|Marketing My Book|
It Has To Be Unique
Or does it?
I like going to the megastore. There are many varied aisles for me to wander while my sensible wife is usually only diverted from her list by Hallmark. Someone she knows always needs a card.
To keep me occupied, she sent me alone to pick up my anti-dandruff, anti-itch, anti-tick and flea shampoo.
Boy, that stuff is expensive. But she would have to be proud of me this time. On the shelf slam up against my normal shampoo was a plastic bottle the same size, shape, and color. Their labels, font, size, and shape were identical. Here’s the kicker. The new stuff, I think its name is Try It Now, or maybe Compare To, was two dollars cheaper. Two dollars difference per bottle.
Of course, I took the cheap one.
Husbands out there may be squirming, sensing what’s coming, and they’re right. First of all, my wife had a five dollar coupon for my regular shampoo. Five dollars off. We won’t talk about the three dollars floating away through the ether.
There might also be a small downside to the less costly stuff. Anyone who has cleaned out a plugged drain would recognize the fragrance when applied to wet hair. However, yes there is a however, my scalp looks clean and shiny in the spots where hair has fallen out.
What does this have to do with marketing a book?
Well, see, I was going for a metaphor. If all we ever plan on publishing is a single book, we can put our effort into a splashy package looking like a knockoff of a bestseller. If a reader can be duped into buying our one book, we’ve done our job when it’s in her hands.
Here comes that However again, when we want to engage readers and have them care about our characters – when we want them to be eager to see the plot resolved – when we want to be writers, then we must package the real deal.
Joe C. told me a story of his father raising an orphan raccoon on the farm. The old man liked to display the animal to visitors by giving the masked critter a piece of bread. The ‘coon would head to the horse trough to wash the bread before eating it.
Of course, the bread dissolved leaving the raccoon jumping up and down in a chittering fit of rage.
It worked every time to the delight of Joe’s dad.
Until the day whereupon watching the bread disappear, the animal, without a sound, ran back and bit the old man.
We need to give our books substance or face the teeth of reviews. That’s first and foremost. Then we can discuss all the marketing methods. The story is the thing. Selling another one depends on it.
What do you think is the most important to your career, the cover or the tale? Leave a comment.
Writing Fiction is posted on Wednesdays.
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