Anyone that tells you marketing is stagnant or that once you find a good book marketing technique you should stick with it only doesn’t understand book marketing at all. As an author, I’ve seen book-marketing techniques come and go and I’ve found that book marketing has to remain fluid in order to keep your books selling. What I mean by this is that as an author, you have to be willing to try new things, and I don’t necessarily mean what every other author out there is doing. There’s nothing worse in my opinion than an author that does what everyone else is doing. I’ve got one word for it, “boring.” If you want to sell books, you have to be willing to experiment. When you do what everyone else is doing, it’s hard to stand out. Thus said, I also believe in taking what everyone else is doing and turning it on its proverbial head.

Here are five ways you can come up with brand new book marketing strategies that will set you apart from the crowd and help you get new readers.

1. Read about other book marketing techniques and or talk to your friends about what they’re doing and then ask yourself, “how can I change what he/she is doing and make it my own?” Here’s an example: You have an author friend who creates beautiful gemstone and bead jewelry that she sells on Etsy, and occasionally has a giveaway where she gives away one of the pieces from her store. You could change this marketing technique by doing the following. Let’s say you like to paint, and you’re pretty good at it. You paint a picture of one of the characters in your book, or the town your character is from and then take a photo or scan and add it to a zazzle store with prints, t-shirts and other goodies with your custom design. Don’t forget to add your website. Then front and center on your website have a copy of the original painting and then a few photos of the products and write or have a copywriter write you up some cute and jazzy copy. Don’t forget to have the call to action in there, something like, “Get your very own print of the town from my book (insert title). You could also host the occasional rafflecopter giveaway as well and let some lucky readers get their very own print, mug, t-shirt or other product.

2. Have you ever read about a few different book marketing techniques and thought, “I could do that better if I combined them?” Then do so. Experiment and don’t be put off by the idea of a technique being too expensive, in most cases there is a low cost way to put most marketing ideas into practice. Combine those two practices, experiment see if your idea works. Even if it doesn’t have the desired result, you can always go back to the drawing board. Above all, have fun!

3. Think about what attracts you to read a book. What makes you want to buy a book? Is it the blurb, the storyline, the cover, the fact that the author is running a contest, and gives away expensive items like e-book readers? Whatever it is, think about this and then make a list. In the case of cover art being what makes you decide to buy a book, brainstorm about ideas about what you can do with cover art. Then put some of those ideas into action and see if your book sales go up.

4. Think outside the box. Most authors stick with traditional book marketing techniques, but if you think about it, traditional doesn’t always mean what’s best and what will sell the most books. Look at traditional book marketing techniques and see if you can figure out a way to do them better.

5. Look at the way others market other products that have nothing to do with the book and publishing industries. See if you can figure out a way to apply a different marketing technique that is outside your marketing sphere and use it to market your books. Revamped marketing ideas can be some of the best book marketing around!

Finally, get into the habit of brainstorming, there are a number of great free mind mapping software’s out there that can help you brainstorm marketing, as well as, book ideas!

And speaking of new book marketing, here’s some great news about one of my favorite books: The Sex, Virtus Saga #1 is coming out in print! I’m so excited, I still can’t believe it!!! And I want to celebrate the event by posting a sneak preview of the first chapter, rewritten for the occasion. Enjoy!

Where the fuck am I?

Glancing dejectedly at the unfamiliar land, he felt utterly lost.

Which was impossible.

Born and raised in the Silcamore District, he knew Black Rose had to be just around the corner, had probably been circling it for the past hour or so. Yet the fact remained. The more he raced his horse, the less he recognized the territory.

Damn! The whole day spent riding home only to be in the middle of nowhere!

Annoyed for the waste of time, his knees tightened around Fuzeon’s belly, vowing he would reach home if it were the last thing he would do. And he might just have gotten his wish had a fat drop not hit his nose first, then his forehead.

Rain, great! That’s all I need!

Night had just fallen, with Stella setting at the twenty-fifth hour, an hour ahead of time given the whole day long of cloudy overcast sky. Now it looked anything but friendly, and the big black clouds that had steadily gathered over the horizon promised nothing good, as did the ominous thunderbolts that pierced the velvety darkness with distant flashes.

Goddamn it! He needed cover and fast, but none seemed available in the flat emptiness he was crossing. Just my luck! Where’s a shelter when you need one?

To think his father had taken such pride in running the Shelter System, making sure that all travelers on Silcamore’s roads had adequate hospitality to see them through their journey. Too bad he hasn’t placed one here, wherever here was, or wherever he would be going as he hurried away from the wet drops.

The downpour suddenly increased as though to spite him. Irritating him mostly, since the wet droplets had the most unfortunate habit of infiltrating through his long hair and clothes to run down bare skin.

Snorting, the horse reminded the rider he might not be the only one feeling uncomfortable. “Hey, Fuzeon.” Bending toward the black head, he spurred him, “Let’s get a roof over our heads before we both drown.”

Fuzeon nickered softly in agreement and accelerated as if he had just such a place. So the man raised his gaze and noticed a distant light on the left. Faint and unstable to be sure, still the first sign of life in what seemed to be an eternity.

Quickly steering Fuzeon, he rushed in that direction, only to realize he was at the village’s outskirts, just a stone throw away from Black Rose. Too tired, or rather too wet, to care, he reached the pale glimmer, amazed it came from such poorly kept and neglected shack. What most surprised him was how well tended the annexed stable was, a sharp contrast considering how run down the rest of the place was.

Must be Fuzeon’s lucky day. Getting the horse, he tied him up next to an empty trough. At least he’ll be sure to spend a better night than his master will.

Then speeding to the front door, he knocked loudly.

“Yes, just a minute.”

He heard a female voice answer. After a few moments, she appeared on the threshold.

“Good evening, sir.” Lit from behind, a complete stranger stared back at him with huge green mesmerizing eyes.

And what he read in them was something so unusual he could not help sinking in it. A mix of relief, happiness, anticipation and so much more jumbled together, so strong, he feared he would drown in it. Literally.

“May I help you?”

“Yes, I…” If he hesitated, it was not because he was pulling himself together and trying to recover a semblance of control. On the contrary, he had a too many of them surging to the fore from deep inside that he simply had to stop to analyze the person in front of him.

At first glance, he could have sworn he had never seen her before in his life. But the second glance told a totally different story, until awareness hit him like something long repressed or unjustly forgotten.

By the gods, I know her!

Which seemed as impossible as his getting lost in a territory he knew like the back of his hand.

Breath caught in his throat, he checked her over one more time. Tall, dark hair, very slim, young and extremely beautiful—he could not shake the weird sensation of looking in a mirror, as if she were his reflection or a twin he had somehow lost without remembering where or how. Because something about her colors and general build was impressively similar to him.

Eighteen or nineteen at the most, like him she was tall, more so since she was a woman, with well-shaped muscles that testified to a life spent riding. Her thick silky hair had the same raven black hue and texture as his, even if hers was longer also compared to his below-the-shoulder cut. Her perfect oval face had stolen some definite features from him, like the straight nose, exquisitely designed soft lips and the clear-cut almond shape of the dazzling green eyes. If this was the only discordant note, for his eyes were as black as cinders, it only strengthened the feeling he knew her at some intimate level he could not quite define at the moment. No, not a casual acquaintance at all—the more he examined her, the more she felt over and beyond familiar as if she belonged to him, which again was definitely impossible because no member of his family lived in the village.

Maybe she worked at Black Rose. But hard as he thought of the many women employed at his home over the course of his twenty-one years of age, he found no trace of a name to associate to this startling creature.

“Hem…” The woman cleared her throat. “May I help you?”

“I’m sorry, Milady.” Snapping out of his odd musings, he shifted on his feet. “But with the storm and all, I seem to have lost my way to—”

“Black Rose?” There was a note of incredulity in her voice he found a bit mocking.

“Well, I guess you know where I live.” Then again, everyone in the village knew of Black Rose.

“Also who you are, for that matter.” The hint of a smile curved her lips before she bowed slightly. “Welcome to my humble home, Prince Duncan Caldwell.”

“All right.” No surprise here, either. He was the local celebrity after all. “Since you seem to know all about me, may I enquire on your name, Miss…”

“Ylianor.” And angling her head, she leveled her gaze with his. “Just Ylianor.”

“Who’s there?”