As the author of The Changing Earth Series, I find myself desperate for marketing information on fictional art. Often times I attend programs designed for non-fiction authors and see what kind of useful information I can pull out and apply to my fictional novels.
Right now I am taking part in a great program called Reach More Readers, hosted by D'vorah Lansky. I started my author career attending this program last year and it skyrocketed my career to a whole new level so I was so excited to attend this year and let me tell you it is just as great as ever!
Here are some takeaways that I got for fictional authors just from the first day!
Position Package and Promote Your Expertise with a Book by Rachel Henke
Now this may not seem like a topic for fiction authors but don't be deceived. It takes a lot of knowledge to write a fictional book. Here's some action steps for you:
"Be conscious of the main message" in your fictional work - why will this message appeal to your ideal reader and what do you want people to reflect upon because of your fictional tale?
"Don't put so much pressure on your book" - think about the message and how you can relate that to non-fiction helpful information for the readers. On social media, don't just post the cover of your book thinking it is going to draw in the reader in droves, tell them what they will get out of it. Think about merchandise you could sell to fans for additional income. Look at your reviews what did people like? Try to include more of that in future books.
"Guide people to find out more about you and your other work" - many people will just read your book and set it aside. Inform them on social media and kindle works where they can find out more about you and where they can find more great stories like the one they just read.
"Get out of creative mode and into marketing mode" - You need a solid marketing plan to avoid overwhelm. Emphasize the need you are fulfilling for your reader: giving them a thrill, taking them through a magical romance, exploring relationships, learning problem solving, etc.
"Don't get down when people don't buy" - Not every book is for everyone. It reminds me of an old adage I learned in the Insurance sales world: some will, some won't, some wait, so what. Look at who is reading your books and following you. Where do they hang out? What social media sites are they on? Who are they friends with? Those are probably good places to go for more readers.
Even though Rachel's message was for non-fiction authors you can see there were a lot of great takeaways for fictional authors.
Develop Your Online Author Presence with Donna Fitch
Many fictional authors struggle with developing a solid message and their website may be a jumble of different works so pay attention here!
An author platform "is your framework to blast off from." It brings all your work together in one place. It brings all your social media efforts together in one place. Even if you have very different fictional works you are one writer and usually you have a message that you are conveying in every piece of work. What is it? Center in on that.
What's on your website? You should have your book there, your name, a blog, your social media icons, personal information and most importantly an opt in box for people to sign up to your mailing list. This is sometimes a struggle for fictional authors. They don't know what they can give away that would be of interest. Here's my advice: What is your main message? Mine is learning about survival so you can survive a disaster so I have a list of essential items you need in a "go-bag." If you had to evacuate your house in less than five minutes you would have some great items you can rely upon to keep you alive and well. This can be applied to multiple concepts, a romance author might have a list of the best ways to entice the opposite sex. A detective novel might have a list of ways you can start investigating your world, etc. The ideas are endless you just need to know your focus.
Embracing technology without becoming overwhelmed by the social media world. This is quite a trick for all of us and I really loved Donna's advice have a solid plan for what you want to accomplish with your marketing. For fictional authors maybe you have a review number you want to hit or a sales number, etc. Make a plan to fit that goal and write it down. Then decide what you need to learn to achieve that goal and make a plan to do that. As fictional authors we are bombarded all the time with this advertising offer or this book boosting site. Having this focus allows you to make better decisions and decide is it a fit for your plan? Does it work for your book?
Many thanks to Rachel Henke and Donna Fitch for sharing this information and thanks so D'vorah Lansky for organizing such a great program for authors. This is just a taste of the great information and there is still so much more to come! I can't wait for more! If you would like to join in the fun simply click this link:
http://reachmorereaders.com/access/aff/go/shathaway I can't wait to see you in the forum.