Thursday, September 08, 2005

Marketing your fiction

Today I will start a series on marketing your fiction. Like me, you might have thought the hardest part of becoming a best selling novelist was writing a book people would want to read. Then you realized getting the blasted thing published was more difficult than you ever imagined. Finally you tackled that Goliath, only to realize marketing was the real beast to conquer.

How do you let the world know you wrote a book?

Today let's talk about finding speaking venues to promote your writing. All the helpful hints say to find a hook that links your book with a current event. Easier said than done. I still haven't managed to do that. My fiction takes place in small town America where I live. So I starting by approaching local venues with my LOCAL AUTHOR PUBLISHES NOVEL headline. It works well around here, but I realize that will only get me so far. But that's okay for now. I have become a mini-celebrity of sorts in my rural area, and now receive several calls a month from people asking me to come to their meeting or library or county fair to speak. People are excited to have met a published author, and often chew my ear with their own tales of; "One day I'm going to write a book".

Today I spoke at a Rotary club luncheon. I got to talk about my books, which I can do all day, and they were pleased to discover a fiction writer in their midst, who was willing to offer a little insight into the publishing game. They bought my lunch at the steakhouse that hosted the meeting, and I sold seven copies of my books. Not a bad afternoon. More than book sales, I always consider an event a success if I can make people aware of my existence.

Just because you don't have a "hook", don't despair. Go with the local angle. Tell people where you find your inspiration, some humorous anecdotes from your writing experiences, and how you approached a publisher. Even those who never dreamed of writing a book will think you're interesting and charming. They may even find you brilliant.

Best wishes. Now get out there and market. You owe it to that wonderful book you've written.

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