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If A Book is Written in the Woods, will Bears Read It?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Ankari, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    This topic came up frequently this weekend. Well, not about bears and woods, but about marketing. I spoke to a few established authors this weekend and all agreed the worst thing authors do is marketing. I think we should have some kind of dedicated forum for authors to discuss how to market. It would only discuss the techniques and philosophies of marketing and will not be a place for authors to market their work.

    What do you think?
     
  2. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    I'm certainly up for unloading my degree knowledge on you people. I won't promise it'll be useful or based in experience (because it won't be aha) but I suppose I must have something to show for my 2:1 in marketing.
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    How to Promote Your Book

    First of all, get a realistic impression of the quality of your book. Don't oversell or undersell.

    Find a web audience - a blog takes a lot of work to build, but you can collaborate
    Create a Home Base - You need to bring people to a sales page that presents you and your work and directs them to buy

    These two may or may not be the same location.

    Hire someone to create beautiful cover art
    Write a strong book blurb
    Set up a sample chapter and related materials (worldbuilding stuff? Character maps? A plot hook?)
    You may want to present unrelated pieces, short stories or excerpts from anything you've written.

    IRL Marketing
    Network - Make friends, in real life and on line, to help you out
    Get your friends on board. In fact, get them reviewing books now so it means something when they review you
    Create "business cards" featuring your cover art, details and website
    Walk in to "book-ish" small stores and ask if you can leave out a stack of your cards
    Go to your local bookstores, give them an advanced copy of your book, and ask to do a reading/presentation

    Line up your Fans - Find about ten people who will review your book the day it comes out.

    Advertise your work subtly everywhere, like in your signature, but personally remain focused on adding value to those around you

    Remember - you are part of your brand, not the other way around, and you need to behave accordingly. Keep it professional and stay out of trouble.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
    robertbevan, ALB2012 and Caged Maiden like this.
  4. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    Maybe a list of 'do not do this' would be helpful, also.

    I can't stand it when random authors I've never read (or met or even heard of) try to add me as a friend on GoodReads. It feels incredibly pushy.


    On the other hand, I like seeing authors casually participating on book clubs on Goodreads, or chatting away on reddit. A quiet presence (though making it quietly known they are a published author) goes a huge way in whether I try them out or not.
     
  5. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Firstly I want to echo something Devor said to add emphasis:

    You are part of your brand

    That is perhaps the truest thing in marketing. So many authors these days seem to forget this (or are like, literature is different to "normal products"). Well the fact is it's not, and it just so happens that you are more of a product than your stories. You don't want people buying one book and leaving. You want them buying the book, and staying for anything else that you may produce in the future.

    This is true with other products and is true with fiction.

    I was reading Writer's Magazine the other day and came across the Grumpy Old Book man column, in which an author denounced social marketing tools as time wasted on little returns when he could instead be churning out writing. Well he had something right, your marketing shouldn't be the only thing you do--at some point you need to write--but the thing he got SO wrong in my opinion is forgoeing a marketing tool that a lot of successful authors engage with. You are allowed your own opinion of a tool, that's a given, but conversely you don't want to be left out of the loop.

    What I'm saying is this: If most readers of genre fiction hang out in online place x then you'll probably want to be a part of the online place x phenomenon.


    Secondly I want to place on you the importance of context. The market is everchanging. If you don't know what's going on in it, who's reading what, who's publishing what, you probably aren't going to be able to sell your "baby". Now some people will say that I'm doing what I love and blow the context, but unfortunately while that IS a wonderful tone to take with your writing, and the much healthier pursuit, you can't separate a product from its context. Just like you wouldn't be who you are with out your past, the product needs it's context. It needs to be hot before the market even knows it's hot.

    Basically you need to be psychic and clairvoyent.

    Now... that's impossible, I know, but you can still try as much as humanly possible to know when to sell yourself and when not to sell yourself. A perfectly good product, one that could be wildly successful, CAN be misplaced, and in that case wouldn't do as well as if it came out in the right moment - the right CONTEXT.

    I'm not saying bide your time until your genre is popular again, because you'll be behind the trend. I'm saying MAKE the trend. Use your collected knowledge of the market and marketing to MAKE your work the in thing.

    Just for the sake of emphasis; Context. Branding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
    robertbevan, ALB2012 and Caged Maiden like this.
  6. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    Well I have no marketing experience whatsoever so all tips are welcome. I will say the "behave yourself" and "you influence your brand" is true. Example- recently on a particular set of forums certain individuals were behaving- well like jerks. One was just downright homophobic and offensive and on another just rude. I checked out both the books they were citing and now, on principle I would not buy them (one looked pretty bad anyway). I might have considered them but not now. Even if their books were amazing I am not going to buy.
     
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