Although marketing nonfiction is easier online than fiction, you still can use the Internet to market your fiction effectively. Here are some ideas:
Make Your Fictional World More Real
I recently interviewed Shawn Lamb, the author of a series of fantasy novels. In preparation for the interview, I visited her website and was treated to a website that really helped readers engage with her fictional world. When you visit allonbooks.com, you can learn more about the characters, complete with realistic sketches and bios, and explore an interactive map of Allon. This is a great way to make your fictional world more real and get readers to interact with it so they’ll want to continue reading. (My interview with her will post on The Genre Traveler on June 6.)
Robert Liparulo, author of the Dreamhouse Kings series of books, does a good job of this with dreamhousekings.com, as well. The website is built with flash, which reduces its search engine optimization, but once people find it, they can spend a great deal of time tooling around the website and learning about the author and the books. He even has a page with games and contests. You can listen to my interview with him here.
Get readers engaged in your process
Many fiction writers keep up a blog that shares their journey of writing. The entries talk about the stories they’ve published and tease about the stories they’re working on. Doing this helps build and nurture your fan base … reading fans like to know all about their favorite authors. Your blog can also help get people to live events such as book signings, readings, seminars, and more. An example of this type of blog is angela-spencer.com. You can listen in to my interview with the man behind Angela here.
Give your work away for free
This may sound counter-intuitive, but giving away a digital version of your novel (or at least the first few chapters) is an excellent way to build your audience for this and future books, as well as sell more of your current books. Many people who have read a book in digital format and enjoyed it, will buy the physical version of the book later.
In 2005, Kealan Patrick Burke, a horror author, did an experiment where he wrote and distributed a novel in real-time through a special Yahoo! group. Every week he’d post another chapter of the book. He built quite a list with that story … I know I was hooked and have been following him ever since. The book, Master of the Moors, was published in 2008 by Necessary Evil Press. People who read the online version of the book did buy the book when it came out, in part to see what he had changed as he polished the story for publication.
Of course, you don’t want to give the whole kit and kaboodle away for free — only enough to get your future fans engaged and hooked!
Not sure if self-publishing is right for you?
Check out this free replay of a webinar I did with Daniel Hall: 19 Innovative Ways to Build Your Business With a Self Published Book
Learn the five-step process for selling more books
Free 20-minute video shows you how! Watch this video presentation and download the slides and handout to learn:
- How to identify your ideal readers
- Ways you can get those ideal readers to notice you and your book
- How to communicate your book’s value to potential readers
- Ideas on how to diversify your content so you can reach more people and make more sales
- How to build a connection and keep them coming back for more