Friday, October 22, 2010

To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat Hog...Holy Crap! Hogzilla!

So, we've eyeballed how much money a New York Times Best Selling author with 46 published books across five genres makes in posts from S.L.Viehl here and here.

Next question heard from many of my writing friends: how much time and effort does it take to really market your work these days?

From what I have read, seen and heard, the answer is the same answer I give and get to all the writerly questions ever posed: It depends.

Some authors do less, some do more. And what does "more" entail? Look at these cool efforts from a debut author on this post from Publishers Weekly. Go read it, I'll be right here.

So, it will be interesting to see what this author does- there are some intriguing marketing ideas in her campaign, yes? Like picking a pet, and deciding you want a cool trendy pot-bellied pig.

Part of me loves the biggest of the ideas that this author is trying -directly responding to fans as one of her characters on Facebook and having a professional actor filmed and put on YouTube in prequel material leading up to where the book starts. She gets to write more about and from her characters and stay in the creative process as a part of her marketing campaign. What writer wouldn't love that?

But part of me thinks to the future. What happens to that little piglet? Does she have to continue feeding it as she continues to write other books? At least if future books are in the same series they'll be related, and it would make sense to maintain the initial materials and marketing strategies. But if not, how long do you keep it up? Does it just fall away like so many other things these days- plenty of interaction and expectation while the product is new, then expectations slowly disappear as fans move on to other things? If you build a fan base this way, how loyal are they? Are they always going to be demanding interaction?

And what about new fans? Obviously, you want to keep selling a book, so you have to keep some material out there because (hopefully) new fans will keep coming. But to keep them interested, it means more of this great interaction. When do you write new material and projects? And when do you sleep?

I hope this totally works out in the long run- it seems like such a great thing. But I am curious to see how it plays out. What do you think will happen? Oink.

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