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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Publication - Gifts

1 February 2012, Publication - Gifts
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

Here is the list of ideas for advertising--there are more and I'll add to the list as we go along.  I'm certainly not an expert in all these, but I've dabbled in all of them.  I'll try to relate my experience and the degree of that experience to you.

1.  Have a website for your novel.
2.  Write a blog.
3.  Advertise.
4.  Literary awards.
5.  Book cards.
6.  Contests.
7.  Interviews.
8.  Blog tours.
9.  Press releases.
10.  Speaking and teaching.
11.  e-mailing.
12.  Gifts.
13.  Book signings.
14.  Book trailers
15.  ...

Gifts are anything you give out that has some intrinsic value.  So, bookmarks can be a gift.  Generally, the purpose in giving gifts is to bribe your target audience to then investigate your book.  Today, this has turned into giving away copy.  There are great reasons why this isn't a good idea, but we'll get to that.

Let's investigate small gifts.  Usually, these are much lower in cost than your book.  For gifts to be successful, they need to be much lower than the cost of your profit from the book.  So if you are buying the book at $10 a copy and selling it for $15, you need to make certain the overall cost of the gift is much lower than $5.  By the way, don't forget to include your overhead. 

I have given bookmarks as a gift with my books.  I like to give a bookmark for a novel other than the one that was purchased, but most buyers choose a bookmark that matches the book.  I get bookmark blanks from the Internet and can print them myself for less than $0.10 each.  They are in full color.  The blanks I get are very fine parchment paper.  Since they are so cheap, I can afford to throw in a couple with a book sale.  I also sometimes throw in a book card, either postage card or greeting card size that lists all my books.  These aren't really gifts, but if the reader really likes your novel, they will likely look for others to read.

I just had that experience with Aegypt.  A reader contacted me about the two follow-ons that are on contract.  They aren't out yet--oh well.  I pointed them to my science fiction, but I haven't heard back from them.  They really liked Aegypt.

I'll write more about gifts tomorrow.

I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,,,, and

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