My rookie efforts at experimental, almost zero budget, Marketing

I have been dabbling in marketing over the last few weeks, without a budget, although I did fork out just shy of thirty quid on Facebook in April. And three pounds 49 pence on postage… Facebook – Page Promotion and Boosted Posts I love that you can target Facebook boosts to a specific audience, and the fact that it only costs you if a person actually connects with your post. FB allows you to set your daily budget and the duration of the boost, so right from the get go you know absolutely what your maximum spend will be. Great user tools, and targeting too, what more could you ask for! Results and connections are charted for you. I saw an increase in page likes and in activity on all the posts I boosted. FB also tells you which of your (un-boosted) posts are amusing people, so you can make informed choices about what to promote. What you cannot do is work out if all this activity translates to actual book sales. I console myself with the belief that any PR carrying the name of my book is valuable, even if it does not directly translate to financial returns! As the author of rural romance, featuring horses and dogs. I targeted my post at women who like books, romance, dogs and horses. Which feels pretty specific. As I have yet to complete my ‘Facebook Ads training’ I could well be missing a trick. Amazon Giveaway Unfortunately only in the USA – a US address is a requirement of entry (Amazon’s idea, not mine) but as America knows little about me yet, I thought this was worth a bash. I offered three free copies of my paperback (you have to have a physical book – or a physical something- to participate in this) and ticked ‘follow me on twitter’ as one of the entry requirements. You decide the ‘lucky number’ who will win a book, e.g. every 30th entrant or every 1000th. I over-estimated the potential number of entrants and set my number too high. Consequently I only gave away one book in the end. Amazon despatches the book themselves and charges you the retail cost plus postage, so prize giving is delightfully easy (I had to pay £10 to despatch a book to the USA after my Goodreads Giveaway). You can promote the giveaway on twitter with the #AmazonGiveaway tag. Result – an increase in twitter followers, potentially people who actually read books, although probably those that just enjoy giveaways! Cheap Handouts for my upcoming signing An easy one this, I ordered 100 free business cards from Vistaprint, replacing the business name with the name of my book, and adding my tag line where the legend should have been. I’m quite pleased with the result (see below) and I have something to give to those attending my book signing. Total spend £3.49 (on postage) and I now carry a few in my handbag to distribute to anyone who shows a glimmer of interest. P.S. I got a voucher from Visa Print this morning, offering £10 off my next order, which I am about to use to create a poster for the book signing. I think I’m in profit.

Vistaprint card

Pinterest Having become absorbed by Pinterest when creating mood boards for my novel (otherwise known as procrastinating), I finally made the boards public. I find images a great way to stimulate writing, and as many of my readers have said that they would like to “step into the world of Draymere”, I decided it was time to share.

Bibury-Village bobs overlay

The cover image on my mood board “A Bed of Barley Straw – Draymere” offers a link to my book on Amazon. I have absolutely no idea if this will engage potential readers or not but I’m enjoying myself! It also spurred me on to create the mood board for the sequel (not public yet) which had the effect of breaking my writers block and delivered me back to the typewriter. Now that, I call a success.

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