You might have seen those Double Decker buses with huge posters of the latest film slapped on their sides. Apparently, buses are seen by millions of people a week, so advertising on them seems sensible. I ascertained that it costs about £50 a week (minimum four weeks advertising) to advertise on the little space at the back of ordinary single deck buses. With my super scrimper method, you can advertise for a fraction of that cost.
You’ll need an accomplice; a poster advertising your book, and two all day passes to travel the bus routes. We tried it out using all the buses in Birmingham and it only cost us £10.00 total. My friend found a packet of Extra Strong Mints and a pound coin under one of the seats too, so that brought it down to just under £9.00.
Climb on board a bus and bagsy the back seat. You sit one end, while your accomplice sits the other. When no one is looking, unfurl the banner / poster advertising your book, and display in the back window, supporting it at each end with the back of your heads. Every car that gets held up behind you will see your book.
If the bus driver gets annoyed with you, change buses and do the same again on another bus.
Result: a cheap day out and hundreds of people will have seen your name and book.
Banner trailing. It costs a gazillion pounds to advertise by trailing a banner from an aeroplane (at least that’s what my husband told me). To emulate this form of advertising you require, one large banner advertising your book and one car.
Attach banner firmly (and I do mean firmly or it’ll blow off and land on the windscreen of an Eddie Stobart lorry, blinding the driver and sending him veering into the central reservation (Sorry Colin. I hope the broken leg is healing well.)
Once the banner is attached, drive the car up and down the motorway so all the folk on the carriageways can see it.
Important advice – this is a highly illegal so make sure you have a very fast car to outrun any highway patrol vehicles who decide to chase you.
How about renting an “advertising van” with driver for a mere £250 per day? Not likely. Use your own vehicle and put posters of your book in all the back windows. Better still, use a DIY spray can of bright paint and write your book title on the back of the car and along the side panels. Surely your other half won’t mind?
Cinema advertising is diverse. Typically three cinemas with 25 screens would cost from £6,500 per week. For the cost of a few leaflets and a cinema ticket, you can achieve similar results.
Choose a film that in the same genre as your book. Stand outside screen holding a torch so you look official. Give out leaflets advertising your book and offering people a discount when they purchase it. They’ll automatically associate it with the film and keep the leaflet.
Getting front window space in a bookshop costs mega bucks. Only extremely wealthy publishing houses can afford to get their author’s books in the window of somewhere like Waterstones.
To grab front window attention for your latest novel, you will need: a t-shirt advertising your book and a few copies of your book.
Go to front window of large bookshop. Take off coat to reveal t-shirt displaying your book. Stand in front of the window. If you can stand very still, people may even think you are a part of the window display. The books are there just in case anyone wants to buy a copy.
Warning – the staff are likely to suss you in the end and send out the bodyguards to shoo you away. You can either bluff it out or scarper. There is also the chance they might send for the police. If that is so, take extra copies of your book to sell to bored inmates at the local jail.