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Smaller is Better? September 30, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, contest, e-books, VIPub, writing.

The Big 6 publishers (or however many are left this week) have lots of problems. One is the inability to react swiftly to publishing trends. This is a plus for VIPub and a plus for the small print presses.

A former writing student of mine, ShawnaB, is working with Sakura Publishing, and asked about ways to publicize. It seems, from what she says, that Sakura is doing something right, getting into both Costco and Walmart. My guess is that the small press can get out any title on a topical subject mighty fast. Gluten free diets, fiction, it seems anything is fair game. But an open question. How can a small press extend its marketing range? (And no, I don’t have any connection, financial or literary with this company. This is a general question.) What makes you look? Are there places you notice ads or promotions that aren’t crowded out by Adsense?

I’ve been mulling over the possibility of putting in giveaways in ebooks. In addition to the book, maybe a T-shirt or patch or something more targeted to the book itself. Or would such freebies be better distributed as contest winnings? Everyone loves to win something. (Well, not everyone these days–but I assume you aren’t one of the “victory is not an option” types and would feel good about coming out on top).

Would “stuff” from Cafepress work well? Discounted? Not at all?

I haven’t seen much happening with giving away free stuff. But just in case there might be a few of you out there excited by the prospect, I’ll give you a chance to scarf up the first three Swords of Raemllyn books for free (normally $12.99). For 24 hours only. Ends noon 11/1/11. But do let me know what your thoughts are on marketing to pass along to Shawna (and everyone else interested in selling their work).

To Demons Boumd A Yoke of Magic, Blood Fountain



1. Shannon Hale - September 30, 2011

I know it’s kind of risky, but I frequently become interested in books that I read about on blogs that I trust. I would look into niche bloggers that are influential that also fit the interests of the book. They review a freebie of the book and all their readers are thus marketed to.

If a give-away is really nifty and tied in with the book, I would be more likely to buy something, probably. I have a purse and a hoodie that I like to put patches on. I also like nice bookmarks and can’t get enough to have around. Maybe one in three sales gets a free bookmark or patch – that way it’s a contest and sales all in one.

Tim Ferriss does giveaways where he gets a bunch of other people to contribute electronic freebies to people who buy his book. When I bought ‘The Four Hour Body’ I pre-ordered it and got a ton of electronic freebies via an email link after verifying my purchase. The freebies included electronic versions of a cookbook, The Four Hour Workweek, some video interviews, a podcast, and some other things I can’t remember now. It seemed like a lot. It seemed like a great deal. I didn’t pay any more for the book that I would have normally, but I pre-ordered for the freebies.

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