So, marketing promotion is a HUGE area. Like, there are literal advertising agencies that focus on a single area of promotion. Expecting me to cover everything in a single book or post or series of posts is impossible.

Instead, I’m going to play with some basic overall concepts for people to consider.

Firstly, let’s talk basic concepts. That is ‘The Line’ in Promotions.

Above the Line Promotions

Above the Line Promotional concepts are strategies and tactics that target large masses of people, often on only mildly differentiated levels.  The biggest advantage of above the line promotions is the ability to reach a mass audience in (a per audience member reached level) cheaper rate. However, because you were touching masses, it was often more expensive (in totality!) than below the line methods. In addition, because you were reaching large numbers, tracking results was often very difficult; and focused on things like reach, brand awareness and brand perception.

Above the Line promotional strategies included:

– TV advertising

– newspaper  advertising 

– radio ads and;

– billboards

Below the Line Promotions

These were Promotional tactics and strategies that focused on a smaller target market and didn’t focus on the ‘major’ advertising methods above. Often, below the line promotions were much more focused and easier to track results from.

These include things like:

– public relations

– search engine marketing 

– social media marketing

– in-person sales

– events

– direct mail

Now, if you’re reading that list, you’re likely realising that for most indie authors, below the line promotional strategies are the most affordable. 

And that’s fine. The vast, vast majority of the time, unless you’re writing in a genre that is read by a large and far reaching demographic (romance, self-help, thrillers and mysteries, we’re looking at you); the chances are, above the line promotions won’t work.

That being said… there are ways to be very, very specific about your marketing.

For example – could you put up an advertisement on a billboard outside of a cinema when Ready Player One was out if you wrote LitRPG? It might be expensive, but that’s very good targeting right there for the few weeks the movie is out.

You can also get quite a bit of radio advertising done, for quite low; if you are willing to do run of station advertisements. For information on ways to get cheap mass marketing options, check out Guerilla Marketing.  

Still, for the vast majority of us, what we’re going to focus upon is promotions below the line.  Before we do that though, we have to talk about some concepts you need.

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