Welcome to SCRAWL SPACE, Greg’s blog. Here he waxes eloquent on all things relating to writing and the writing life. In other words, it’s where he loves to waste his time and that of his readers. He’s very happy you’ve stopped by. You, too, Dad.
You’ve written a brilliant novel. It’s original and moving and thoroughly entertaining.
And nobody really cares.
And the reason nobody really cares is nobody really knows about it.
“But I’ve tweeted about it and blogged about it and told all my friends about it on Facebook.”
Good for you. You’ve done exactly what the 30,000 other authors who launched a book the same week as you did with their book. And most of them have more followers and friends than you do. And their book isn’t selling either.
It’s no longer enough to write a standout novel to have your novel stand out. These days, it’s how you market a book that matters – and the more original (read: outlandish) your marketing tactics, the better. The book itself is secondary.
I agree. But do you want to sell books or bitch and moan? True, both activities are satisfying, but you have to pick one. And if you pick the former, I may be able to help.
Below are five totally outside-the-box marketing tactics I (cannot) guarantee will dramatically boost your exposure and book sales, and earn you the level of recognition I feel only I deserve. (NOTE: You’ll need to employ these tactics soon, before all the other authors turn them into totally inside-the-box ideas. That said, there’s no need to rush TOO much; few people actually read my blog.)
1) Be your book. Convert your book cover into a wearable sandwich board and wear it out in public. All the time. Even at your job. Don’t worry if your coworkers ridicule you and your boss writes you up repeatedly for dress-code violations. You’ll be quitting that job in no time due to the almost guaranteed success of this brilliant book marketing approach. (Please keep in mind that, for some jobs, such as underwater welder and funeral director, wearing a sandwich board may not be feasible or practical.)
2) Video-bomb breaking news with your book in hand. You know how there’s always some idiot in the background waving at the camera while a TV reporter is covering a big breaking news story? Be that idiot. Only smarter. Waving your hand at tens or hundreds of thousands of captivated viewers watching news breaking is moronic. Waving your book at them is genius, assuming the book’s not upside down and you’re not waving it so vigorously the people can’t read the title. Otherwise you’re back to just being an idiot. The challenge with this tactic is being in the right place at the right time. You’ll need to hang out at or around places where horrible things happen on a regular basis, like an active fault line, a public school or a Walmart. It’ll take some patience and resolve, but the payoff is worth it. The only way to get more free exposure for your book is to murder a celebrity during your launch, and I simply can’t with good conscience recommend that.
3) Use racist, misogynistic, homophobic, uber-nationalistic language in your marketing. If this tactic can earn a bombastic orange man the presidency, surely it can generate some buzz around your book. Granted, many of the folks your vitriolic hate-speech will attract are likely to be illiterate, but they’ll still buy your book – you merely need to express how, if they do not, it must mean they are a sissy-girl terrorist who hates freedom.
4) Post a photo of a page of your book revealing a coffee stain that looks like Jesus. Nearly a third of the world’s population is wild about Jesus and will buy anything that contains an image that even remotely resembles him. This explains why Willie Nelson’s albums have sold so well all these years. Even if your book is about an S & M dominatrix who worships the devil, if a likeness of J.C. has been reported to appear somewhere inside even just a single copy of it, all your literary sins will be forgiven and you will soon be able to buy a mansion next to that of Stephen King.
5) Murder a celebrity during your launch. I know, I know, above in #2 I said I couldn’t with good conscience recommend this tactic, but we’re talking about marketing here and thus good conscience is moot. Still and all, this tactic should be considered only as a last resort – unless you have easy access to any reality TV stars, in which case you should bump this up to #1 on this list.
DISCLAIMER: I’m off my meds and refuse to be held responsible for any sage advice I may have provided in this post.
Oh, and by the way, my bestselling dark comedy ‘The Exit Man’ is currently available for just 99 cents on Amazon (as well as on most other major ebook retailer sites) for a limited time. To purchase it at this obscenely low price, choose your link below. (Note: The Amazon link is for US customers, but the discounted price is good across all Amazon sites.)