We long to be famous authors
On our mental shelves we collect titles of books we have never written and those we have. As authors, we realize the limited demand for our kind of work, and blindly forge ahead with the motto "We'll never succeed if we do not try."
The quest to become an author is noble, and I don't intend to sober your dreams in this article. Rather, I am going to provide you with a marketing tool that many wannabe authors have yet to discover.
Think realistically about the way people use the internet. Do you and those you know frequently perform searches to find a novel about dragons and dwarves? Not likely. We perform searches to find answers to questions, and the problem with fiction is that it cannot accomplish this. People just don't search for books that way.
How do people search for novels to read?
If you're like me, I won't pick up a book to read that hasn't been recommended by someone I respect, so my searching leads me to either Amazon or GoodReads. I connect with fellow readers and I make use of the somewhat reliable reviews.
Even more frequently, I go to lists of prize winners because I usually have good luck with them. Specifically, Nobel Prize Authors, Pulitzer Prize Book Winners, Man Booker Prize Winners, and Newbery Award Winners. Many other great booklists exists if you do just a bit of searching. I put great faith in Oprah's Book Club List.
Even specialized search engines have been created to help match you to a book you might like, Lexile The Framework for Reading asks you some demographic questions and then helps you find a good match. You can do surprisingly well with these tools.
Are the books on your mental shelf findable through these resources?
The books you have written and plan to write may have received significant enough acclaim that a person can find them using these strategies. Probably not.
This means the most frequently used resources for finding books are going to be useless to most of us authors. Sure, Amazon makes it easy to publish your book, but that says nothing about selling them. The book publishing and selling industry has gone through so many changes, that independent writers must be more resourceful in marketing their books: you must think of yourself as a marketer.
Traditional creative writing blog
Given the content of my blog, I come across a lot of creative writers who blog, and nearly 100% of them showcase, with flash and flair, their short stories, poems, and novels. The blogs are extravagantly designed, and impressive in their beauty. If one were to stumble across the blog, he or she would surely stop and peruse. Very few have more than the creative work and an "about me" section.
The problem is that because of the way people search for creative writing, more than likely, the beautiful layout will be seldom seen. Much of the hard work you put into the aesthetic design will not receive viewers. The question is how can you expose your book in another forum so that people come across your creative work through other means.
Content writing blog for your creative writing
A solid approach to get your name out in the media and your writing potentially discovered is through content marketing. So, you have a blog with significant (non fiction) content that is in addition to the creative content you want to sell.
This means that you write content other than fiction that searchers will be looking for, and you draw them to your website through organic methods. They have questions, you provide answers. This brings people to your site and allows you to market your creative works to them, even though they did not arrive for that reason.
Some things to consider in content marketing your fiction:
While this is only one means of marketing your material, content marketing is powerful. It moves your blog from "creative" to "important information" status in the eyes of the search engines. It means more work for you, but you know that becoming an author is not easy.
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