Book Marketing #5: Offline Book Marketing

We initially mentioned that we want to focus online marketing instruments, but we don't want to deprive you of some creative and classic ways to draw attention to your eBooks.

Business Cards and Flyer - or: Do It Like Yoshi
Yoshi is an author from Tokyo. To promote his cell phone novel "Deep Love", he started distributing thousands of business cards to his target group (high school girls) in Tokyo's hipster hub, Shibuya Station. The business cards informed about that some chapters were available free-of-charge on his website. Within three years Yoshi's site had received more than 20 million hits. To make a long story hort: It became so popular that it was published as an actual book; it has sold an amazing 2.6 million copies, it has spawned a TV series, a movie, and manga. Yet, to this day the real identity of Yoshi remains unknown.

So if you know your target group: Start distributing business cards and attract visitors to your website - or write a good cell phone novel ;-)

Get a Mohawk - or: Do It Like Sascha Lobo
Sascha Lobo is a German blogger, writer, journalist and copywriter. His trademark is a giant red mohawk that he got just before the presentation of his first book (Interview [German])

So get a real haircut, punk! ;-)


We are curious: Let us know about your experience with flyer, business cards, readings, haircuts....!

am 10.06.2011 von J.D. Faver
Great advice, Joan. I don't think I would look good with a mohawk either, but it would be cool for the summer. :-)

am 16.05.2011 von Jess Gulbranson
There are always creative things you can do. During the time MEL was being serialized, I ran fake interviews with the characters, fake movie buzz, and a real contest. When 10 A BOOT STOMPING was published, since it had such a music focus, I wrote and recorded a soundtrack album with tracks named after people who bought the preorder. For my novel Antipaladin Blues (forthcoming), I got a tattoo of the cover image on my arm and was interviewed on video while getting it!

am 03.04.2011 von Joan Reeves
Since I would just look terrible with a mohawk -- of any color -- I stay with more traditional methods. I do a lot of foundation-laying. I consistently post articles about the art, craft, and business of writing to my blogs SlingWords dot blogspot dot com and Joan Slings Words dot com and update my website JoanReeves dot com each month with that kind of content. I do this because it's my way of passing on knowledge to those who want to learn, and it increases recognition of "my name" and "my brand."

I feed my blogs through Twitter and Facebook, and I interact with other writers on their blogs and on listserves to which I belong by commenting when I have something of value to add to the discussion. I resist the impulse to shout "buy my book" because that's just counter-productive and rude.

In the snail mail world, I stick a label on every envelope I mail. The label has the name of the book I'm promoting, for instance, my most current ebook JUST ONE LOOK, as well as a tagline -- a one-sentence description of the book -- and the URL where that book can be purchased.

I also print business cards with the cover of my book on one side and the tagline and purchasing information on the other side. This same information is in my signature on all emails.

I know enough about marketing and promotion to know that doing all this won't actually sell books this very moment, though it may.

The point of consistently doing these things is that it increases name recognition for you, and that will help sell books somewhere down the line. In advertising, it's said that one must hear or see a name 9 times before one remembers it. When a book buyer remembers a name, he or she is more likely to purchase that book.

Joan Reeves
"A sexy romp of a romantic comedy where payback is smoking hot and funny!"
Available on Kindle and

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