Creative Marketing – The Lifeline of Your Self-Published Book

Over the past 6 months, I’ve attended several expos and writer’s conferences, which have translated into more book sales for my self-published books. (All of my major books, which are my novels, short story collections, are self-published.) At any rate, I noticed an upsurge in sales during this time period and wondered why. Looking back, I have noticed a direct correlation between how much I market and how much I sell. When I was building my radio shows and the literary agency, my book sales suffered, because I didn’t market my own books as much at that time.Recently, I’ve noticed a number of good self-published books where the authors have given up, so that’s why I’m re-issuing this article I wrote in 1999. However, I’m updating it with the latest tips from technology.So you’ve self-published your book? What next? After you’ve run through all your friends, family, co-workers, religious organizations, and sororities/ fraternities, you generally run into a brick wall. The truth of the matter? You will wind up with a garage full of books if you don’t get out there and market. (I speak from experience here.) *Note: Some of this is not as much of a problem now due to print-on-demand books.True, a self-published book never dies, gets remaindered, or goes out of print, but it also does not get the widespread distribution that a book published by mainstream gets. And even if you are published with mainstream, you would do well to “toot your own horn” and promote your own book. But as the author/publisher, you have to wear all the hats.You will have to hassle with book stores, barter, and most of all, do creative marketing. The pay off: You will collect most of the profits. Instead of only getting 8 to 15% on the books sold, excluding your advance, (as in the case of going with a mainstream publisher), you can get 100% (minus your production costs) on the book sales, if the sale is retail (such as to an individual), and 45-60% of the sale of a book, if it’s done through a distributor. These are some marketing tips which will help make a difference in a book’s sales until it begins building its own momentum.1. Try to get distribution through Ingram, Partners, Baker and Taylor, among other book distributors. Many book stores won’t take your books without it being part of a distribution chain. Ingram Books, 1-800-937-8000. Baker and Taylor, 1-800-775-1100. Get your books listed on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

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2. Send out review copies to local newspapers, magazines. (Get Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual for other places you can send your review copies.).3. Network. Learn the law of reciprocity. Share resources with other writers and they will share with you. I am an African American writer, so I was able to get resources from another writer to the African American Museum. (In the past, I wrote this writer’s press releases, which were picked up by a local newspaper, as well as part of her back cover.) In addition, link up with other artsy people from other fields. In 1999, I linked up with a creative Arts and Crafts friend who showed me how to put my books in baskets with ribbons. They sell quite well that way. Also, these make nice gifts for the holidays, which are from Halloween up to Father’s Day, including Black History month.4. Conduct or participate in seminars, conferences, or workshops where you can make back-of-the-room sales. Also develop your speaking abilities. If you’d like, do spin-offs such as tapes, CD’s and audio books. (I’ve been speaking and teaching for the past 8 years now and I sell the most books when I speak. People buy you, not just your book.)5. Hit the untraditional markets, such as beauty shops, and small businesses. You can even set up vendor tables yourself. One year, I went to the Family Reunion in Washington D.C. and sold quite a few books on the Family Talent night, after doing a few poems and a reading. Once, I even had a table at a carnival. Although I didn’t sell that many books, it gave me exposure. (I was learning). Now, my sister and I have a mobile book store on wheels where we sell books from different parts of Los Angeles, similar to the street vendors in New York. This has even resulted in workshops at a local college.6. Needless to say, use the Internet to promote your book. (That includes sending out press releases on PR Web and e-mail blasts.) I read that one writer sends out 200 press releases a day. His self-published book was picked up by mainstream and, after a printing of 30,000, they had to go back to press in 27 days. You can find book clubs on the Internet (and off-line) to buy your books in numbers. Also book clubs will now interview you over the phone. I have an interview on October 3, 2007, with Cyrus Webb and book club, who is out of Mississippi. http://www.thebestbookclub.info.
Don’t forget. Go on as many Internet radio shows, as well as do as many off-line shows as you can.7. Attend Trade Shows. The Book Expo of America was excellent, but there are many other smaller shows throughout the year. Don’t always go to the book shows. Go to the Arts and Crafts, Church Conventions and other types of shows where your books won’t be in direct competition with other writers. In this past year, I’ve sold more books by attending the following conferences at the Black Business Expo, September 21 through 23, 2007,http://www.blackbusinessexpo.com,August 17, 2007, The Metro Detroit Literary Collective,
[http://www.mllbnetwork.com/workshops.html],August 10, 11, 2007,Los Angeles Black Book Expo, http://www.labbx.com.June 30, 2007,Special Guest, http://www.leimertparkbookfair.com, Leimert Park Book Fair, June 28, 2007,Honoree, Leimert Park Book Fair Honoree, For Extraordinary Contributions to the Literary Legacy of Los Angeles, The State of California, The United States, The World, andMarch 25, 2007, Self-Publishing Symposium, New York,Schomberg Center for Research, in Black Culture, http://www.aspicomm.com/Events.html, and March 17, 2007, http://www.blackwritersontour.com.8. Approach the libraries. In 1999, I went to the library where my writer’s group meets and the librarian has since submitted my book to the main library for consideration, as well as I did several workshops and signings there. Also, see if you can do readings at local libraries, community centers, and churches.

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9. Write a newsletter on the internet. Not only is this an avenue of giving away something free, it also gives you name recognition.10. Join writers’ guild organizations for support, training, resources, information, and grants. I’ve been a member of Los Angeles’ Saturday Morning Workshop for fifteen years now.11. Develop a web page, get on Myspace, Shelfari, and Black Planet. Do Ipods, do a book trailer for your book using Windows Movie Maker and upload it on You Tube. This is the new calling card in the Twenty-first century. Here you can tell about your book tours, (preferably on-line tours with Delores Thornton of Marguerite Press and LaShunda Hoffman of Sormag.) and, of course, don’t forget old-fashioned book signings. (Make those exciting by offering workshops, raffles or speeches.)12. Write Articles such as this for Ideamarketers, http://EzineArticles.com, or in my case, I even write a column in Booking Matters, magazine. Write blogs at http://www.blogspot.com.http://blackbutterflypress.blogspot.comhttp://blackbutterfly.blogspot.com. I’m new to blogging, but I’ve read where people have gotten book deals from their blogs, as well as developed large followings by dominating on-line conversations. These all get picked up by Google.As I personally found, sometimes we have to revisit old ground to create the funk all over again about our books. After all, these are our legacies we want to leave the world.These tips and others will give your book attention. Most of all, never Give UP!

Creative Marketing Ideas – Taking Your Business To A New Level

The creative marketing ideas listed below are designed to drive traffic to your blog or website. Traffic of course is the biggest problem I see online with those who are not reaching their financial goals.These strategies will drive traffic to your blog but you must have a professional marketing funnel in place to reach the financial goals you desire.Here are a few of the many strategies I implement each day that will generate traffic to your blog:
Warrior – If you have never heard of warrior you need to do a search and become a free member. My team pulls hundreds of leads out of warrior each and every day. There is a very specific approach you must take when working within the warrior forum.

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Do a search for post that are within your niche. You will usually find hundreds of post within any niche on the Internet. Simply scroll down and find a question that you have enough knowledge to answer.You are not looking to place a one or two sentence answer. Remember that there will be hundreds or even thousands of people that will be reading your post so let’s make it good.Go into great detail with your answer. Be sure you create new paragraphs frequently as white space is good. You want at least three paragraphs that really shows your experience and knowledge.Hopefully you have your marketing funnel set up with a free gift for your visitors. Towards the end of your post you simply want to say “For more free information you can check out this article”. Now simply place your link directly to your new blog post, not your home page.This gives you a very strong backlink as Google has a lot of respect for Warrior and it will generate leads on a daily basis. I like to reply to two or three post each day.
Comment Luv – This is a plugin for WordPress that I highly recommend. Once you have it and sign up for comment luv you are able to post comments in niche related blogs that holds a lot of weight with Google.Most blogs today also have comment luv and you will have the option of choosing which blog post link will be posted within your comments. This will generate traffic as well if you are commenting on four to five blogs a few days per week.

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The above are all part of something called a link wheel. Google likes to see backlinks from different types of Internet properties. When you stay consistent and are mixing up the types of links you have coming back to your post you will have the traffic you deserve.There are three major components for you to reach your goals within any online business. A proper marketing funnel, understanding how to dominate any niche on the Internet within 60 days, and how to share your new blog post to get massive traffic.

Advantages of Time Management

Time management is an important aspect of life, be it work, study or during leisure time. It sounds obvious but there are a number of advantages of time management, and can end up saving a lot of time in the long run.The first of the advantages of time management is to be found in the time that is gained. Scheduling and planning activities can remove a lot of wasted time. If you consider how much time is wasted waiting around for people to be ready for a meeting, a meal or some other activity, then time management could gain you hours at a time.

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Many people believe that one of the main advantages of time management is that a lot of stress and anxiety can be removed from daily life. Knowing what has to be achieved and by when is a great comfort to lots of individuals.Another of the advantages of time management is that many people find it a great motivating tool. People often lack a desire to start a task without having a plan in front of them. Many people find that be creating individual deadlines for part of an overall task they actually have a reason to start a project. The advantages of time management therefore extend in to removing the desire to avoid a project or a particular deadline. When a piece of work can be planned ahead it is often possible to build in time to review that work. This can eliminate a lot of rushing and also can allow for any mistakes to be resolved before the work is submitted.Time management is a very personal thing and so it should be possible for everyone to plan anything needed in their life. This means that it should also be flexible enough to change as circumstances change. Some people will only plan their work, and let their free time go with the flow, and some people will plan their whole life.

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Most people like the discipline that time management can instill although at the same time some people can take it too far. Taken to the extreme, where the whole life is planned, can lead to a lack of spontaneity and people can then be accused of having no fun, although this does depend on the individuals involved.In most cases everyone can use the advantages of time management to make time for other things.

3 Advantages of Time Management That You May Not Have Thought Of

When most people talk about time management, they talk about being able to the most important tasks done and such and while these are some great advantages of time management, there are many other advantages that most people miss or don’t even know of!Here’s a look at 3 very powerful advantages of time management that most people miss but are incredibly important in personal growth and development.1. Increased ability to relax and remain stress freeWhile time management is a difficult habit to cultivate, the good news about time management is that it will help you get rid of a lot of your stress. When you learn how to manage your time effectively and put those time management principles into practice, you will feel less stressed out about all your goals and priorities.

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This works because unfinished tasks and commitments create a nagging feeling and when we fail to take care of them, they eat up the level of balance and harmony in our bodies.So one of the quickest ways to reduce stress is to become good at managing your time and getting tasks done!2. Increased harmony in relationshipsI hope you’ve realized by now that a stress free you leads to a happier and healthier relationship. You see, when we are stressed out about work, the upcoming deadlines etc, it is easy to blow up on our family and friends even for the littlest things.This creates stress and dissatisfaction in relationships. Which is why you need to look at how you’re spending your time in the office and what kind of stress or problems you’re bringing home. And, it’s impossible to disconnect from the office if you don’t practice good time management skills at work!

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3. Increased self confidenceIncreased self confidence comes from knowing that you know how to do something. And, when you learn to manage your time, when you can see that you have the ability to handle the stress of your demanding job, when you see that you have the skill sets to advance in your career you’ll gain self confidence.The only way to see that you’ve got the skill sets to advance and you have the right talent for the job is to see the positive results you can bring to the job – which is only possible if you learn how to manage your time and become highly productive at work.

Creative Marketing Article Will Always Do Better Than PPC Ads

Using articles marketing in a creative way will always give you such good results that they will be better than results from paid advertising like PPC ads.The fact is that creative marketing articles usually have a lot going for them. Apart from the fact that you do not pay for the clicks that end up at your site as a result of an article, creative marketing articles will usually end up enjoying the viral effect of being re-posted at various other sites spreading your ad message far and wide. The potentials to bring in loads of free traffic for you is huge and is usually continuously spreading.

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The other huge advantage that this kind of creative marketing has is that click fraud does not work with articles because you do not pay for the traffic. You simply post your useful articles in as many high traffic web sites as you can and then sit back and enjoy the attention and the profits.Granted, the click through rate per single article is not as high as that of a strategically placed link on a search engine. Still, if you ensure that you constantly increase the volume of articles with your links out there, even as the viral effect takes place, you can end up with a sizeable amount of free traffic from your creative marketing articles constantly trooping to your site.

Creative Marketing Management Leadership

To some, it means bottom line only. To me, it means increasing teamwork, building communication systems that work, centralizing a message, generating a consistent message and assuring the fundamentals are clearly communicated within your company first to maintain a marketing edge, which then makes your bottom line healthy. With these fundamentals in place, good creative and honest communications can be created.This includes and makes necessary on my behalf, the need to understand management goals and to then be able to lead your creative marketing team in implementing those goals. You will receive experience which provides significant value to your company in my ability to conceptualize, articulate and implement strategic creative across a broad range of marketing initiatives, including creative, print, direct mail, advertising, brand identity and the internet and it’s increasingly large share of the world’s markets.

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You will receive a proven ability to lead a creative team in achieving company visions, and this provides companies we work with well trained knowledge based staff with clear company visions.This is an investment in your company, not an outsourcing of knowledge.Part of my philosophy is the need for leaders to trust that their staff have a vested interest in the organization and given the right information regarding revenue and business models, will act in the best interest of the company. To that end, your company will enjoy working with a leader which empowers staff and encourages them to get out into the organization and learn more about the company and be more a part of each and every initiative implemented as a team.

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In order for company’s to be successful, they must have good communications, and my experience will bring that to the forefront.To nurture and mentor individuals in understanding where their piece of the marketing puzzle is most important and keeps staff working within their core competencies, and this helps build great creative and marketing.

Creative Marketing Concepts

In a room that’s full of people, how will you manage to stand out? The same predicament is faced by many start-up entrepreneurs today who engage in profitable but popular businesses – which is why the need for a creative marketing idea has emerged. Creative marketing concepts are necessary to be able to separate your business from everyone else’s. To avoid the crowd when everyone else is gunning for the same prize in the same way, it is best that you take detour and be innovative in your marketing strategies.Marketing, mind you, has always been a big part of business. It is that which attracts potential customers and brings in the money. But apart from being important, marketing is also expensive and tricky. So an entrepreneur has to be careful of the type he chooses to apply for his business. Traditional advertising methods like radio and television streams have proven their strength in marketing. But they have also gained the reputation of being impractical in light of the financial constraints we all feel today. In replacement, a lot of new marketing methods have emerged like search engine optimization, social media marketing and pay-per-click ads. But these have also evolved to conventional marketing means and are patronized by a lot of congruent businesses. To some extent, its popularity has also made it lose its credibility.

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Creative marketing concepts are hard to come by. And they may be a bit questionable to conservative marketers or those who are looking to save on costs. But considering that they are less explored and potentially captivating means for product or service promotion, these marketing ideas might just be that missing piece you should incorporate in your business to make it successful.1.) Give away stuff.
If there’s one thing people love, it’s free stuff. If you want to get folks to flock to your business, give them an incentive. It can be a simple towel or an educational book they can download from your site. Just make sure that what you share is something relevant to your business. And make sure you don’t give away EVERYTHING. In replacement of stuff, you can give away free advice on something that is important and connected to your market.2.) Establish your own YouTube channel (which is cheaper).
People love videos. Google loves videos. Ergo, make and post videos. Relate some to your business. Make some that are intriguing, funny, romantic – address all types of preferences and emotions. The good thing about videos is that they are viral and can be passed on from one person to another, thereby ensuring that your marketing campaign reaches a wide market base.

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3.) Lend a hand.
Whether by funding charities or participating in fund-raising event, helping out is good publicity. Aside from this, it is also an opportunity for profitable exposure especially if you are targeting a local market.4.) Attend conferences and tradeshows.
You not only get to get your goods out there, you also will be able to build you and your business reputation. Conferences and tradeshows spell legitimacy and a drive for development. Who knows, this marketing strategy may not only open doors for clientele support but partnerships as well.Creative marketing concepts does not actually only involve flashy, colorful marketing mediums. In a broader sense, it means ingenuously and uniquely conceived ideas for business promotion.

Creative Marketing for Home Businesses

Okay, so you’re working from home and you need a way to effectively market your products or business. Likely, you don’t have much money to really put into an ad campaign and besides, it gets so hard to find a really good, unique ad campaign to stick with. So what are your best choices? How can you stretch your dollar the farthest and still get the most bang for that buck? It’s time to get creative. Creativity will help you work more effectively, build your business and increase your income fast.So where do we start?There are many ways to creatively market your business. We’ve simply chosen a few to highlight that have worked for us. Hopefully reading through our successful tools will help you get your own creative juices flowing.Put your business name and/or website on your checks. Most banks offer the space on your address label to accommodate this. Next time you order checks, simply add the new information below your name and address. Voila. Done.

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Add a business card to all outgoing mail (checks you write, etc). We wouldn’t suggest sending a business card with Grandma’s birthday card, but definitely add one in the next check you write to your garbage collector. No doubt, he’s probably looking for another type of job! We even found a place where you can get free business cards – click here).Be a walking billboard – wear a t-shirt advertising what you do! Does your company not offer them? No problem. You can design you own, or try ours out. Just imagine next time you’re out shopping for shoes, wearing our t-shirt. Who knew shoe shopping could actually promote your business?Look into ad swaps and link exchanges. The WAHM community is ever growing, and we all love to help each other out. We advertise our site on their site, and they advertise their site on ours. It’s simple. Oh yeah, and free!Find cheap advertising. Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s low in value. Find low cost advertisements and take advantage. Perhaps you can find a newsletter ad to buy. Not only will it be seen by all the subscribers, it will be seen by many, many web searchers if it’s a newsletter that gets archived (we archive ours! Click here). Often, newsletters are archived for a year or more. What better way to spend those ad bucks for an online ad?

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Combine your efforts. Do you know a WAHM who is in your same business, or in one that compliments yours? Work together. If you’re both in the home party business, throw a combined party. If you are both in the same business, split the cost of an ad and then split the leads. It’s good to have friends in the WAHM business! Don’t know anyone? Introduce yourself to all the WAHMs on our message boards!See how easy all of this is? Just reading through this probably got your wheels turning. Get a notepad and jot down ideas as they come to you. And feel free to share any really cool ideas with us! We’d love to pass the assistance on to our readers.Good luck with your home businesses!

Creative Marketing Techniques That Grab Your Attention

Marketing techniques are constantly needed not just to create and establish a business but to sustain its growth. The attention span for today’s generation is very short and is only growing shorter every day. In order to grab the attention of a potential customer, a business and its web site needs to have some creative marketing techniques embedded into it.Today a horde of tried and tested marketing techniques exist on the web to take a small business places. But these techniques are being used by almost every one which clearly means there is nothing unique about them. So, how to stand apart and how to be exclusive? This is where creative marketing techniques or guerrilla marketing comes into the picture. Creative marketing calls for coming out with one-of-the-type ideas that have never been tried before. It is important to remember however that generating new marketing ideas alone is not enough; the ideas should create the necessary visibility to the business or web site being marketed.

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Advertising in the real world (other than web marketing) – in scores of ways – is a certain way to gain the notice of the public. Local advertising can put a business or web site in the eyes and subsequently the minds of people. Displays at public places like malls, advertising through various media like newspapers, audio and visual media, short awareness campaigns/ meetings at schools, clubs, libraries, and music halls etc – this list is virtually endless.Community exposure can be achieved by involvement in community efforts like conducting sports events, competitions and sponsoring public events that will attract people from all walks of the community. If a product/ web site being advertised is meant for kids, then a football competition for kids or a painting carnival for kids might be a great idea of bringing a great many kids together at one place. With this technique, the ‘brand’ name gets a trust worthy reputation.Advertising by word-of-mouth is a cheap but effective marketing technique which can really pay off with just a touch of creativity. Displaying the web site name on your personal car, using bags and T-shirts with the business name designed on them, having cheer leaders at local events displaying accessories and clothes with the business name on them – are a few ways to market by word-of-mouth. Promotional give-aways can create a long-term impression on the minds of customers depending on the kind of things being given away as ‘gifts’. Such items apart from being eye catchers should be ideally used every day, seen prominently when placed some where and be around for at least some time. They should carry the business name clearly. For instance, a music store could give away a CD storage case with the company name printed on it!

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All the techniques discussed above are merely indicative under broad categories of marketing. Under each category, a spark of creativity can go a long way in making new ideas which in turn have a huge potential impact on boosting a business and sustaining the growth.

Creative Marketing Tricks for the Self Published Author

Let’s face it. If you’re an Author who has just self published your first book, you are completely, and I mean completely, on your own when it comes to promoting and marketing your book. Many first time self-published Author struggle for years trying to gain exposure for their book. If you’re like any newbie Author, who’s green to the book marketing game (and believe me, it is a game) chances are the first thing you did was race down to the nearest bookstore, or goggle Amazon.com and purchased a few books on “how to market your book”, which is all fine and dandy, providing those techniques work. Here’s a few of the common book marketing tactics:- Sending out a Press Release- Purchasing Targeted Mailing List- Book SigningsSometimes these tactics work. Sometimes they don’t.The big question is: Is there some trick to gaining maximum exposure for your book? Well, there is. And, it certainly isn’t the same run of the mill tactics you read in those marketing books. As a self published Author, I’ve learned how to think “Way out of the box” while marketing my book for a year. Here are a few fun and creative tactics I pulled off to market my book that one) Increased my book sales, and two) Gained me maximum exposure, and three) Landed me a Literary Agent.

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One of the things I did to promote my book was create a Character newsletter, not an ezine news letter that your send out to thousands of people on cyberspace, which ends up in someone’s spam file. I designed my own newspaper based on the title of my book and wrote stories and columns involving the characters. My book is for the Young Adult Market, so it was pretty easy and fun to do. Considering the genre of your book, you would have to brainstorm and come up with your own newspaper, title, and topic stories that relate to your book and characters. After creating my own newspaper, I distributed it to grocery stores. A lot of grocery stores will let you house monthly free newspapers in there store. All you have to do is ask. They’re either going to tell you yes, or no, so why not give it a try?I also made visits to all the local libraries and high schools and got their permission to distribute my newspaper there. After that, I started targeting out of state libraries and teen affiliations as well. It’s good to start with the regional states. In about a month’s time of distributing my newspaper, I starting getting emails and calls from some of the librarians and teachers asking me if I can come to their library and schools and talk to the teens there. The Character newspapers had generated such a positive response from teenagers that they wanted to know more about the book and the Author. Of course, I was ecstatic! Needless to say, my Character newsletter pivoted me right into doing Teen Seminars.Another creative marketing tactic I did was launching “Book Parties”. Instead of the regular Author Speaker Event/Book signing, throw a party! Most public libraries will let you use their community rooms for a small fee, usually under a $100. Now, the trick here is to use those connections that you made with the libraries and the schools, or if you haven’t made any connections, you can still utilize the libraries for your book. It is considered a community business event. The neat thing about having your Book Party at a Public Library is that the libraries will let you post your “Party Flyers” right there on the counters and bulletin boards where patrons can see them when they come in. A few things to do when you have booked your Book Party:1) Hire a D.J. or a band. Make sure you have some form of music.

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2) Give away free marketing materials, like bookmarks, personalized character T’ shirts and posters (that’s another thing you can do, but I will discuss that in my next article)3) Cater food. You don’t have to spend too much. Pizza and soda is always good. And,4) now, here’s the kicker- Have a contest where two, or three people will win an autographed copy of your book. Of course, you will be selling and signing books at your little table throughout the party! Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Well, it is a lot of fun, and it’s also profitable and effective, giving your book maximum exposure. Who knows, if your Book Party turned out to be quite the talk of the town, you just might end up in your town’s local paper the next morning.Creating Character newsletters and throwing a Book Party was just a tidbit of the many other creative tricks I did to bring maximum exposure to my book. Hopefully, these creative marketing tricks will give your book a boost in gaining exposure for your book. Remember, when those old marketing strategies aren’t working for you, sometimes you just got to think “Way out the box” to make great things happen.