Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marketing 101

I was inspired by Sean Taylor's recent blog post over at, which you should be reading, and if you're not, scoot on over there and take a look. I'll wait.

Okay. Welcome back. Sean recently posted on his blog some of his writing tips that he posts to Twitter. That made me remember that I had dome something similar with marketing tweets a couple of years ago. So, I dug up the file and thought I would post them here. These are in the form they were originally posted and not updated.


Since a few people asked, here are a few free & inexpensive marketing tricks I’ve learned (self taught). Most are pretty straightforward.

These work for comic books & novels and for writers & artists. There are a few so I apologize for the upcoming deluge of tweets.

Free promotions: Websites cost for domain name, but there are also plenty of free sites out there like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, ComicSpace, Blogger, etc.

Don’t assume that just because you’ve moved on to the newest social network that all of your fans have. You don’t want to lose them.

These are free tools that only take an hour or so a day to get the word out. Post sketches or tease with panels or pages from WIP.

Don’t just tweet, bulletin, whatever that your book is available. I follow a few who do that & I find myself skipping their posts unread.

Be personable and talk about other things. There are many pros on Twitter that do this well. It’s not just about selling your latest book.

If you do comics, apply to join the Comic Book Industry Alliance. for comic pros & retailers. They will check your credentials.

Show retailers your book. Offer to send a pdf of the full issue to retailers so they know what it is about & can recommend it to customers.

Offer to do store signings. What’s the worst thing that can happen? The store can say no thanks.

Learn to write press releases & know where to send them. Make a list of press contacts. How you get the word out is also important.

Send press releases to book websites, podcasters, local newspapers (they love writing about locals), magazines out there, regardless of size

Post press releases on any book site with an open forum. All comic book news sites, for example, have a forum or message board.

When it comes to press releases & bulletins, copy & paste is your friend. I write mine in word & paste accordingly.

I sometimes make minor changes depending on where I post. This helps keep the information fresh.

Don’t just talk about your latest. If issue 2 or book 2 is out, remind people about issue or book 1. Don’t assume they already know about it

Promote upcoming issues, issues in catalog so readers & retailers know to order it. Do another press release once the book is in stores.

Inexpensive promotions: Postcards. & are always running free postcard deals. Just pay shipping.

Flyers. Photocopies are not expensive. You can make & distribute around town.

Drop off the flyers &/or postcards at comic shops, bookstores, music, games, movies, etc. (ask first). Most are happy to put them out.

If you’re at or near a convention, drop some postcards or flyers off on the freebie table, even if you're not a guest.

Team up with other creators. Drop off postcards & flyers for their book & they return the favor for their next con appearance with yours.

ALWAYS have cards, flyers, or promo items on hand. I keep a small box of various cards in my car at all times.

You never know when the topic of books might come up and someone expresses an interest. I've sold quite a few books this way.

Incentives. Offer to do a free sketch for comic shops that order 5 copies or more of the issue or run a monthly drawing on your website.

Encourage people to send in comments or post on forum & draw from those a winner of a signed book, a sketch, or signed bookplate.

If you do an incentive, promote that you do it just like you promote the book itself.

When you find stores that support your book, drop them a letter or give them a phone call to thank them. Maybe get a little feedback.

Just don't call stores on new book day!

Personal appearances. Get out there & meet the fans & retailers. Conventions & stores open to doing signings are out there.

Like a politician, you've gotta press the flesh. Be friendly. Be approachable. A bad personal connection can sour a reader to your work.

A good experience between reader and creator can result in making a new fan.

I think I’ve rambled enough for one day. Thanks for indulging me.


Thanks again for the inspiration, Sean.

You can follow me on Twitter at or @bobbynash.



seanhtaylor said...

You're more than welcome, sir. And thanks for the linkage.

Bobby Nash said...

But of course, sir.