Thursday, December 28, 2017

Getting a Book to Readers through its Content

It sounds like a basic premise -- you reach a reader by letting them know what's inside a book. Another way to say this would be to focus on the subject matters the book addresses rather than emphasizing the plot or characters. Huh?

I pay attention to anything Joanna Penn says. She is a successful author and maintains a plethora of resources about publishing. Most are geared to self-publishing, but those who work with traditional publishers can learn a lot from her.

In a podcast on Content Marketing with Joanna Penn, she discusses how focusing on a subject matter can tell readers about fiction as well as nonfiction. As a nonfiction writer and editor for years, I understand how important it is to put work 'out there' in many formats, to many different audiences -- conference papers, professional articles, short newspaper pieces.

Penn talks about content marketing as attraction marketing. Write a (possibly free) short story, create a Pinterest board, or write an article about something that appears in your fiction. Those ideas struck home with me. I wrote a book set in the Roman Baths in Bath, England (Secrets of the Gap), and have visited the site and read hundreds of pages about it. Why not do an article on the baths? I'm not an expert on their history, but sometimes an informal article appeals to tourists.

Among her many ideas in the podcast, Penn suggests that authors publish largely on sites they own --- their blog, webpage, You Tube channel, etc. That is good advice, but sometimes you can draw people to your own pages by posting on someone else's, such as doing a guest blog post or an article for a trade magazine.

The bottom line is there are close to five million books for Kindle, and readers won't be drawn to yours solely through "buy my book" ads or posts. Without consciously using it as a marketing strategy, I've done some Pinterest boards on subject near to my (writing) heart. One has beach photos that inspired my books, another has nature photos. My settings usually start with images I've seen.

Get creative. I plan to do more articles or photos that relate to my books rather than talk about the books. Feel free to post links to some of yours in the comments section.
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