Piggyback Book Promotion
By Patricia Fry
Some of you may have heard of Piggyback Marketing. Generally, this means promoting your product using a marketing channel from another company. In other words, you might arrange to have another author include your flyer or brochure along with hers when she ships orders or does a mail promo. Or, you might tuck in your brochure with another author’s newsletter.
I’d like to suggest Piggyback Promotion using the momentum of your own efforts. Let’s say that, in recent months, a review of your romance novel was posted at a popular site, your book was mentioned in your college alumni newsletter and you had a story published in Ellipsis Magazine. GREAT! This is all good exposure. But don’t waste the opportunity to expand on that exposure. What more can you do? Here are ten suggestions:
Send announcements of your accomplishments to every newsletter editor in every organization with which you are affiliated. This might include writing groups, your alumni association, your class reunion roster, your church bulletin, the local newspaper, business/hobby clubs and publishers’ organizations such as SPAWN. As a member of SPAWN, you can make such announcements in SPAWNews, which goes out to approximately 2,000 readers. Contact Wendy@spawn.org. Chances are if you’re a member, you announced publication of your book. Don’t stop there—send announcements each time that book gets press.
Spread the news in the forums, online groups and chat rooms you frequent. If you don’t visit forums, groups, etc., start now. Locate discussion groups and bulletin boards/forums in your genre/topic by doing a Google search. Once you land on a good site, note it, but also check out their resource lists/links pages. You’re bound to find many more sites you can use in your promotional efforts. Don’t forget that, as a member of SPAWN, you can participate in SPAWNDiscuss and the SPAWN Forum.
Contact the editors of newsletters in your genre/topic and the hosts of appropriate Web sites and ask them to print your announcement. Again, if you are not aware of newsletters and sites in your genre or topic, spend several hours each week seeking out new ones and make a note of them for future reference. I keep a binder of writing/publishing Web sites for promoting my writing/publishing-related books.
Share these tidbits at your Web site and in your blog.
Send announcements to your address book. Presumably, most of the people in your email address book are friends and colleagues who are interested in you and your achievements. Remind them to tell their friends about your book.
Create a newsletter in which to keep readers abreast of your published articles, book reviews, etc.
Send holiday cards four times a year to those folks without computers telling them of your latest escapades and kudos. You can send them at Christmas/Hanukah; Easter/first day of Spring—a time of new beginnings; Summer/Father’s Day and Fall/Back to School/Halloween.
Use return/no postage envelopes to tell people about your book and the publicity it’s receiving.
Post notices with your checks when paying bills by mail.
Print up flyers to hand out at book festivals, writers’ conferences and when you go out to speak. You can invite folks to explore sites where your book has been reviewed or your promotional articles have been posted.
I’m sure that you can come up with ten more such ideas. But the point is not to collect good ideas—it’s to act on them. I suggest choosing four of these suggestions and diligently following through with them over the next three months. See what sort of return you get on your investment of time.
–Patricia Fry is the author of 27 books. Ten of them are on writing/publishing-related topics. Her hallmark book is the newly revised The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book and the BRAND NEW Author’s Workbook, www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html. Order them together and get a discount.