Putting together a marketing and promotional plan for you novel is one of the hardest things you will do. Many of us would rather have a root canal instead of asking people to buy your novel.
There are several ways to get your novel in the hands of readers that will help spread the word. But you can't just start when the novel comes out. You have to start when you begin writing the novel.
I'm talking about simple things.
1) Street Team.
How many times can I stress the STREET TEAM concept? I have over 100 people on my STREET TEAM and it's only been up and running for one month. In that month, I have connected with my readers. We have discussed books, other than mine, what author swag they like to receive, and what is going on in their life.
I have truly invested in them. I host a give-away each month and it was so much fun sending the first one in the mail. But I know that when A Charming Crime is released next month, I can count on them to help me spread the word.
2) Author Swag.
I came up with author swag a few years ago before I had a novel out! I made blog swag to give out to commenters on the site or different holiday contests. Readers love to feel value and I VALUE THEM...A LOT!!!
It can be simple and inexpensive. Vistaprint.com has a lot of great deals and some of them are free!!
Or what about The Dollar Tree? YES! I'm not kidding!! I recently purchased large, nylon beach bags in four different colors for $1 each!! They are huge and I ironed on my STREET TEAM LOGO!! The iron-on paper was the most expensive item for $20 from Hobby Lobby! I will use those for reader swag give-away.
Oriental Trading has great items too! For my novel, Splitsville.com, I purchased mini-magnifying glasses and hot-glued them a postcard (I got the postcards from Vistaprint for FREE!!)
3) Thank you!
A simple thank you is always appreciated! I get a lot of reader mail. I make sure to take the time to read each one and write a personal note to them. It's so important to let them know how much we value their time.
Think about that! TIME! Do you have any?? The reader gets up in the morning, goes to work (or stays at home with kids, etc...), does their daily duties like we do, get their kids to extra-curricular activities, cook, laundry, cleaning, etc....They take the time to sit down, open their e-reader/book, and invest their precious time in your words. WOW! I'm so honored they spend any time on me...and so should you.
What do you do to give back to your readers? I'm always looking for new ideas.
REMEMBER: You can find more marketing tips and tricks, plus great websites for reader swag in my craft book THE TRICKED OUT TOOLBOX!
The Top 7-ways Authors Mess Up Marketing
To My Wonderful, All-Knowing Readers