FreeDigitalPhotos.netWhen each of us sets out to write a book, we have an audience in mind. In the end, marketing our book is all about finding that audience. Here’s how a few of our folks have been finding theirs:

Charity Affiliation

Lee Adams, author of two very interesting (and very different) books, the non-fiction Donor Girl and the fictional coming of age tale, Strawberry Wine, has become the first “guinea-pig” on the Where Writers Win Pubslush team!

8196482Lee is fundraising to put Donor Girl out there in a bigger way, plus to offer up a portion of funds raised to the National Kidney Foundation. We think that’s pretty cool and would encourage everyone to support the project and share it on your social media, too.

But what’s even cooler: Donor Girl is Lee’s own tale. A self-proclaimed hypochondriac, she “manned up” and donated one of her kidneys to her brother-in-law. A truly selfless act and her book sheds light on this very worthwhile issue. Happily, she conceived of the book through journaling her own fear through the experience, because donating a body part to market a book would be a bit farther outside the box than we’d recommend…

260370_2010707801742_761876_nNot Your Usual Book Event

McKendree Long, western novelist and author of Dog Soldier Moon and No Good Like it Is, found his penchant for artillery meshed well with his love of western fiction. Besides appearing at book events throughout the southeast, this innovative author brings his gun collection and his books to area gun shows! Says Long, “I sell a lot of books at gun shows, often because guys bring their wives and there’s not much for them to do.”

Dress the Part

Lynne MarieHistorical fiction author Lynne Marie, author of The Seahawk’s Sanctuary and The Lion’s Lair, dresses in period costume for her bigger book events, along with her daughter and historical advisor, Kari Morgan. Lynne’s also gone outside the book store box to do signings at or near historic sites mentioned in her books.

And, ever a novelist with a sense of humor, she makes sure to return those spammy postage paid envelopes, enclosing a bookmark in each one. “They interrupted my day, so I figure I owe them one back,” laughs Lynne.

Jan DiRuzzoAlso dressing the part is children’s book author Jan DiRuzzo. She does readings and book signings at plenty of children’s events and schools for her book The Lost Mermaid, and she dresses like, well, a mermaid!

The More Fun, the Better

We’ve done this in book marketing talks in the past – opened the session up for people to form like-minded genre groups and then brainstorm outside the box book marketing ideas for others in the group.

Now it’s your turn. Have you done something outside the norm to draw attention to your work? Or, do you have an idea that other authors might think about for theirs? Share with your comments below and let’s start a book marketing brainstorm!


17 thoughts on “Out of the Box Book Marketing Ideas

  • August 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Shari,

    This article fascinated me because I’m on a mission to discover as many out-of-the-bookstore ways to market books. Thanks for listing my infographic on the new rules of publishing in your Dec. 25 2012 issue. I also created one on 10 ways to market outside the bookstore

    Indie publishers could never count on bookstores to showcase our books and stimulate sales, and it’s more apparent than ever that we must be creative and assertive in getting our books in front of our buyers/readers. One event I enjoyed doing was a Meet the Author Luncheon hosted by a fellow Toastmaster who was also a member of a local school board. Every single attendee bought several copies of my book.

    Count me in on the book marketing brainstorm!

    • August 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Fabulous and I’d love to feature this infographic as our next blog post – give me some more words you’d like to go with it as a lot of our folks don’t read comments – email me at – Thanks for weighing in and it’s a fun infographic!!

  • August 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Great ideas…I think Jan DiRuzzo should have a “best dressed mermaid” contest at her readings…little girls would love to get into that.
    One simple thing we can all do is make a name tag out of our book covers. I size them and add my name at the bottom, then laminate. Wear them to booksignings but other networking events too. My current books are for the military market, 1001 Things to Love About Military Life, and Military Spouse Journey: Discover the Possibilities & Live Your Dreams (okay, that one is the 3d edition of another book and is due out Sept)…I wear the bookmarks all day. People will ask about them and I say, “Oh, I forgot I still had that on…I just came from a book signing.” Starts a conversation that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

    • August 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Great idea about the bookmarks, Kathie! Will pass on the mermaid idea to Jan as well… And worthwhile books for you to put out there – military spouses are an underserved community, despite their service – so thank you. Continued success!

  • August 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Definitely, dress up as your characters. I wear shrimper garb, complete with white shrimp boots and captain’s hat. The kids love it and it brings some authenticity to my performance. I actually perform the books, bringing the children into part of the scenario. They get so enthusiastic sometimes it’s hard to stay in control. Interaction with the children is the best part. Check out the website at for a short video rendition of my performance.

    • August 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

      That’s fantastic!!! And you’re teaching children to enjoy books as well… Brava!

  • July 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    If you like the attention getting colonial dress, please make time to come and enjoy the Charleston Pirate Festival. It’s family orientated, free, and at the Charleston Maritime Museum the afternoon of August 11. Don’t forget to practice your pirate speak before you come. Aaarrrrrrrrr…

    • August 1, 2013 at 1:05 am

      Arrr, indeed – think I’ll have to check this one out!

  • July 31, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Loved Lynne Marie’s book mark idea! What a hoot! Given the title of my book, Confessions of a Corporate Slut, I’m not entirely sure that “dressing the part” is ideal. However, at a book club I addressed in Northern Florida, the gals all surprised me by wearing red spike heels like the ones on my cover! Not that I think red spikes are slutty…I wear them a lot 🙂 But I think dressing, being a character, ANYTHING an author can do that connects to their readers is such a wonderful idea. I think it makes the audience feel special, knowing that an author took time and thought enough to dress, be something just for them. Wonderful post Shari! Great reminder.

    • July 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks, Jacquie and what a great idea that sparks, too – When possible – a “Come dressed like the cover” theme… I remember at B&N when each Harry Potter sequel launched they’d have treats for all the kids who came dressed in Potter garb – it was great buzz and drew even more attention to the book. Of course for romance novelists that may require a Fabio costume 🙂

  • July 31, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I also dress the part for my book, “Jew in Jail,” by wearing a black & white prison outfit when I go speak on promotional tours or book signings!

    • July 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      That’s great, Gary – just went and looked at your photo on the website – Whoa! Bet it’s a great attention-getter…

      • August 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

        Thanks, Shari. It certainly is!

  • July 31, 2013 at 10:03 am

    High five to Lynne Marie! Love the attention-grabbing get-up! Fantastic conversation starter whether you’re behind your table, or wandering into a starbucks for a quick coffee break between signing events. We also like interactive activities at a signing table. Maybe it’s a game or puzzle, something that people want to do related to your book. For adults, that could be a riddle you have to solve for a free prize. For kids, maybe a coloring sheet from a page in the book. We love outside the box thinking and thanks for sharing your great content, Shari!

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Julie – yes, love the riddle idea. Another of our clients, the Drink Wine and Giggle girls, did a card with a “What Wine Are You” personality test, a great attention-getter and fun takeaway, too. Perhaps clients with book club questions on their websites could do those as clever postcard-type giveaways, too…

      • August 14, 2013 at 1:22 am

        I love the personality test idea! What a fun book to be able to tie in activities. (Though she had me at “Drink”. 🙂 I like the post-card type handouts… better yet, for your gal, she should do coasters! OOOOOH, lightbulb…. she could print customizable drink tags that you ring around wine stems and offer at parties or events. POW!

        • August 14, 2013 at 8:52 am

          VERY cool, Julie – I’ll make sure Deb checks out this comment!

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