book I of the Whirlwomen Trilogy is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.