I've had almost a year to consider some grass roots marketing strategies for my book. There are a lot of paths to take, some more cost effective than others. Whether or not to print review copies or do digital handouts and samples changes how one markets their material. This reality looms near in my mind. So, in the spirit of my current affairs I thought I would discuss today some beginning marketing strategies for your material.
Word of mouth helps spread your book, but so does blog exposure. Now that everyone has an opinion on the internet, a foundational strategy involves taking one's material to the masses. Knowing your demographic is key, though I would be wary of "manufacturing" material for profit. With a demographic in your sights, take an inventory of around 50 blogs and shoot your material to them. Ask if they will review it, talk about it, etc. With blogs that have about a thousand readers, and a conversion rate of about a half percent, a review on the site would generate interest in about 5 to 10 readers. Imagine getting 40 blogs to do your stuff? That's not a terribly large amount, but it's a start.
Going to a convention, or a gathering place for people that like your work helps, but it takes a strategy to talk about your book. I'm not a terribly savvy conversationalist, so I make shirts that say, "Ask me about Spirit Of Orn." It's effective more or less. Having something like a flyer to present also helps a ton. I'm doing business cards with a free copy of the Ebook. Even though it's free, and you may wonder why offering something for free is a good idea, when you want people to buy your material, the idea here is generating interest in the product. If a person loves your book, they will tell their friends. Here is where the grass roots feedback happens.
Lastly, before I get back to work (at my day job) always keep in mind the point of criticism. There will always be some asshole who hates your work. My philosophy is two fold. First, don't read reviews. Out of sight out of mind. Second, as long as the person spells your name right, all is well. There truly is no such thing as bad publicity.
Though brief, I hope these tips helped!