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. It 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 your 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.