To all writers, creativity is king of all things.
Whether you write just for yourself, or for someone else, to free your mind, or to find fame and fortune, without the ability to create fascinating stories and worlds in which they dwell, you will very quickly find yourself giving up. We immerse ourselves in our creativity and strive to bring out the best in us everyday so that we can continue our pursuit in contentment.
In fact, when we start off, we never imagine for a moment that there might be a time when creativity must take a backseat to something more tedious if we are to see our work displayed before the world. And yet, for the vast majority of writers who seek public approval in some manner or another, that is precisely what happens. And as writers, we dread the moment when our story is finished and we must then go through the arduous task of convincing someone that it is worth their while to start reading so that they can appreciate our brilliance.
But we needn’t have to. And, in fact, it was only recently that I discovered that the marketing process of a book is truly the most important part of the whole process.
Which is why, this week, I have been thinking about marketing my latest short story, which will be released at some stage over this year.
‘What?’ I hear you cry. ‘You only announced you were writing it last week?’
‘Exactly,’ I reply. ‘And I can think of no time better.’
Unlike many of my other short stories, which were either released through magazines or through my own blog or website, this story is going to be something special if, for no other reason, it will stand as a prequel to the novel I have been working on. As such, maximum impact is key.
‘Why?’ you ask.
‘Two main reasons,’ I retort…
Firstly, by creating a thorough and intense marketing strategy for this short story, it will give me some much needed practice in the art of self-promotion.
For many writers, this can be a stumbling block. There is nothing worse than, having carefully crafted your novel with all its elegant twists and turns and character developments, to find it placed on the grand market place of stories with little or no interest in it. If you have ever found yourself in that situation, you will know that it is the most disheartening thing in the world to come to the realisation that you should have started plugging your book long before the release date and have to be content with the meagre distribution that inevitably comes your way.
Secondly, I want to get this story on everyone’s radar and, more importantly, get everyone to read it, as it will be a key audience gatherer for the novel when it finally surfaces.
The hope is that, through my efforts of marketing this relatively small prequel, I will be able to build a significant audience for the series so that, when the novel finally comes around, I will have a key base around with to build my campaign…
In fact, I’m seeing this marketing thing sort of like an election campaign.
You have your key players (your close friends and family who will buy your work no matter what) your party members (who have tested your work and found that they liked it enough to keep track of your future releases) and the great mass of undecided voters (the people who have never read your work and may not even know who you are)…
Marketing a book, like politics, suddenly becomes a game. How many people can I draw to my book? Where can I go to find more readers? How can I convince the readers to invest in my story?
Suddenly, the boredom and monotony has gone and only the excitement of the chase remains. A chase that, only through using your well-tuned inspiration, can you hope to complete…
And thus we come full circle…
‘But what is your story about?’ you ask, for that is what you really want to know. ‘Can you not give us a hint about it?’
‘Ah,’ I respond, with a twinkle in my eye. ‘Have you not been paying attention?’
And with that, I leave you to find the spoilers…