Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Writing marketing into your novel

When I wrote Rite of Rejection, how I would market it was the furthest thing from my mind. I was focused on creating the best book I could, and gave some thought to my publication plans after I finished. I did not think about reviewers, press releases and giveaways.

But I should have.

The light bulb moment came for me as I was prepping my blog tour giveaway. I knew I wanted items that related to the book, that were useful and would appeal to readers. Thank goodness I actually had items like that in the book, or I would have been in deep water.

I got lucky, but I should have been smarter about how I wrote the book. I should have thought ahead to the types of promotions I would want to run and make sure that I'm incorporating useful elements into my book.

Now, before you start railing about selling out to the man or turning a book into some literature version of an action figure, hear me out. I'm not talking about throwing objects and symbolism into your book all willy-nilly where they don't belong. I'm saying you need to think about the symbols and items you do use.

For example, in Rite of Rejection, Rebecca starts out the novel with a simple necklace that has a type of Celtic knot charm. I never gave that much thought in the book. I only knew I wanted the necklace to be simplistic and not overtly flashy, just like Rebecca. The necklace becomes a symbol in the book (I don't want to give any spoilers here) and though it wasn't my initial intention, that necklace ended up on the cover of the book.

Now, as I'm working on book two, I'm giving more thought to what that cover will look like and I'm thinking more about the objects in the book. I ask myself if that object will be important, what is its significance, and would it look good on the cover of a book. I'm not going to add something to the book that doesn't belong, but I am making more marketing-driven decisions about what I use.

I lucked into having some good symbols and tangible items in my book that I could use. But I know better, or at least I should have. Lesson learned.

Maybe this is an aspect that you ignore in the first draft. But as you go back and evaluate your manuscript, dedicate a read-through to looking at your objects and symbols through a marketing eye. When it comes time to present your book to the masses, you'll thank me.

2 comments:

  1. I actually do make conscious decisions with this exact point in mind. You see....great minds.... :)

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  2. You couldn't be more right, Sarah. Touch of Death and The Monster Within have symbols in them, and they were a huge help in creating SWAG and images to go with the books. My current WIP has a phrase that's important to the story. I'm still trying to see how I can use that. I do have a great SWAG idea, though. I think it's one readers will be excited about. Now I just have to finish drafting and revising and all that. ;)

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