The Chief Means of Marketing, Part 4

Be interesting, or be invisible.” So said Andy Sernovitz as part of his golden rule for business in his book Word of Mouth Marketing.

What an important principle for writers! Just the other day, fantasy author Karen Hancock blogged about a book she was to read in order to provide an endorsement. The problem was, she couldn’t get into the book. Not “engaging” we say, which is a code word for interesting.

I’ve thought about this topic some, wondering how it is some people can write about things I have no interest in at all and they make them sound so fascinating, I’m only sorry there isn’t more on the subject.

I wish I was a witty writer. I know of several humor writers that can turn prose into insightful laughter. Undoubtedly I’d even have a few more repeat visitors here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction if I could just say what I wanted to say about marketing but do it so that readers would be holding their sides (rather than rubbing sleep from their eyes 😀 ).

But here’s the thing. Don’t we all think we’re interesting? I mean, I never intentionally sit down to the computer thinking, How can I bore my readers today? I never write a story knowing the editor probably has seen sixty dozen just like it already.

How do we know if what we’re writing is fresh, new, interesting? Isn’t that the key to avoid being invisible?

One writer who definitely is NOT invisible is Donita Paul. The last volume of her DragonKeeper Chronicles, DragonLight will be on the CSFF Blog Tour in ten short days, and you’ll have the chance to learn all about Donita, the series, and this book in particular.

In the mean time, I’d like to think about being interesting. What makes a blog post interesting?

What makes a novel interesting?

9 Comments

  1. Would you e-mail me again regarding the CSFF blog tour and more? I have been out of the country on a mission trip and just got home today. I’d like to discuss some of your ideas about Christian speculative fiction further but can’t seem to find your e-mail address. I may have a bleary missions mind (or is that a missions bleary mind…) in not finding your email address but would like to talk with you further. I like your blog, BTW, and will definitely be back. Kathy at hobbitonhill at gmail dot com

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  2. You may not be funny, but you are always worth reading.

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  3. I have a saying that I keep in the forefront of my mind regarding marketing. ‘Marketing is getting your book into the hands of readers. Promotion is building an image, a name.’ In my opinion successfully selling a novel is two-fold, both marketing and promotion. It’s more than just word of mouth that will sell copies, albeit that is important. But you have to get your work out there into readers hands, motivate them to read it,and then pass it on. Influencers is one way.

    Promotion sets the stage for the launch of a book.
    Create an exciting website that is visually appealing.
    Write an interesting blog.
    Put up pages on networking sites such as Ning.
    These are just a few ways that an author can promote their name.

    When my first book was published in 2001, I had no idea where to begin to market it. I went online and read everything I could on marketing and promotion. I went outside the circle of book marketing and read articles on marketing in general. I learned a lot and it helped. I started an e-newsletter centered on marketing for writers. It then developed into an online magazine called Stepping Stones for Writers. I showcase authors each month in interesting ways, through interviews, book release announcements, and features such as ‘Advice from the Pros’. This Spring I held a bookmarker contest and each month I feature a winner and put up their bookmarker.

    Good luck everyone!
    Rita Gerlach
    Editor of SSMW
    Author of Historical Fiction

    Homepage: http://www.freewebs.com/ritagerlach/index.htm

    Stepping Stones Magazine for Writers: http://www.freewebs.com/steppingstonesforwriters/index.htm

    Inspire / The Musings of a Historical Fiction Writer: http://inspire-writer.blogspot.com/

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  4. Marvin, thanks so much for your kind words. You know how to make my day. 😉

    Becky

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  5. Kathy, I’ve emailed you privately about this, but if anyone else would like to know more about the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour (CSFF BT), there is a FAQ section on the About page at http://csffblogtour.com/ .

    Becky

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  6. Rita, thanks for stopping by and for sharing your experience. Without a doubt, getting books into the hands of readers is a necessary component. No one can talk about a book unless they have heard about it in the first place. I think that’s why editors talk about not waiting until the book comes out to start promotion.

    The thing is, no amount of talking a book up will matter if it doesn’t prove to be a talk-worthy story. So that, I think, needs to be the writer’s first line of promotion.

    Becky

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  7. Hmmmm… well… part of it is the rhythm of the words, a sense of mystery (not giving it all away up front), some kind of twist in thinking, or just plain usefulness (that last one, I think, doesn’t necessarily require the first three). I laughed when you said that about nobody sitting down and intending to be boring. I know I don’t aim for that! : )

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  8. Thanks, LL. You got me thinking more specifically. I know in my non-fiction I rely heavily on content. I am not one of those writers who can make any old thing interesting. I had a friend years ago who worked as a nurse. She could tell about her job in such a way she had her audience doubled over with laughter. She could see the humorous in the most trying circumstances. Humor writers can do that, I think. I wish I had an Erma Bombeck sense of humor.

    But no. Instead of seeing humor, I see metaphors. I knnow that’s a gift from God, too, and I don’t want to be coveteous of my dear friends who write the way everyone enjoys. 😉 (Some hand out candy and some hand out vitamins. 🙂 )

    Becky

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  9. I really want to learn about Book Marketing but i have no talent for writing.~”,

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