Friday, April 10, 2015

Making it stick

There has been quite a bit of discussion in recent blog posts about how to get the word out that you've written a fabulous book that the entire world should read. In the past my efforts have been fairly low budget, however, recently I have been investing a bit more into marketing my books and the books that CaribbeanReads represents by attending literary events, running workshops, and so on.

Most of the books I work with are children's books and so blogs and social media are not always the best way to reach my audience. We need to get out there and meet with the children, beat the drums through the town, and get them so excited that they insist that their parents buy the book. We also need to reach out to the parents, of course, but the truth is, if you get the children interested, it's really hard for a parent to tell their child, 'NO, I have the money but I will not buy this totally appropriate and potentially educational book for you' ... although I have seen it happen. 

The problem with this method of marketing is making it stick and making it bear fruit. Yes, you have the captive audience, the immediate sale, but how do you ensure that those who attend spread the word and that those who don't buy remember to do so after they leave and the hype dies down. I know that on many occasions I have attended an event and left with full intentions of purchasing the book or product only to forget or talk myself out of it afterwards.

Some of the ways that we have tried is:
  • sending the children away with something fun. In my latest workshop, we gave the children buttons that read "I Survived Zapped"
  • sending the parents away with paraphernalia, postcards, bookmarks
  • collecting email addresses for your mailing list although this has proven to be quite a challenge. If you promise a chance at a free book in return for the email address this discourages the immediate purchase.
When you do authors' visits or presentations, what methods do you use to ensure that participants continue to interact with you and your books after they have left the event?


Charles Gramlich said...

I've always given out bookmarks, and often, small printed samples of my writing. These have not seemed to bear any great fruits

Liane Spicer said...

I'm yet to do a live event. I tend to chicken out of those. :(