One of the most interesting breakouts I attended at this year's LDStorymakers Writing Conference was author Rachelle Christensen's class on Blog Tours and Book Promotions. She had an AMAZING idea for a book promotion that she has graciously allowed me to post about here. When Rachelle did this promotion for her book, Wrong Number, it went out of stock on Amazon in two hours and sent her Bestseller's ranking on Amazon skyrocketing!
Prior to the email promotion, Rachelle contacted her friends, family, and colleagues, asking them if they'd be willing to donate a free downloadable gift to her promo-cause. In return, the contributors would receive name recognition advertising (and therefore promotion) for their products to the literally thousands of people that were to receive Rachelle's email blast. Rachelle was able to gather five or so free downloadable gifts. (Look here for Rachelle's list.)
Side note: Your gift ideas are limitless--depending on what your friends contribute--but could include: craft patterns and instructions, memberships, songs, PDFs, etc. I'd definitely take into consideration your book's target audience when selecting your free gifts. Also remember that the gifts need to be free downloadable files, not promises to do something for someone—because you're hoping that this email will blast and go out to hundreds (thousands!) of people.
Rachelle compiled these free gifts into one simple email that was ready to go out the day the promo occurred. Then on the day of the promo, she sent out an email to her contacts, inviting them to purchase her book, Wrong Number, on Amazon THAT DAY and in return, receive the email with all the wonderful and free downloadable gifts. Then, of course, she encouraged her contacts to send out her initial email to their contacts, causing it to snowball into many and many inboxes, and so forth and so on, until HUNDREDS of people flocked to Amazon to buy her book AND receive the downloadable gift email from Rachelle.
Rachelle's book flew through the sales ranks, (which pleased her publisher,) and provided a "win-win" situation for everyone involved. Brilliant.
Thanks, Rachelle, for letting me share! I hope to one day try this out myself! In the meantime, I'll be checking out Wrong Number, and reading more from Rachelle at rachellewrites.blogspot.com.
Also, check back tomorrow for another great tip for writers from the LDStorymakers conference!