I'm wondering if any other self-publishers have encountered the following...
Everywhere I turn, there seems to be another story about how newspapers are dying a slow and painful death; if my experience during the past week is any indication of what's going on out there...small wonder. I approached two local newspapers, one a daily and the other a biweekly freebie. The freebie: two emails sent, with a clear indication of a serious offer for advertising for my novel- no response. Meanwhile, the local daily paper (in a town of 50,000) wanted to charge me four grand- that's right, FOUR GRAND- before they'd even talk to me. Another out-of-state paper that I approached, hoping to make their Easter Sunday edition...no response.
I'm wondering if there's a reluctance on their part to advertise an e-book...or this is just an indication of how lousy their service has become? You'd think if someone comes along with a little money on hand, they'd jump on it. No wonder their industry is croaking.
It's not reluctance on their part to advertise an ebook... it's just that newspapers, especially a daily serving 50,000, are a pretty poor choice to advertise with an ebook with. They will gladly advertise your book, but they're not going to give you a discount on their rates because you're just one guy selling a book. Advertising in newspapers is for businesses, not really for individuals.
If you're dead-set on advertising your book in a daily newspaper, try putting it in with the classifieds. Or, you can take a shot that they have an entertainment editor who will do a feature on you and your book. I've seen those in some daily papers, though it's pretty rare - and I haven't seen one for an ebook, only for people who print physical books and sell them at a local store or some such.
They have their rates and are most likely not interested in negotiating those prices down unless they are sponsoring something like an event. A press release to your local paper would have been the route to go and that produces free publicity.
Alternative weeklies often have a bulletin board that charges by the word (around these parts, $1.25).
If you are going to advertise, try and find someplace (like a library or indie book store) where you can do a presentation about something (like self-publishing or some experienced from your ife). Some place in a mall with foot traffic is good.
If you want to do a signing, try and line up three other self-published authors in a similar genre to do a joint signing.
If you do a signing, send out your own PR notice. Anyone who promises to do it for you is lying; or, if they send out a notice, it won't mention you.
Follow submission guidelines for announcements or don't bother.
The PR services that send out a bulk mail announcement are often sending it out to link farms that post everything they receive. Impressive numbers, zero effect. I once got a literary meeting notice posted on a human/animal sex
Some larger newspapers have community editions; they can be more open to interviewing a local author.
Outfits like Writers Digest have email list announcements; 25 words isn't too much. You can run something like that a dozen times for what you'd pay a newspaper to run an ad.
I think about advertising a lot but I figure that without a serious sum of money behind me to do it there's little point. Even websites that have banner ads, I never even look at them when I browse and I can imagine there are very few people who do. The way I see it is you have to have something visible repeatedly to make people gradually build and interest in it. Having just a one-off ad is not going to achieve anything.
I think the guy who mentioned the classifies has a good idea - people are actually looking to buy stuff when the browse those.
My small town newspaper ran an article on another author that had published a book. I e-mailed the person that did the interview letting her know that I also was a hometown author. She did a nice article about me and my book and it cost me nothing. You might contact your local paper about doing an interview.
At Christmas time I wanted to do an article. I didn't want to have to pay. Most newspapers have a link have a news story? I submitted it to the 2 big papers here and 4 smaller local comunity ones. It was ran 3 times.
Thanks for starting this thread. This is an approach that I think really needs exploration. I'm an old newspaper person myself, but from the news side, not the ad side. The old marketing avenues should be explored. So, far, for me, I've found them too expensive. And are Kindle users, for example, likely to be reading their local paper. I don't know. What I'd like to see is more demographic data about Kindle owners and see if that matched demographic info about local newspaper subscribers/readers.