Friday, April 03, 2009

More than the story

Paul Harvey has branded and made famous the line, "The rest of the story." In fiction, however, you can't leave your audience hanging because it takes times to write the follow-up, the rest of the story. The story has to be told in full -- unless you plan a series of books and have the rest of the story warming up in the publisher's hands and ready to go without too long a wait, although J.K. Rowling managed to make us wait a while for some of Harry Potter's story and Anne Rice had big gaps between books. I'll bet you're not Rowling or Rice. Neither am I. And you're not going to get there if you don't find a way to promote your book that is more creative that just reading excerpts and plugging the tale. You have to give your audience more than the story, as Penny Sansevieri writes in her column on marketing fiction.

I've found my hook for Past Imperfect and that's chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate. The big surprise for me is how interested and willing the restaurants I contacted are to help me with the promotion of the novel and I just met my editor and cover artist. The book won't be out until July, but I have to strike while the iron is hot.

However, when it comes to book signings and events, I won't be able to rely on chocolate. I'm going to have to find something else to brand the book, something outside the story that interests people and keeps them interested enough to tell their friends and everyone they know. That's where the work comes in, and work is the name of the game in not only writing a book but selling it and making sure it continues to sell.

Book trailers and mass mailings are fine, but in the end it is all about branding that keeps a book in the public eye and gives it an edge that won't go dull. Check out the article. You won't be sorry -- if you're a writer and want your book to sell like bottled water on a hot and thirsty day.

That is all. Disperse.

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