Several weeks ago I decided to have a little contest. I need some good marketing ideas for my upcoming book, and I promised my readers to give away a $250.34 Amazon gift certificate for the idea that I found most inspiring.
I received many dozens of marketing ideas, from 34 different people. A good number of those ideas involved giving away books for free, which I'm afraid wasn't very useful, as my contract allows me to have about 20 books to give away. (The volume of ideas for free giveaways probably would have required me to have 20 crates of books.)
Fortunately, there were also plenty of ideas that were more realistic (and more affordable) including: easter eggs in the book, Facebook fanpages, video trailers, free ebook extracts, sneak previews, podcasts, local book tours, more contests, merchandise, and much more.
But there was one idea, by Radu Davidescu, that clearly stood out for me: It was about people getting together and organizing small events, in order to have me come over and do a free talk about the book. The requirement would be that all participants would need to buy/own my book, and somehow the attendees would have to find a sponsor for my travel costs. (My own contribution would be my free time and lots of autographs…)
I have no idea whether I can actually implement Radu's suggestion. But I liked it best because it is about self-organization and self-management.
Thanks Radu, and all other contributors, for many fine ideas. I have only one month left of writing to do, and then I will start concentrating on the marketing effort. It's going to be very exciting!