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April 3, 2013
  •       Have promotional flyers or postcards made up with your book’s cover image on one side and your book synopsis and short review quotes*, ISBN and availability etc on the reverse [try Vistaprint].
  •       Always carry a copy of your book with you and be seen reading and enjoying it on the train or bus, at the hairdressers or doctor’s waiting room etc.  If anyone asks if it’s good, tell them it’s wonderful and give them the promotional postcard which ‘came with the book’ (it’s not a fib – you brought it along with the book).
  •       Spend time visiting bookshops wherever you go, finding books on similar themes to yours, then produce your cards or flyers from your pocket and slip them snugly inside near the end of each book (so check out staff won’t see and remove them – they will do this, which is why bookmarks, which cost more anyway and protrude  noticeably, are not so successful).
  •       Find out who your target audience is; work out where they go and distribute your promo materials in those places (museum coffee shops, mother and toddler groups, clubs, etc)
  •       Identify social networking sites’ pages relevant to the topic of your book and post informed comment  on there, eventually and gradually introducing a link to your book (do not be too hasty or obvious lest you cause annoyance and be blocked).
  •       Identify appropriate interest groups whose interests are linked to the theme of your book and approach their in-house ‘expert’ to offer a complimentary copy in return for a short review*. If you are happy with the results, you can quote short excerpts from their reviews in your Amazon book description, on your website and on your promo cards etc.
  •       Ask appropriate interest groups if they would like an author talk from you.  Many groups own a data projector, so consider preparing a power point slideshow presentation to illustrate your talk.  Providing wine and nibbles too might put your audience in a relaxed, book-buying mood.
  •       If you can write a whole book, writing an article should not be too challenging.  Write a series of articles, each from a different angle, on the interesting theme of your book, or on how you came to write it, and send these to different newspapers and magazines.  Do not send the exact same article to 2 different publications however. They like ‘exclusivity’.
  •       Consider having some cheap mugs printed up with your book cover image etc (Vistaprint also do these) and present them to the staff at your local bookshop or library.  Even if they don’t sit drinking from them by the cashpoint or checkout desk (which they usually do) they can use them for displaying their free bookmarks.  Likewise an inexpensive printed canvas bag for toting books or shopping, when draped from your shoulder as you walk around town, will provide free advertising (and is a lot lighter than a sandwich board!). Car door magnets emblazoned with your book image too can be effective advertising (get to the mall early to park your car right outside the bookshop entrance). 
  •       Don’t be aggressive in your promotion but equally don’t be shy, and above all, have FUN.  

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