Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Do you know what you are selling - marketing part 2.5

In the last post on marketing, I said there were three ways to market your novel. You could market a title, your name, or your company.

These are the three ways you can market. You have to decide on the best approach for you.

There are pros and cons in each of these ways.

If you are writing a series of Paranormal Romances (for example) you may want to promote the name of your series. The pros of this is that each books marketing will build on the marketing of the book before.  When you get quite far into your series, you will be able to do small amounts of marketing for large results. The con is that this works in polar reverse. At the beginning of your series this form of marketing will require a shit-load of work for negligible returns.

You might decide that you are doing one book under a certain name and you won't be doing anything else under that name, and you'll never write anything like that again. If so, promote the book's name. This is perhaps the easiest way to market and will garner you the best results. The downside is that the amount of work you put into it is relative to the amount of work you take out of it. So if you were to do a whole series this way, you would need to put a lot of effort into publicising each book in the series.

You might have a series of loosely connected adventures all focusing on one character (my upcoming books in my steampunk series will all focus on Lady Matilda Raleigh, Duchess of Leicester) and you may decide to market your character.  This is the Harry Potter approach - but the character can outshine you. Any future book by JK Rowling will have "Author of Harry Potter" on the cover. If she decides to suddenly start writing romance this Harry Potter effect will not be good for sales.

You may decide to market your name. This is a good way to do it; it makes you famous, not your books. So each of Stephen King's standalone novels are marketed under Stephen King's name - they will be written in his style, his authorial voice, will probably share themes, but not characters. The downside to this is that readers will build expectations into your name. It makes changing genre a pain the arse.

I will not cover marketing your company. You are indie publishers, and probably not thinking about growing your company to the point where it might be wise to market it. Curiously enough, I am. Marketing my company forms a large part of my strategy.

Ah, strategy. that's important. You have one of them, right? Strategy will be the subject of my next blog on marketing, I think.  Sorry this one was all text, marketing images are hard to find.

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