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Marketing

Postby BadgerJelly on March 27th, 2017, 5:16 am 

Any advice or tips on getting a book read once its written?

I am talking "fiction" here.
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Re: Marketing

Postby Eclogite on March 27th, 2017, 5:36 am 

Make sure it is a real humdinger, so that your publisher pushes it for all it's worth.

Not very helpful, I know, but self publicising is going to be a major challenge.
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Re: Marketing

Postby vivian maxine on March 27th, 2017, 12:45 pm 

Part of that is out of your control because readers have varied wishes about fiction. Example: I like science fiction but only if it is within the realm of possibility now or in the future. I will not read blood-thirsty, three-eyed monster, women in chains, etc., science fiction. I notice that I often avoid the scifi section because most of it is of the latter type. I like historical fiction but one author who does write good stories gets none of my money because he has such a foul mouth. Every reading has his own preferences.

Nothing you can do about that. The rest is how to reach the audience that likes your type of fiction. A lot of authors are setting up web sites now where they talk up their own books. What I really like about some of those is that they send out notices to registered readers when a new book is coming. That works once the reader knows they want every book that author writes.

Then, as Eclogite said, it is up to your publisher and agent to push the book. Get little reviews of it into magazines and online. And, be sure your agent is one who likes what you write - who likes that kind of story. If he/she isn't enthused about the story, he may not work very hard at it even if he admits it is well-written.

Just my thoughts. Not worth much.
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Re: Marketing

Postby Braininvat on March 27th, 2017, 3:16 pm 

I suspect some of our regulars would like the Perth writer who writes a lot of stories concerning AI, consciousness, virtual reality, genetic engineering, exotic physics - the mysterious (he has managed to keep all pictures of himself off the Internet) Greg Egan. Cerebral and compelling stuff. Way better than the dime-a-dozen space opera stuff.

BTW, I'm amazed at how much good sci-fi comes from writers with the first 3 letters of the alphabet beginning their last names....I think there's even a term among sci-fi buffs that refers to the concentration just in the B's, "the Killer B's of hard SF."

Asimov
Bryan Aldiss
Margaret Atwood
David Brin
Gregory Benford
Greg Bear
Ben Bova
Ray Bradbury
Stephen Baxter
Arthur C. Clarke
Ted Chiang
Robert Charles-Wilson (ok, that's a cheat, Charles is just his middle name)

All that is a digression on the way to my answer, which is similar to Eclogite's answer: write a really interesting story and have a terrific editor who is really behind you all the way and will promote the hell out of it. And that means probably getting your name known by writing short stories and getting them published in zines that people pay attention to. I doubt that an anonymous person, just tossing their MS over the transom, is going to get far these days.
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Re: Marketing

Postby vivian maxine on March 27th, 2017, 3:23 pm 

Nice list, Biv. I have read many by six of those. I'll try some of the others. And Greg Egan? Never heard of him. Shame on me?
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Re: Marketing

Postby doogles on March 27th, 2017, 8:04 pm 

Advertise, advertise, advertise. Be prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising.

Or else become famous or notorious.

Book selling is a highly competitive business venture. Almost everybody has written a book. People getting into their cars all over the world are tripping over boxes of unsold self-published books in their garages.

In Australia, publishers will now only look at manuscripts from literary agents. Most agents have their hands full and many are not reading any new mss. The rare ones who look at new ones request something like the first 20 pages only and warn that it may take several months to get around to reading them.

The companies who cater for self-publishers bring out every trick in the book to get your money without much result.

Sorry to paint a grim picture, BJ but one has to face facts if one wishes to have a book published.

A notorious axe murderer has every chance in the world of having a book published because the public knows their name. Publishers know that if a person is already well-known, any book written by or about them will automatically sell well. It’s good business.

At face value, Bryce Courtenay appears to have been one of those rare people who successfully marketed his own books. My recall is that he was knocked back by a number of publishers for The Power of One, before he undertook the task himself. One of the rumours I heard was that on one occasion he had six or seven paid assistants all board the same peak-hour tram of train carriage and stand up reading his book. Of course, everyone around these people could see the cover of the book and subconsciously would note its popularity.

In fact, according to Wikipedia, he had been a very successful media advertiser before he went into writing – so he had an idea of how to go about it. This is another anecdote from Wikipedia – “Courtenay was one of Australia's most commercially successful authors. He built up this success over the long term by promoting himself and developing a relationship with readers as much as marketing his books; for instance, he gave away up to 2,500 books free each year to readers he met in the street.[6] However, only The Power of One has been published in the United States. Courtenay claimed that this was because "American publishers for the most part have difficulties about Australia, they are interested in books in their own country first and foremost. However, we receive many e-mails and letters from Americans who have read my books and I am hoping in the future that publishers will recognize that there is a market for all my books in the U.S.”

Best of luck BadgerJelly in your endeavour.
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Re: Marketing

Postby BadgerJelly on March 30th, 2017, 2:59 am 

I am not planning to make a career of it, I am a realist. I am hoping to find a way to reach who I want to reach.

I am going to make a questionnaire for people travelling. I am thinking of something a long the lines of getting my name out there with free short stories.

Basic plan is to see if I can reach people who travel (students on gap year, general backpackers). I have direct access to these people everyday so just have to get out there and see if it is a viable idea. People read when travelling. If I can write some short stories and reach some of these people then they may like my style and then look for my novel.

My basic plan will be to advertise through backpacker hostels by giving away FREE short stories on kindle/amazon, or something like that.

My stuff is not for everyone. I have already posted some bits on forums and a lot of people "don't like to think", they read purely for entertainment. I guess I am aiming at people who are curious and do something about being curious rather than just zoning out.

I am not deluded though. I just hope to get 100 people to read my novel once it's finished. I am just doing something I have never really done before in my life, I am planning ahead a little because I imagine it would be very frustrating having a book ready to be read and starting from scratch to get people to read the damn thing.

Biv -

I really enjoyed reading Ian Banks' Culture novels. He tended to skirt around more philosophical/social issues and his AI "minds" were really entertaining inventions. Ben Bova's one about the guy who built "tower of babel" and was exiled from Earth always stuck with me too. I think it was "Mercury"? Maybe "Venus"? Anyway, that was a very nicely planned out novel. I found "Mars" to be pretty dull though.
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Re: Marketing

Postby doogles on March 30th, 2017, 3:52 am 

BadgerJelly - "Basic plan is to see if I can reach people who travel (students on gap year, general backpackers). I have direct access to these people everyday so just have to get out there and see if it is a viable idea. People read when travelling. If I can write some short stories and reach some of these people then they may like my style and then look for my novel."

BJ, just to get my own mind clear as to where you are at, the above implies to me that you have already written a novel, and that in order to get this noticed, you are now going to start writing some short stories as 'give-aways' to travellers in the hope that your name will become recognised from those short stories and result in travellers seeking out your novel?

That's a lot of work to my mind and you'll still have to advertise, advertise, advertise, with a willingness to expend tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum. But maybe you'll enhance the advertising effect with a limited traveller-readership. Go for it. If you don't 'have a go, you'll never know'.
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Re: Marketing

Postby BadgerJelly on March 30th, 2017, 4:48 am 

doogles -

I am not spending money on advertising (other than a few pennies here and there). I have not written a novel yet. I aim to have one written within 2 years and then published (in some capacity) within three years.

It wouldn't be much work. I would hand out flyers to people every couple of weeks and have name of short stories to download FOR FREE onto kindle or whatever.

Most people travelling through here travel all over SE Asia. So if word of mouth works (assuming what I write isn't complete trash!) then I should get enough interest.

Just have to survey and find out how many people travel with kindles, how many actually read from their kindles (find time to), how many prefer print (once I have several short stories I can print them out and they'll look reasonably "professional"). That would be the only major investment (and not a big one so would probably just give them away.

If anyone can offer suggestions for questions I can ask people I would be very greatful.

Obviously ask what kind of books they like to read and what they are reading now (if anything). find out what kind of things interest people travelling, and if I had a short story for free would they give it a chance?
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Re: Marketing

Postby doogles on March 31st, 2017, 3:23 am 

G'Donya BJ.

I do like to see people 'having a go' at new things and to my mind, you are tackling something that few people have real success with.

I'd like to be able to help with ideas for your questionnaire, but unfortunately, I'm lacking in such ideas.

The only suggestion I could make is to use large fonts in your writing eg 14 font instead of 12. I have the impression that book readership consists now of mostly older citizens whose eyesight is not so good. If they are browsing in a bookshop, they would go for books with larger fonts.
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