Marketing Equals Visibility

Throughout the month of May, I participated in the Book Marketing Challenge, a program offered by Build a Business with Your Book by D’vorah Lansky. I learned about the Challenge through a newsletter I get from Book Buzzr. I faced the Challenge with high hopes and a fresh notebook, intending to fill my pages with a month’s worth of tips and ideas for marketing my novel. I even talked several of my writer friends to attend with me.

One week into the Challenge, I realized it was heavily weighted toward non-fiction books. Pertain to meIt talked about setting up webinars and turning your book’s index into a teaching course. My writer friends dropped out. I persevered. I figured if I could learn just one useable thing about marketing and expanding my writer platform, it would be worth it.

I learned more than one thing. I learned a notebook full. All it took was a change of perspective. Instead of soaking up information as it washed over me, I actively dissected it and tried to find ways to apply it to my world. The Challenge turned out to be a much larger challenge than I anticipated—but it taught me ways to market my fiction by writing non-fiction.

That’s not as crazy as it sounds. Marketing equals visibility. You want to make your name as visible as possible.  Your name. Not your book. That’s a difficult concept for us introverted novelists. So how do we do that? Social Media? Yes. The dreaded blog posts? Naturally. But here’s a way I never considered before. Kindle books.

Thanks to Amazon KDP, making an ebook is easier than ever. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to upload your content, give it a cover, and publish it. Once done, you are part of the fastest growing community around.

It’s no secret that non-fiction sells better than fiction. Everyone wants to know how to do something. How do you apply that concept to marketing fiction? The answer is in your book. Do you write historical romance? I bet you did a lot of research to get the setting right. You could get a whole series of books out of that. Focus on one aspect at a time. Shoot for about 4000 words. And don’t forget to add links to your fiction book.

Does one of your characters love gardening? You could write a book on gardening tips. Is Power of Kittensyour character an animal lover? Write about the joys of housebreaking your puppy. Or the cute antics of your kitten. With pictures! Who could resist that? And all the while you will be making your name visible.

I’m writing a book series about The Amazing Wolf Boy. My protagonist is a sixteen-year-old boy who loves to eat. (Well, what sixteen-year-old boy doesn’t?) I plan to write a humorous cookbook from my protagonist’s point of view. That should introduce him to some new readers.

The Amazing Wolf Boy is the story of a nerd who becomes a werewolf and finds he has superpowers. My target audience is young adult, specifically girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. But it seems I’m reaching a much broader audience. Most of my reviews are from parents who remember what it was like to have a teenaged boy in the house. In fact, I’ve received many emails from young men who are astounded by how well I captured a boy’s voice. I find that humbling and thrilling at the same time. The third book in the series, Wolfsbane Brew, will be available in July.

Marketing equals visibility. That’s my new mantra. It’s only one tip I gleaned from the Book Marketing Challenge. But the biggest thing I learned was this: Don’t be so quick to think something doesn’t pertain to you. Just change your perspective.

66 thoughts on “Marketing Equals Visibility

  1. Pingback: Welcome to the Book Marketing Challenge Community Blog Hop

  2. Roxanne — YES! My blog is called “Shifting Perspective” — and I reached the same conclusion as you: I can market my novel by getting my name out there with non-fiction as well! In fact, my new Kindle book is up on amazon already. It’s called “Telling Secrets Workbook: A Guide to Your Secret to the Life You Truly Deserve”. In the novel, “Telling Secrets,” the main character embarks on a transformational spiritual journey after her discovery of some family secrets turns her world upside down. So the workbook is an extension, and a roadmap for the reader to begin a journey of their own! I’m so excited about all the possibilities that go with this — teleseminars, free content giveaways, coaching… The list is endless! I’m glad that you and I didn’t quit after the first week, and that we found a way to make this really work to help us build our business with our book! Looking forward to tracking your success!

  3. I found myself in the same position as a fiction writer – wondering how does this apply to me. But it does, they present the information then we interpret, absorb and digest it the way we need it. I like your idea of the kindle ebooks that spin off your main work. They can be great giveaways too.

  4. Roxanne, I love your approach to the audience issue – I have never considered parents before, but it is actually a very wise thing to do. And thanks for the idea of breaking the fiction book into aspects, it is PRECIOUS!
    Good luck with your books!

    P.S. your writing style is great – even this one short post shows it!

  5. Roxanne, I have one non-fiction book published, and one fiction book published. My latest book, “The Dreaming”, is fiction. I can see where a strictly fiction author would have questioned the value of the challenge at the beginning, but I think the presenters saw this and rose to their challenge to include all authors admirably. I like what you took away from the challenge, and I look forward to seeing you rise to the top of the charts!

  6. Well said. I have an additional problem as a fantasy author since I did not do much research but just used my imagination. However, in one of my books there are sphinxes that ask many riddles, so I might have a riddle book that both kids and parents could enjoy. 🙂 I also came up with idea to publish my massive novel chapter by chapter as a Kindle series, and maybe create a blog about the setting and characters and creatures in my book–a kind of encyclopaedia.

    All the best!


  7. Love your post and your writing style, Roxanne! I kept thinking that I don’t want to build a BUSINESS through my book, but it finally dawned on me that I can build a MINISTRY through my book — and that’s a good thing! But it took forever to “change my perspective”!

  8. Roxanne, Loved the way you summed up your experience! I’m glad I stuck it out, though I wondered if folks were dropping off….enjoyed your post and wish I lived close enough to attend your workshops! Enjoy your journey, Vickie

  9. Hello Roxanne, I am pleased that you were able to glean and creatively use the information in the challenge to fit fiction work. If this blog is an example of your writing then your books must be great.

  10. Hi Roxane! I enjoyed your post and what great tips about taking the characters from your fiction book and creating a different subject matter (book) around them. That’s brilliant! I wrote a short story years ago that I would like to finish and maybe turn into a novel, and your idea adds another dimension … and another book. Also, thank you for commenting on my blog page. The best to you. Linda

    • Thanks for stopping by, Linda. You know, my first novel was originally a short story — actually a writing prompt from college many (many) years ago. Best of luck to you! Follow your dream and never stop writing!

  11. Marketing equals visibility. If you don’t mind, I’m going to adopt your mantra. heheh. I felt the same way you did. I wrote a non-fiction series (more of a memoir, I guess) called “On RVing Time”. The series chronicles the life of my husband and I trading suburbia for life on the road in a 40-foot fifthwheel. II now know that I need to find my target audience . After taking the challenge, I started thinking lifestyle change. Checklists Workbooks, etc.i And, I also thought I could divide my first book into several books. The ideas keep coming. I’m glad you didn’t drop out. Even one piece of information to propel you forward is better than none. I am so happy to have met you on this challenge.

  12. Since you stuck it out, you’ll have so much to teach your friends who didn’t have the same determination to squeeze everything you could out of the challenge – a challenge within a challenge!

  13. Each of you said what I wanted to say only better. Thanks,Roxanne, for sharing much of what I also experienced and am now going to do, as a fiction writer who also has done and will do TONS of research for my sci-fi ebook series. Best to you all!

  14. Hi Roxanne! The Challenge was so rich, yet I didn’t use a notebook. You’ve motivated me to go back and look over blog posts and absorb it a 2nd time around with a pen in hand. So glad I found your post! Best of luck!~Lizzy

  15. Loved the kitten graphic. People do fall for pets. I am a fiction writer who stayed for the entire challenge, and I, too, came away with a notebook filled with ideas. I am putting together a calendar of steps to take.

  16. A great post! As a fiction writer of historicals and contemporaries, I never thought about writing non-fiction, but now that I’ve taken the 30 day Challenge, I can see how it could work. I’m following your website so that I can keep up with all the good things you’re doing.

  17. Roxanne, Thank you for your input. I too was really challenged by the idea of producing more Kindle books pertaining to the topic of my main book, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer. I love your ideas – and by the way, I learned today that a Youtube video that includes CATS is almost guaranteed to shoot to the top of the charts. (Cats=kittens, right?) I hope we can keep in touch. I’ve contacted you on Facebook, so hopefully we can keep in touch.

  18. Excellent post! Thanks so much for the nudge to think outside the box and develop new avenues. I have a lot of research in my books too as the occupation of the main character is in part Internet researching. I’m going to have to play with your idea. Thanks!

  19. Hi Roxanne,

    That’s so wonderful that you persisted and learned some ways to market your fiction via non-fiction! And that males are writing to you and saying how much you captured a boy’s voice in your fiction is awesome. That can be tricky to do.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Best of luck to you.

  20. I LOVE this as I, too, cringed at the sudden switch to focusing on non-fiction and “being an expert” to host seminars for added income. I am primarily a fiction author and wanted more tips on how to market those books, which I did get but not in abundance.

    The idea of a cookbook for your main characters is great and will help a tremendous amount of both parents and hungry teens, I’m sure.

    Thanks for thinking outside your book so I can start rethinking of mine in the same way.

    Thanks for reading,

    Sarah Butland
    author of Arm Farm, Brain Tales and Blood Day

  21. Hi Roxanne! Returning to your site for the second time. Was unable to leave a comment the first time. Think I’ve sorted that out now. I enjoyed reading your post even though my focus is non-fiction. My book helps people examine their perspective and to change it if it prevents them from achieving their dreams. Glad you have reinforced that message here. Hope to see you on future Blog Hops!

  22. Thanks for the memory joggers. It’s been a busy month, for sure and I need to go through my notes again. I’m writing non fiction transformational books to tell people how to tap into their natural creativity. Best to you and the creative way you’re tacking kindle

    • Yes, it was a busy month. But now that it’s over, I find that I miss looking in my inbox for my daily steps. I appreciate your comment. Good luck to you as well.

  23. Pingback: Welcome to our Community Blog Hop

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