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101 Ways to Market a Book

Self-Published Authors Are Advertising in New Ways by Christopher L. Vaughn

As a self published author I've found that it's an uphill battle to advertise your literature, especially with a shoestring budget. To help combat this problem I've gone to unusual lengths to get the word out. Some of which has made a big difference.

First, I printed over 500 business cards from a major printing website. I included the different types of literature that I write, my contact information, and my website's URL. I was able to purchase the business cards for less that $10.00 and I now place them everywhere I go, community boards, pay phones, business counters and restaurant tables, inside books at the book store (sneaky is the key here), and even in elevators were people have nothing better to do than stare at my card. This has basically resulted in over 500 mini-billboards.

Second, I hit the blogs like MySpace, Facebook, etc. During this phase I would try different tactics like saying, “Hey did you hear about this book/author?” or “Book X sucked, but I thought book Y by C. L. Vaughn was good.” Using blogs was effective to a certain point, but since most people blog about other topics, talking about books made it harder to get responses. Make sure that you link every blog you do to either your website or the book's page. [John Kremer's note: I don't recommend commenting on other blogs or social networking sites unless you make a real comment about that blog or site rather than simply spamming you book.]

Third, I created a book trailer. A book trailer is basically like a movie trailer and lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, but try to avoid anything longer. Book trailers have become increasingly popular with authors since they first appeared as a viable marketing tool. There are companies out there that will create book trailers for a fee (usually $100 to $1200), but a few hours with a movie maker and you can do it your self. Try to catch the viewer's attention with gripping music and a brief blurb about the book. Once that's done, upload the video to every media site you can like, YouTube, MySpace, Google, etc. Here's the book trailer I created to help give you an idea of what I mean:

Fourth, I placed for sale ads in every classified website I could get my hands on. This may seem like an odd place to promote a book, but I had some good leads using this tactic and even made a few sales because of it. This also helps create a web presence for your book in the search engines.

Fifth tactic: Fliers here, fliers there, fliers everywhere. Same concept as the business cards, just on a bigger scale, but be careful to ensure that the fliers look professional or no one will take them seriously.

Sixth, public communications. I spend a lot of time steering my conversations to the topic of my books or the fact that I write. This can be anything from striking up a conversation with a stranger to book signings at your local book store.

Seventh marketing trick, networking with other authors. This has been a huge asset to helping with my books. I've done this by conducting interviews with other authors and selling full page advertising spaces in the rear of the book. For a small charge of $25 an ad, I give other authors the chance to advertise their books on a full page inside my novel. Their advertisements are visible in the online book previews, listed on my website (17,900+ hits and counting), and are permanently included in both the printed version and the ebook form.

With that said, it's time for the shameless plug. If you would like to advertise your book or service inside my novel, please contact me. But hurry, space is limited and filling fast.

— C.L. Vaughn, author of Point of No Return. Check out his website at

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Copyright © 2015 by self-publishing expert John Kremer

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