At our authors’ group meeting last week, we talked about book marketing. It’s always a popular topic.
One author complained: “I’ve got lots of free stuff for readers — novels, and novellas, but I’m not seeing the results I got even last year. What’s happening?”
Book marketing: free stuff everywhere
Although book marketing by offering your readers free reads is great, readers have a big challenge.
We all have the same challenge: time. I know that my own To Be Read pile, both on my Kindle, and on my bookshelves, is overwhelming. Everyone’s the same.
Many, many authors offer free reads; readers are overwhelmed.
What if you offered something different? A couple of the authors reported that they were getting good results from printables.
Book marketing: printable ideas you can use
Firstly, what’s a “printable”? Basically, a printable is a document, usually in PDF format, which is meant to be printed. Use your printables to advertise upcoming and new book releases, or books from your back catalogue.
You can offer printables as free incentives to sign up to your mailing list, or as a free download from a page on your website. You can also offer links to your printables in your books — readers visit your website, and may buy more of your books.
Most designers use Adobe Illustrator or InDesign to create printables. Don’t have these apps? You can hire designers on websites like Fiverr quite reasonably.
I’m sure you’re thinking that this is great, but what in the world can you offer as a printable? Here are some ideas.
1. Printable To Do lists and checklists
People use task lists, to keep track of:
- Everyday tasks at work, and chores at home;
- Meal planning;
- Event planning for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings…
They use checklists too — to remember what to pack for trips, to prepare for events, and much more.
When you’re creating your printable, add your book cover image either as a background, or at the top or bottom. Ideally, add a clickable hyperlink; many people access PDFs on their phone. They can click the link to learn more about your books.
2. Printable tips and recipes
I collect more photography tips that I’ll ever use, and I download more recipes than I’ll ever find time to cook.
Try offering printable recipe cards, and tips for anything you think that readers might find valuable.
3. Printable affirmations and quotations
One of the authors who uses printables for book marketing offers her brush-letter affirmations as art. She sells both digital versions, and paper versions, suitable for framing, on Etsy.
These items are so popular that she’s opening up her own shop on her website.
She said: “The art I sell isn’t strictly promotional, but when I send my customers their prints, I include promotions. I’ll send a free notecard with my book covers and a link, or a couple of free bookmarks printed with my latest book cover.”
Book marketing today: get creative
I love the idea of printables. The big lesson from the authors’ success with these items is — be creative in getting out the news about your books.