Marketing101: Top Tips

As part of my Marketing101 blog posts, I am going to do a mini series called “top tips.”

This series probably won’t be a regular occurrence but more a case of of a couple of post per month.

So, to kick off this series my first top tip is:

1. P.O. Boxes

I think anyone who writes should think about getting a P.O. Box but you may be asking yourself the following questions; What is a P.O. Box? Where do I get one from? How much do they cost? Why should get one?

What is a P. O. Box?
PO Box stands for post office box is a service you can buy or rent that allows you to collect your mail from your local postal service office, instead of having it delivered. But in the UK, for an extra charge they will deliver your contents of your PO Box to your home address.

Where do I get one from?
It depends on whether you want to use a private company or your own mail service provider. Below I will post links on how to order from your own country mail service provider.

UK
US
Canada
Australia
New Zealand

*note: I have only listed the ones I could find, I did try and look for PO Boxes in Italy & France but even with Google translate because of the language barrier my searches were kind of fruitless. So, I suggest you go your local post office and ask.

How much do they cost?
It varies. Because you can rent them monthly or yearly, I have seen them as little as $12 (which I am assume is per month) to $175.

Why should get one?
There are a number of reasons why you should get one; privacy, convenience, flexibly. But the biggest reason why a writer should get one is…

Fan Mail.

In a world that is full of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace), sometimes we forget that not everyone is connected to the web and doesn’t have access to the Internet. Also, you shouldn’t let an avenue pass you by because you think it might be invalid. Keep all your options open. Some might be thinking but your fans need the Internet to buy your book because aren’t Indies not stocked in book stores? Well, that may be the case and your book isn’t stocked in stores but it can be ordered from book stores or it can be given as a gift, won in a competition, seen at a Library.

Just keep all your options open and I hope that you find this top tip helpful.

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Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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Marketing101: Design Your Own Merchandise

Yesterday, I blogged about the start of my journey to the promised land. i.e. My novel been published.

Today, I am going to blog about something I am doing that hopefully will help me later after the book is published. It is kind of like preemptive strike in the marketing war, that is I am going to design my own jewelery, pens, t-shirts, etc… that will go on sale a couple of month’s before the book is released but the great thing is that it will either be inspired by the book/characters or it will be direct promotion for the book.

I, personally, think the best place of doing this is Vistaprint which is global and a great plus it that you can pay by Paypal. Then all you do then is make a shop on Ebay to sell your stuff. Granted, some might think that this might be a bit of a hassle but if you are already an Indie Author then what is another a couple of hours a week to do this. Also, there is a upfront monetary cost but you could easily make that back if you do you sums right.

For example:

Say you design a T-Shirt that works out that you have to pay $9.99 (which I know sounds a lot) but if put that same T-Shirt on Ebay for $10.99 and you charge say a dollar more for shipping (after you have worked that out) you have already got $2.00 profit. Which can’t be sneezed at, can it?

Sure you can use companies like Cafepress or Zazzle but there charge more for the item before you add on your royalties.

Here is just a small selection of what you could use to promote/market your book;

* Mugs
* Notebooks
* T-Shirts
* Cotton Bags
* Pens
* Luggage Tags
* Sticky Notes
* Mouse Mats
* Magnets
* Calendars
* Invitations and Announcements
* Caps
* Pet Gifts
* Custom Buttons
* Teddy Bears
* Keyrings
* Weekly Planner

Sure, you won’t get rich but what is more important. You seeing someone wearing the T-shirt you designed or you not bothering in the first place because it costs money upfront and it is too much hassle? I know which I would choose.

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