Anarchy in Advertising: My Misadventures in Marketing

If you haven’t already noticed these things cropping up on my page

http://www.amazon.com/Madness-Art-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B0055JCIRO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1308345856&sr=8-2   And

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-madness-of-art-corey-pung/1031493004?ean=2940013572874&itm=1&usri=the%2bmadness%2bof%2bart%2bshort%2bstories

I have recently finished a collection of short stories and have uploaded them to Amazon and Barnes and Noble for sale in electronic form.  Originally, I thought it’d be a cakewalk to sell the book, thinking optimistically that people randomly browsing the net would see my book and buy it impulsively.  Chock this one up to naivete.  First off, after I loaded it and waited for it to become available, I found that it’s barely visible on the internet.  Even on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites it doesn’t show up right away when you type in the full, exact title.  Neither do the sale pages show up on Google when you type in the title.  To market my book then, I realized I had to be creative.  That’s why I adopted what I call the Anarchist method of advertising.

The typical advertising avenues aren’t available to me due to lack of money.  You have to pay a huge amount to place ads on most sites, and if I had a huge amount of money, I probably wouldn’t be trying to advertise my book.  Kind of a catch-22.  On Facebook, to place an ad, it’s recommended you pay $50 dollars a day.  $50 dollars is basically my weekly budget.  I’m sure some of you are in my same predicament.  If you have to advertise your work on a zero dollar budget, here’s some of the things I did that weren’t terribly hard.  Take note that these things haven’t been proven effective.

1) Start a blog.  Blogs I found out are fairly visible online.  Each post you put up could find its way onto a search engine.  Wordpress will tell you how people are finding your site, and what they typed in to the engine.  Consider becoming a shill and blog about Lady Gaga, Weiner-Gate, the Green Lantern Movie, kittens doing the darnedest things, or Twilight.  I’ve already used a couple of those subjects.  Then, put up a link to your project, so whomever meanders onto your page might click to buy it impulsively.  This is rather dastardly and unprincipled, but I’ll bet it works.

2) Create ads for Youtube.  Again, I’ll mention that I have very little money.  I had none to buy a digital camera, hire actors, or bring in outside talent.  All I had was a scanner, a computer-mic, and the iMovie program the computer came with.  Utilizing a drawing pad, some pens, old colored pencils, and markers, I made these two ads.

The first ad took me several hours to make, but cost very little.  It appeals a lot of older viewers who appreciate time and effort being put into something, and I’ve had several compliments on facebook.

The second ad took me a couple of minutes, as you can tell.  It appeals to slackers and fans of lowbrow humor.  My friends who are my age like this one, and are mostly puzzled by the other one.

3) Make a facebook page specifically for your products.  These are free (except if you want facebook to help you advertise, it’s costly).  These give you the ability to hopefully reach people whom haven’t friended you on Facebook already.  Odds are, sooner or later, all of your close friends will buy the book on their own, so you don’t need to go to any great lengths to reach out to them, except to casually mention your product.

Other Idea: These are ideas I’ve yet to try, but have considered.  My favorite is this: Go on Craigslist and place a relationship ad saying “Hot Rich Model Seeks Average Male” then, below, place “Must Like Corey Pung’s Book The Madness of Art: Short Stories” (insert your product name).  Create a fake email address for the ad, and wait for the sales to come rolling in.

Other Idea: I have tried this.  It didn’t actually work for me, but it’s worth a shot.  Go on webanswers, or whatever silly Q & A site on the net, and ask “Has anyone read The Madness of Art: Short Stories by Corey Pung?  Can you tell me if it’s good?”  Again, just replace my product with yours.  To answer the question, they’ll hopefully buy your product.  The people who answer these things are paid for how many answers they give, so they’re pretty ravenous.  Also, providing answers boosts their egos, so it’s win-win.

Other Idea: go on any of the big online retailers of online products and start reviewing what’s popular.  As you’re reviewing Katy Perry’s new album or Avatar or beef jerky or whatever, sneak in references to your own product.  For example, “Oh if you like the song Firework, you’re sure to love The Madness or Art: Short Stories by Corey Pung.”  Or “Are you tired of beef jerky that gets stuck between your molars and gives you a stomach ache?  Then read The Madness of Art: Short Stories by Corey Pung today.”  Insert your product.

Other Idea:  This is another one I haven’t tried.  Write up a how-to blog–those are very popular online–and find ways to stuff it with references to your own product.  People seeking advice are likely to read it and have your ads seep into their subconscious.  Maybe they won’t buy it immediately, but sooner or later they’ll find themselves ineluctably compelled.  Also, shove a bunch of popular references into your ad, like Katy Perry, Twilight, or Avatar for example, so it shows up on search engines.

If you were in any way offended by this post, I’d like to point out that it was written largely for cheeky fun.

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