Got Swag? My finds on free and cheap marketing

     I sat through a webinar this morning on How to Market for writers with no money.  I checked in about five minutes late, but this webinar didn’t give much information and it was part of a nine or ten part series.  This is the third webinar I have been a part of so I think I can now form an opinion.  I don’t like them! Maybe I have been part of the wrong ones, but I feel like these webinars give little information and are giving more time to question and answer sessions than anything else, and most these questions don’t pertain to me, so I’ve spent thirty minutes listening to unneeded info.  I closed the webinar window and opened a Google toolbar and did my own research which yielded much more info than I learned today.  Maybe I am a product of the “Now” generation, but I really don’t want to wait for ten webinars where each is spread two weeks apart to get info I need now.  And to use 30 mins of your one hour  webinar to answer questions is a waste of my time.  That means over ten seminars and 10 hours, five hours will be answering questions which may or may not pertain to me.

     I sought out this webinar, because as many of you followers know, I am putting out a book this year and I am FLAT broke at this point.  I need to market, but can’t spend thousands on doing it, especially since I am an unknown.  I also bought a markting book, but returned it when I found it gave information I was already aware of and didn’t need a whole bunch of  planning forms, plus some advice was much to expensive.  My best form of information came from me doing that Google search and here is what I found:

  • Get Social: join social medias and keep friends up to date
  • Get Specific: if possible, make an account dedicated to your book on those Social Media sites
  • Blog: There are many blogging sites with people who share your interest.  Get connected with them.
  • Word of mouth: tell your friends to tell their friends.  Name drop.
  • Book signing party: small,medium, or large…having a personal book signing party for your friends and family who were there to support you makes them feel appreciated.  AND ask them to bring a friend.  AND have books ready to sell.  They feel like they are in the presence of a famous person, even if famous in a small town.
  • Website: Create a personal website to show more about who you are.  People love keeping up with famous people, and you are famous in your own right.  Oh, and keep up your website.  Mine is www.TaniaLRamos.com It is raw, but it gives the info needed.
  • Book trailer: check out YouTube and search book trailers. Some are elaborate, others are still portraits with words across the screen.  It’s free media, get your publicity out there.
  • Swag: VistaPrint offers some amazing swag and all you do is paying shipping. Sign up for their email list and get great offers. I’ve only paid out about $90 total, but I have 3 cardoor magnets, 2 banners, 300 postcards, 150 oversized postcards, 500 business card, 25 flyers, one t-shirt, 5 tote bags, 5 pens, 150 rack cards, 100 Thank Youcards, 100 Note cards, 1 lawn sign, 5 key chains, 5 poster calendars, 25 letterhead, 25 personalized envelopes, 100 product labels, 75 businesscard magnets, and probably more.  Not bad.  By the way, swag=free, if you weren’t aware.
  • Book Clubs Online: Join onlinebook clubs or writer clubs.  There are national clubs, worldwide clubs, and some local clubs and many are now online.
  • Business Cards: hand them out to everyone you meet.  Drop them in the contest jar.  Post them at Starbucks. Put them in with your bills.  Wherever you can leave a card you are advertising.
  • Book signings: Use your hometown, ask your local book seller if you can have a book signing.  Remember the “famous in a small town,” theory.  If your friend owns a coffee shop, ask if you can have a book signing or speaking/reading event there.  I have seen some events be held at pizza houses and even at a Sizzler, where the  Sizzler gave a free desert to anyone who purchased a book and dinner. 
  • Speak: Ask your local middle and high schools if you can speak to the school for career day, to creative writing classes, or english classes.  Speak at libraries, churches, or any place that may pertain to your subject.   I found it is best to do this a week or two before your book release and/or signing. 

     Those are most the free or pretty cheap ways I found to advertise and I found them on Google.  Use Bing, use whatever search engine you want.  Sell yourself! Be your own pimp. These ideas work for other things, too: local bands, local artist, video production, even promoting your small business.  Swag is swag.  Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.  And be sure to let me know of any good websites to visit or other awesome “swag” out there.  And name drop.  My book, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” is still a free read.  See how that works.  And keep an eye out for, “Be Still,” my new book being published by Iuniverse…sometime this year 🙂

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