Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Ultimate Novel-Marketing Strategy

I've been making lots of notes lately about marketing ideas for when Conventional Demon is sold. There's all kinds of things to do, too:

*Get advanced reader's copies out there for reviews
*Interview with local papers, blogs, webcasts, radio shows
*Book signings at bookstores and anywhere else that could drum up interest
*Send bookmarks and postcards to bookstores across America (and wherever else the book is being sold)
*Swag give-aways
*Raise awareness of the book through this blog and my website (Do you know how many authors out there don't have sites? I don't get it! It's a market rapidly being tapped by some savvy web designers who are making a lot of money for what could be a rather inexpensive investment for an author. But that's a blog for another day.)
*Mailing lists
*Attending BEA and other such events

The list goes on, but I've hit upon the best marketing idea of all. It's such an obvious one, but ever so very important:

*Write a phenomenal story. Write the best thing that's coming out all year. Write something the whole world wants to read and create buzz about.

One I've done that, it'll sell quickly for more money, and the publishing house that buys it will put their substantial marketing backing behind the novel, making it one of their larger titles of the year. That's the ticket.

It was the goal all along, but today, while on a walk with Cody, talking about the goal of selling CD and approaching it from the angle of marketing ideas, it really sank in that the books I've seen do really well, do so because they're really, really good and the publishing houses are willing to sink a lot of money into promoting them. It's so obvious, it doesn't even get a "duh." Or maybe it deserves a super-large "DUH."

Either way, it added a little extra motivation today. I finished translating my novel into a spreadsheet of scenes. Now it's a matter of noting everything that needs to be changed there before delving back into the manuscript. If you hadn't noticed, I've added Robert McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting to my bookcase. Someone's comment on another blog reminded me that this book sitting on my real bookcase was a great resource for novels as well as screenwriting, so I've pulled it out and am reading it in the mornings and evenings along with Prose's novel in an effort to refine CD and find any pitfalls that might be the difference between being a low-radar book for a publishing house and being the breakout debut sensation for a publishing house (and for me).

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