The One With A Gimmick (Marketing 101)

Image of the word: "Publish"

I wrote a book called “Port Risk” in 2014…

     But it never got anywhere, and I think it was the content that scared a lot of people away. The book is a first-person narrative designed as a Court-mandated document of confidentiality about a film crew that set out to document the 1980s “Cocaine Cowboys” drug wars, of which later blossomed into an identify of mine when I met the man who was actually involved in the smuggling of narcotics into Miami; in fact, he started it, faced charges, and got off.

     So, I developed a video game for him; it’s in production but I plan on getting some funding behind it since suddenly this book has a brand. I am going to use the book as a fundraiser – buy the book so you can play the finished game with money earned from the royalty fees. Then, I have a “Part II” for “Port Risk” that was never finished, and I realized it’d be neat to market in three concentric circles: the book –> the game –> free audio novel. The second part of the book will be designed by Demigod studios as an audio eBook.

How Does This Concern You?

     We need to realize that as of now, traditional publishers are limited; they will only publish what has proven successful. This is due to the eBook boom of 2012 where the masses of businessmen and new grads into the “real world” decided to publish free eBooks on Amazon through sources such as CreateSpace. This saturated the market and led the publishing game cluttered and hard to maneuver or market.

     We all need to be thinking up the best damned marketing strategies we can, and I can help! We need to realize that the traditional advice will not work; actively marketing your book online, paying a marketing agent to market for you, or simply getting lucky are not going to pay off in the long run. We need to consider our industry worthy of the best techniques possible in order for us to get our books out there.

How Can You Do This, Too?

     Think about the people you know, the time in which you live, and look for signs of symbolism. I  have a book called “Through Jaded Eyes” that I am now realizing has been collecting dust for a reason. The book calls upon the idea of a wall surrounding a border to protect citizens from harm, or so they are told; school shootings cause the antagonist’s motive; terrorism interplays; and it seems almost too coincidental that eight years after the book was developed, the antagonist resembles President Trump!

     Remember that timing your release is important. In fact, the most important part of a release of any kind (whether books or music or film) takes place within the first 24 hours. If you cannot make 1,000 sales in 24 hours, your book loses value in the repository of Amazon and most other self-publishing outlets due to the algorithm of “show only the successful ones.” This is why you rarely see books with little-to-no reviews when you search Amazon for a certain book title; they bring you all the popular ones, never the bad. Because so many books release each month, you have maybe 3-4 days as a margin of error before you fall victim to little-to-no appearances in search results.

     That means that you need to be thinking in terms of, “Is this book ready or should I wait to see if I can align it to a current hot-button topic that may turn up later?” or, “What does the book’s inner meaning symbolize? What makes it relevant to what the reader will interpret?” People love symbolism; it’s why we are often asked in high school and college to write essays on the “deeper meanings of so-and-so book,” many of which are usually “Lord of the Flies” and “Ender’s Game,” both of which circulate English classes like a cancer. But guess what? Those schools had to pay for those books…

Final Word

     If you are a true writer, it is a talent; you cannot lose it; you can tie it into other areas such as cover letters and press kits or press releases. Remember to think like a businessman, as that is how a Literary Agent or a traditional publisher will be looking at it: as a book of great commercial appeal, or with a great hook or gimmick. If self-publishing, this is important more so because you are the marketer in question.

     So, think about your strengths. What else can you do to enhance the experience of your book? Can you create a soundtrack to go along with it, like many movies do? Or can you perhaps tie a certain point in the book as a symbol for something that readers may be able to connect to, such as a trending topic? I always urge writers to learn two things: 1) That your book is better than you think, but not nearly as great as you think it is, and 2) learn how to perform research to predict upcoming trends. Then, write about it.

     And time the release appropriately like I did.

     Or, compose a concept in and of itself that markets your book in a way never done before. Then send out  press release about the upcoming “series of events” or the idea of launching projects that complement one-another.

     “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all” 

     – Anonymous

Author: Ryan W. McClellan

I am a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker, author of several books, and Key Journalist for LOL News.

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