Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Marketing and Lawnmowers

“The only sounds were of whirring steel blades and plastic cords as locals attacked the fast growing Buffalo grass on their lots in Chinaman’s Hollow. Victa lawn mowers and Stihl line trimmers were the weapons of choice in the war against the humidity-fuelled growth in the yards of suburbia.”

-          Loathe Your Neighbor ch. 1
Okay, this is bit of a cheat. I really wanted to write about lawnmowers and mowing lawns and how I love it: the process, the finished product, the smell of cut grass, the 75 Db rumble of the 4 stroke engine. What’s not to love? I love doing laundry too. Especially folding and putting away clothes. So satisfying. My question: what household chores do you love?

Now, if you want some tips on marketing your book, read on. Let me begin by saying I don’t really like marketing. In fact, there are times when I loathe it. However, I understand that as a relatively obscure (I’m being very generous to myself here) writer, I need to sell myself and my work. Boy, is it a hard sell! Can I get an “amen’?


-          Work social media like a, well not exactly like a demon, but you know what I mean. Remember it’s all about relationships so try not to cross the vague line which makes you a spammer.

-          Natural relationship to a product? Sell to a retailer offer who can then offer free copies with a purchase of something. For example, a book about driving available in an auto parts store.

-          Free speeches to local clubs, libraries, schools and businesses

-          Reach those who can reach others. Everyone you connect with can reach people you can’t.

-          Learn the 10 second brag to answer the inevitable question, “What’s your book about?”

-          Expand your blog to include stories/reviews/bios/tips etc

-          Portion of sales to charity

-          Flyer/business card. Business cards work well when they follow a conversation.

-          Press releases

-          Visit other blogs and comment (there’s this thing called the A-Z blogging challenge. Have you heard of it? J Apparently it’s a pretty good way to increase visitors to your website and thereby increase your exposure. It’s also a lot of fun.)

-          Don’t ask people to buy your book just tell them about it. Or tell them to buy it…just kidding.

-          Ask readers to write and post reviews. I’m told that nothing sells a book like a personal recommendation.

-          Contact local newspaper (feature article)

-          Instore appearances/book signing at book shop. I recently contacted 11 book stores and only 3 replies. 2 were flat no, and 1 was a maybe.

-          contact local radio

-          sell at the market. In 6 hours, I sold 2 books which thankfully covered the cost of the stall.

-          ask readers to send pics of themselves reading your work

-          giveaways. I have an author page on Goodreads and the giveaway to launch Loathe Your Neighbor generated a lot of interest

-          contact reviewers

-          guest blog/host bloggers


Does any of it work? I’ve done almost everything on the list, but do you know who I am? Have you read Loathe Your Neighbor?. My best advice is to try everything, and keep trying. Be inventive and never forget that we write because we love it writing.




  1. Hey. Bearing in mind we both wrote about the same subject today, I agree with a lot of what you have said. I just narrowed my post down to a tiny area of marketing and discussed that. There are an awful lot of sensible strategies here and ones that don't come across as marketing but clearly are - as you've said. Connecting your work with real life places and pictures of readers are great ideas! I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to give a talk though. I think a lot of work has to go into exposing yourself in order to get your work out there. A lot more than people imagine. That's the crux of what I wanted to say, that you can't just keep tweeting out, buy my book, buy my book, making connections is so much harder than that and you sound like you already know that.

    You're working hard and I wish you so much luck with it.

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Timely encouragement. I was thinking today that I might turn down the heat a bit after the challenge, and try less pushing. I do have another book to write after all so I can't spend all my time marketing.

  2. Household chores....that I like...NONE. I like when it's done; but can't say I really feel any sense of accomplishment, it's over for awhile so I can do other things.

    1. At least you have the satisfaction of finishing if not the pleasure in doing. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  3. Excellent marketing tips. Maybe one day I'll have something to market. Who knows, maybe my agent will sell one of my novels tomorrow. That's what's great about waking up each day, one never knows.

    The only thing I detest more than housework is a dirty house. I do love to cook, though.

    1. So cleaning is a necessary evil to achieve the joy of a clean house. Not a huge fan of cooking. I prefer eating.

  4. Thanks for the good tips. I like freshly cut lawns too:)

    1. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.