Friday, June 1, 2012

Don't Promote to Promote. Offline Marketing

Good Morning and Happy Friday! I was supposed to post this post on Monday (past) but with it being Memorial day, I decided to do it Tuesday, Then Tuesday came and... Well...You know, so here it is now  Friday. So are you ready to finish up "Don't Promote to Promote?"

The past couple of weeks I have been telling you about how overwhelmed I've been with all the social media and that I need to cut back and find just the right ones that work for me. And many of you have agreed that the internet social media can be quite overwhelming.
Today I want to talk about OFFLINE Marketing.
We all get on twitter, FB, Goodreads, etc. but how do you market your book, your brand, to the people right here in your own city?
I live in a city with approximately 250,000 people and probably could count on my hands, how many know that I've written a book.

I hear a lot of people say, "If you want people to know, have a book signing"
Now that, that right there, is scary to me, because,

What if no one comes to my book signing?

 I owned a gift shop and when I was in school, I was told the key to a successful business is, Location, Location, Location! Well I thought I had the perfect location. On the main drag, a mile up from the freeway and the hospital. Boy was I wrong. I was right smack dab in the middle of a long block. Once the cars took off from the signal light south of me, by the time they reached my shop, they were pushing 40 MPH, staring straight ahead, hoping to catch the green at the signal light half a block north of me. And with city ordinances, stipulations, and all the rules concerning signage, most people didn't even know I existed, so I had to be creative when it came to marketing. 

So here's what I'd like to do
                               Let's put our heads together
 and come up with
 some ideas to market offline, so that when we have that anticipated book signing, we won't be disappointed in the number of people standing in that line waiting for our autograph!

Here are a few of my ideas;
  1. Give a copy of your book to your mail man/lady.
  2. Give a copy to your favorite teller at your bank.
  3. Leave a copy in the waiting room at your doctor or dentist office, or give the copy to the receptionist.
With all of these, write a note inside the book asking people to please share with others.

  1. Have business cards made up with a picture of the cover of your book. (I like the magnetic business cards. And I'll tell you why in a minute.)
  2. Someone suggested to me Car door magnets with the picture of your book and a link to wherever it is sold or your website/blog link.
  3. Make up fliers to hand out. These can be done on your own computer.
  4. Send out postcards. 

Where I live, people put advertisements under the wiper of your car while you are parked in the grocery store parking lot, at the bank, post office, etc. Some places don't allow this, so check or look for posted signs prior to doing this. 

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get the word out. I use Vista Print for a lot of my offline marketing products. 

With just the cost of shipping and uploading your photo, you can get quality products at a reasonable price.
I buy the business card magnets to place on car doors just above the door handle where people won't miss it. With regular business cards a lot of times they just end up on the ground, more people will keep the magnets and put them on their fridge or their filing cabinet at work. And they are even better if they have a calender printed on them!

Now how about a press release? There are three major newspapers that cover my county, but I'm not talking about them, I'm talking about that small town newspaper just for your local area. Put a copy of your book in an envelope, write up a short bio with links, and send it off. If you were born and raised in this town, your headline could be something like; "Lifelong resident publishes her first book"

And last but not least, donate a copy of your book to the library, school, senior center, etc.
Of course you have to make sure that the book you're donating is appropriate. I mean you don't want to donate your erotica novel to the elementary school library.

Oh wait! One more idea and then I'll shut up. 
attended a local car show in his area. He took some great photos and wrote a short article about the car show and submitted it to the newspaper and they published it!
So if there is something that is going on in your area, a car show, a flower show, or maybe the yearly fair, and you have a small town newspaper, write a short piece on it and submit it, you never know.

Okay your turn. Do you have any ideas on how you can market offline? I'd love to hear your suggestions!


  1. Hi, Karen. Great post! Great ideas! As I'm still revising my ms and have another WIP, I haven't really thought about this. However, you make a fine point of how important it is to be involved and go out and do creative things to attract attention.
    You might be able to get some other local stores to put up your flyers so customers will see them.

  2. Hi Jo
    That's a great idea, in fact there is a local gas station/market that would probably even let me put a couple of my books in there for sale. Hey! Wonder how We could get books placed in truck stops? Any ideas on that? And I also thought maybe giving a copy to the local fire dept. Also, someone told me that you should be promoting your book before you publish, so you might want to think about that for your MS.

  3. Karen,
    Will definitely look into it. Some of the bigger trucks stops like TAs and Petros do sell books, so you'd have to contact them cause they're pretty big, you know, and all over the country.

  4. I'll have to look into that, since we do have the TAs in Ontario, so they are pretty close by.


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