Don't answer "I'm broke". Pretend your Lotto # was finally selected.
I'm convinced that a hands-on approach is the only way to go, and it's my hands that have to be on my marketing. For booking, less than $1000 a month for radio bookings and maybe up to $5000 or so for television, a great deal more in some situations. But it keeps coming back to (at least in my world) authors have to do their own promotion to create their own brand. Or have done it before they become authors.
Jeff, I've spent a lot of time on this subject recently. I spoke to a few "Best Selling Author Launch Campaign" marketing companies, and they are not cheap -- but necessary. I figured, "Why try to reinvent the wheel", these companies specialize in this type of marketing. Hasmark seemed to have the most well-known authors, and endorsements.
Steve Harrison's Bradley Communications have some great marketing and PR opportunities that range in price from $450.00 to $6000.00. For a price, you can take marketing classes from Jack Canfield in person, or meet 100 national TV booking agents. Also, as you know, they have free seminars.
I researched Journalists who write about my expertise in USA Today, WSJ, and New York Times. A PR and marketing lady sent me information and applications for national TV news and talk shows, which feature stories on my expertise and with whom she thought I would be a good match.
Another form of marketing is "Crowdfunding", and I researched a few of these companies. There doesn't seem to be any formula for success or topic that is more successful . . . the only common key with the successful venues are, they all marketed their site to all of their friends, family and book groups. Kickstarter, Indie Go-Go, seemed to be legit.
I spoke to the head of B&N in New York regarding the reasons for book refusals. This may not sound like marketing, but it sure saves a lot of time and confirms that you better have a professionally edited and designed book . . . and don't listen to the amateur jerk-offs in the groups that tell you any different. That's why I got my info straight from the horses mouth.
Finding a Literary Agent that believes in you, and your project can save a lot of time by going Traditional.
The real questions concern:
What are you really willing to risk to attain the fame and fortune of a published author?
How much money can you beg, borrow and steal from your family, friends, savings and retirement fund; and how much are you willing to blindly spend -- based on your confidence in yourself and your project? If you have a great project and you have media experience you may get lots of free interviews, which would help you financially. If you don't have media experience, you may be better off with social media marketing.
If a National TV show wanted you to appear today, would you be prepared -- or would you appear as a frightened, stuttering cast member of the "Adam's Family", and make a fool of yourself to the world? If you appear like an amateur on national TV -- you'll never be taken seriously, and it will hinder book sales. I suggest asking about media training, as an author you're hopefully going to be in the public eye and the small investment is worth every penny.
Are you willing to do the research and spend the money to hire a great editor, designer, Book Launch Marketer?
As an author, your "book project recipe for success" will be determined by the ingredients. As in any good recipe, the quality, and quantity of the ingredients, and the attention to detail of the process will determine the success.
My first book (of which I was a co-author) had a PR budget of about $2 million, spent in every imaginable media outlet. It earned about $3 million, directly, although there were consulting opportunities as a result of its success. My last book had (if anything said by the publisher is to be believed) a PR budget of about $200,000, mostly spent on Madison Avenue types and on print advertising in the LA market,plus maybe half a dozen print ads in oddly chosen national magazines. It netted me about $45,000. If one of the objectives is to earn a living from writing, I would only employ book marketing professionals as part of my overall marketing plan. And I wouldn't spend a dime on boosting my own ego. "Ooh, Jack Canfield," great writer with a great agent though he may be, wouldn't entice me to let go of my money.
This is a question that I've been asking myself lately. I think I would be willing to pay for a strategic, targeted marketing campaign that I helped design, that had good metrics, that provided me with the feedback to design the next strategic, targeted marketing campaign. I'd pay on a campaign by campaign basis. And my $$ would reflect the number of man hours required to bring it to fruition, the clout of the marketing agent, and the sales goals for a year out.
So, for example, if I designed a campaign to get my wedding related book pushed to new brides, I would expect marketing to have me featured on bride blogs, in bride magazines, and getting me in front of an audience I thought would expand my visibility to brides (specific targeted audience). Then I'd do some voodoo math (100,000 new eyeballs at 10% follow through sales = potential 10,000 sales x 2% marketing budget...means spending no more than $2,000 on the campaign).
I'm nowhere near paying someone to do my own marketing, though, because I still need to build up my grasp of who I can reach out to who I haven't reached already, and how I can best reach out to them. That's the kind of knowledge most authors would be willing to pay for, but that's the kind of knowledge that most marketers don't have.
I'm just not sure. I would need to know that the marketing company had someone who would give all they had to my book. Someone I could feel comforable communicating with at all times, who made my feel they valued my book--time--and money. I would look for results...results...results---fairly quick ones.