Marketing for fiction writers is a topic that is wrought with obstacles. Marketing is an idea that carries a lot of connotations. People who are in an artistic professions often see marketing as something that epitomizes corporate greed or the decline of society into commercialized flippancy.
When people think about marketing, sales, or promotion, marketers aren’t immune to these negative views and misconceptions. Here are the first few things I think of when I think of evil marketing:
- Used car salesman
- Junk mail
- Commissioned sales environments
- Pre-checked boxes on every website form ever reading, “Yes I want to sign up for periodic promotional emails from you and our affiliated partners!”
It’s unfortunate that marketing has such a bad rapport. Because here is what marketing actually means:
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.
Thanks Wikipedia. We better break that down into a marketing for fiction writers definition.
- Process – First of all, marketing is not a one-and-done thing, or a do-it-and-forget-it endeavour. It’s a process. That means you have to do something, learn from it, and do something else.
- Of communicating – The main verb of the marketing definition is communicating. Communication is a two-way street. It’s not just about an author standing on a platform and shouting “Buy my book!” It’s about listening to readers and responding.
- The value of a product – Your book. The value of your book is what you are selling, not the actual book. If you treat your book like it doesn’t have value to both you and the reader, you won’t find customers for it.
- To customers – Readers are customers. Readers who buy your book are customers. Readers who pirate your book? Not customers.
- For the purpose of selling that product – When you put a book up for sale, you are trying to sell it. You are trying to make money from your art. You have to be comfortable with this reality if you want to sell your book. You went through the effort and expended to edit, cover, format your book. Now you want to earn from it.
Marketing is about connecting readers who would value your book, your product…with your product. Marketing is about making the connection, properly communicating the value of your art to the audience who is best going to appreciate it.
When a reader pays for a book, they are expecting the content of the book to be worth that price. So do your best to market your book in a way that will communicate with proper connotations what your book is about to the type of reader who will best recognize that value.