For a limited time, I'm going to price my newest book release at $0.99 and it occured to me that I'm back in retail hell.
I spent years in advertising as an art director/creative director and worked on a variety of different products and services, which sometimes included packaged goods or fast food accounts that my fellow creatives and I referred to as retail hell. Generally speaking, the bigger the retail brand, the more hellish the creative experience.
In the 1990's Tracey-Locke Advertising had the Taco Bell business. And I worked on a number of promotions for the fast food chain. At the time, the brand directive that came down from the CEO was "put some sex in it." Every spot that aired that summer had a party atmosphere, featured young women in shorts and a limited time offer, usually a discounted burrito or taco deal.
You would think with all this advertising experience I would excel at promoting my latest release. THE DO IT LIST, after all, is not much different than a Bacon Club Chalupa.
In retail hell it's all about driving traffic into the stores and boosting sales. There are a few tried and true ways to accomplish these two goals, almost all of which are being heavily utilized by publishers and authors with the help of online retailers and distributers like Amazon and Smashwords.
So lets go over a few retail advertising tropes, as it were.
Discounts: If you don't have a new product offering, discount an old one. Drop the price of a burrito supreme to $0.99 and let people know about it.
Value Paks: Design a cute box and load it up with tacos, a few novellas and churros or a book or two. Offer the value pack for an amazingly low price. Deal!
Dollar Menus: Once you have a solid menu of backlist books you can create a dollar menu. Amazon has lists of discounted and free books, as do many book retailers.
FREE. Buy one get one free and couponing. When that new Chicken Biscuit Taco doesn't become an instant bestseller, you need to get trial any way you can. Once people try and like the product, they'll be back for more and pay full retail. Or maybe they'll wait for another discount. Retail is a tricky business.
New Products: Whatever you do, keep cranking out product. If possible write a series, because you can get readers hooked on a series. Be careful not to be too cliff hanger-y and irritate your readers. Also too many books in a series looks greedy, because it is greedy.
Remember, your next release could be the new Sriracha Cheese Nachos. Stay strong. It could happen.