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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ebook Marketing Part Deux

Whew!  If any of you looked at Pam Ripling's list of what she's done over the past few weeks to promote her books (see the last blog), you're probably as ashamed as I am. I feel like the matchstick girl hanging around outside of a high-end cigar store.

One suggestion that came in was to make up something tangible such as bookmarks to hand out to promote your ebook. JA Konrath encloses promotional items in every piece of correspondence he sends out, because you never know if the person opening it is a potential reader.

My God! That would mean going back to writing checks for bills and posting them with stamps. What's a stamp worth nowadays? 44 cents? I have a drawer filled with a variety of postage that goes back to 32 cent stamps. I even had some without a denomination listed that I had to take into the post office for identification--little stamp corpses being presented to the forensic department so they, too, could have a meaningful toe tag.

Another suggestion I read was to donate your book to charity giveaways. I suppose one could print off the ebook and do the cover in heavier stock or use one of those clear binders they sell at office supply stores, but the binder would probably cost more than the book ($1.50). As bad as I am at math, I can tell that's a losing proposition. Then again, isn't the point to get your name out in front of readers? To build up a fan base? To become everyone's favorite answer to the Rorschach test?

It's a fine balance between doing what must be done and pouring money into a bottomless promotion pit.  That's not to say you won't wind up spending money on promotion, but you need to make every penny count. The Frugal Book Promoter is a good book to have. So is The Shy Writer.

Sisters in Crime Los Angeles just had speaker Kris Neri, author and owner of The Well Red Coyote Bookstore, and she gave some great tips about how to approach an inde bookstore with your wares. She said that workshops are the way to go. Many people won't rush in to see an unknown writer, but many will show up to learn how to write a short story, mystery etc. Again, you'll have to print off those ebooks and package them up, but I bet the attendees wouldn't mind paying $1.50 for your book.

If anyone has suggestions for making an ebook look pretty without breaking the bank, share them here! Meanwhile, I'll ask on my yahoo lists and see what comes back.

Happy Writing!



1 comment:

  1. Pamela Samuels-Young, who's a book promoting genius, suggests printing your book in 1/2 size (2 book pages per 8.5x11 sheet). This would cut the cost and also make your eBook appear more the size of a Kindle read. Doing it on both sides of the paper would cost even less, but be a bit trickier to collate.

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