For those of us who truly love it, there is almost nothing as joyful as writing fiction.
The creative freedom to craft characters, worlds, and stories is unparalleled. It’s also a joy for readers to get lost in an immersive story, taking them away from the stresses of day to day life.
But as an indie author, there’s a chance that your story won’t receive the attention it deserves. There are so many new releases that it’s easy for readers to overlook your work.
Learning to market fiction effectively is the best way to ensure readers get the chance to fall in love with your book.
Here are three ways to make that happen.
Think about marketing before you start writing
A lot of authors make the mistake of turning their attention to marketing after they complete their book.
At first thought, that might seem logical. After all, isn’t marketing something that happens after the book is ready?
In truth, it’s far better to have an idea of how you’ll get the word out about your book before you start writing it.
Writing a book is a creative marathon. By the time you’ve finished it to a standard you’re happy with, overseen and approved the various rounds of edits, and made sure your book cover is good to go, you’re unlikely to have much energy left in the tank.
Coming up with your marketing plan ahead of time solves that problem.
No one is a born book marketer. Just as you evolved from learning to be a writer in general to learning about book writing specifically, you’ll have various stages on your marketing journey.
Take the time to learn from quality resources and don’t forget to keep a growth mentality.
Showcase your story without spoilers
Have you ever read a book review that gave away far too much?
There’s nothing worse than spoilers. Part of the joy of any story is reading it for the first time and experiencing all its best moments without expectations. If you take that experience away from readers, they are unlikely to feel excited about the prospect of reading your book.
So how do you strike a balance between sharing what your story is about in a way that makes people want to read it and maintaining a sense of surprise and intrigue?
- Understand your story. To know what to share, and what not to share, you must first have a clear understanding of your entire story and everything it contains. Whether you’ve used an outline, or a template for your book, it’s important to have everything clearly laid out so you can determine what to share.
- Know which parts are gripping. Think about a movie trailer. It doesn’t show the boring parts. Instead, it focused on the scenes which are likely to excite and intrigue viewers. You need to think about your story in the same way. Marketing material should only touch on sections of the story that are most likely to make people excited to read the full thing.
- Study the best. If you want to learn how to showcase your story in an exciting way that doesn’t lead to spoilers, check out the marketing material of authors you admire. You’ll notice they are able to give a sense of what their book is about without giving away any major plot points.
Learning how to strike a balance between showcasing your book while at the same time not giving away too much takes time. Get inspiration from other books that do a great job of this and seek feedback on your own marketing efforts as you go.
Let your characters market your book
What made you fall in love with your favorite stories?
If you’re like a lot of readers, I’m willing to bet that characters played a large role.
When a character is well-written and connects with a reader, they almost seem real. In fact, a lot of authors speak about the phenomenon of characters almost taking on a life of their own even when they’re not writing.
So how can you draw upon the power that characters have to market your fiction book effectively?
This might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but marketing might even inform the name you give your character. You want to think about how the name will look and sound in book reviews, bookstore descriptions, and other places where you will market your book. For example, Frodo Baggins is a great name for a fantasy character. If he was called RIck Ross, would the name still be as an effective marketing tool for a fantasy book?
The way your characters look can also form a part of your approach to marketing. If you create visual marketing materials like posters, bookmarks, or online graphics, the image of your character can play an important part of attracting the attention of future readers.
How will you market your next fiction book?
If you don’t currently have a fiction work in progress, why not take some time to think about what it might look like using the ideas found in this article?
At the very least, it’s an interesting thought exercise to see how marketing considerations can lead to creative choices.
As much as marketing is a hate it or love it topic for authors, it’s one that can’t be avoided. No marketing means no readers! Your book really does deserve better than that.