As you know, I've been working on some different marketing ideas this year to see what works and what doesn't. I've read advice and opinions. I've considered it from several angles. And I'm still pretty much lost.
For instance, there's the opinion that giving books away translates to sales. Sounds pretty anti-intuitive, I know, but from what I've read, it's supposed to work. I tried a free day with Dying Embers. 356 people downloaded a copy. Sales did not increase afterwards. What I did get was a boatload of sites pirating Dying Embers. I do Goodreads giveaways - where you can enter to win a copy of a paperback of one of my books along with some swag. (I have one going on right now for Wish in One Hand, as a matter of fact.) Not sure any of those entries turned into sales after the contest ended. I did get a review from the winner of Accidental Death, though, so that was good.
I have goodies I give away whenever I get a chance. Right now, it's bookmarks and postcards. They're small enough to keep a stock of them in my purse and then handy enough for people to accept even when they're working the cash register at the store. I like to think those do get me new sales every now and then. Plus, I like giving them to people. So win-win.
Occasionally, I'll give a paperback copy of my books to someone locally - the library, the local bookstore, etc. Since the library system still hasn't cataloged the first two books I gave them back in... June, was it? I know I'm not seeing any sales from that. The local bookstore gal passes out my books as loaners to people she think will enjoy reading them and maybe will tell others about them. :shrug: I enjoy giving her books, so I'm okay with not getting a return on that.
I know other writers have better swag - pens, kitschy items, bookbags, mousepads, etc. But I'm not sure how that's translating to sales for them. I'm sure it's promoting good will. Right now, I can't afford to promote good will without seeing a return on investment.
What kinds of givies do you like? Which ones are more likely to encourage you to buy a book in the future?