Howdy everyone. I just wanted to introduce today’s guest blogger, Marilyn Baron. You’ll remember Marilyn from a couple of previous posts, including one on Triberr and, of course, her book The Edger, which was my book of the month back in February. Well, Marilyn’s back, and today she’s talking about niche marketing, and there’s lessons in this piece for authors at every level. Marilyn’s new book, out through TWB Press, is out today as well, so check that out. I’ve read it and it’s excellent.
By Marilyn Baron
Niche Marketing—reaching those readers especially interested in your books—can make the most of your promotional dollars and time. First, you need to analyze your books and your author brand to find elements that might appeal to specific readers. Once you’ve done that, you need to promote those elements. To find out how, I interviewed two experts on that topic.
Marcia James, from Marketing For Romance Writers (MFRW), who writes Hot, Humorous Romances, recently held an online workshop during MFRW’s Marketing Summer Camp July 14-15. James advises: “I niche market to potential readers who might be interested in specific elements in my books—e.g., the genre/subgenre; the timeframe or setting; the protagonists’ professions, hobbies, charitable activities, etc.; and the fact that all of my books have dogs in them. I find groups who might like my books in reference books, such as Associations Unlimited, and I contact them by email or through social media.”
For example, James has:
- Friended people on Facebook who are pro-animal
- Donated “Marcia James” raffle baskets to animal shelter fundraisers
- Guest blogged about animal issues during holidays like National Shelter Dog Month
- Created a dog logo for her avatar, which she presents on most pages of her Web site
- Featured her dog logo on all of her promotional materials and giveaways
- Participated in pro-animal fundraising anthologies
Here are Marcia James’ 10 Favorite Niche Marketing Tips, starting with book elements:
- What are your hero and heroine’s vocations?
- What are your hero and heroine’s avocations?
- What are your hero and heroine’s sports/physical activities?
- What are your hero and heroine’s charitable activities?
- Do your books include any four-legged characters—not counting shape-shifters?
- What is the timeframe and location of your novel?
- Do your books have paranormal, science fiction or fantasy elements?
- Does your book contain elements that would appeal to specific fans, such as NASCAR?
- Now that you’ve identified your book elements, where do you locate potential niche readers for your books? There are library reference books offering information for every conceivable type of association and club. Two good references are: The Encyclopedia of Associations and Associations Unlimited.
- Another PR “angle” is tying your promotions to specific holidays based on the elements in your books and author brand. Check Chase’s Calendar of Events or Google national holidays that fit your book elements and/or author brand.
James also notes that the sensuality level of your writing can limit the places and ways you can market your books.
“Niche marketing is a matter of opening your mind to the possibilities beyond traditional author promotion,” says James. “It means considering yourself as not only an expert on fiction writing but also fluent on your genre or subgenre—and on elements within your books. All it takes to do niche marketing is the same imagination you use to write your books.”
Marcia James, Sex & the Single Therapist, www.MarciaJames.net
Are You Engaged?
And here’s some advice from Pamela Mason of WriterMason Productions. “You’ve got a book to market? Great! Do you know your target market? And more important, does your market know you? Suddenly hopping on to Facebook and Twitter and announcing to the world that you have a book for sale probably won’t give you the results you’re looking for. People want to know YOU first! You are your own biggest marketing advantage, and social networking is the tool. This is the age of transparency in digital authorship—if you’re writing and hoping to sell, readers want to know who you are and how you relate to them: Who’s your kitten’s favorite superhero? You mainline coffee too? Or… how could any red-blooded female possibly pass up that gorgeous pair of stilettos—on sale no less?
“What may appear boring and mundane to you is actually Engagement, and it’s where you will find your target reader market,” adds Mason. “Because it’s likely that the same people who enjoy your updates and posts are the same people who will enjoy reading your voice, your characters…your book! The more people get to know you—no matter how boring you think you are—the more you’re engaging and networking with others, the more likely your book will become well-known and sell. Be honestly yourself, and be positive, and you’ll see your engagement take off!”
WriterMason Productions finds reviewers and book bloggers with the reading audience targeted for your book. Mason contacts reader/reviewer sites, schedules, and forwards author’s tour packages and follows up with support, promotion, contest fulfillment and consultation. Find Pamela at http://writermason.com/writermason-productions/, Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.
Marilyn Baron writes humorous women’s fiction and humorous supernatural short stories. Her latest release, Dead Mix is available now at http://www.twbpress.com/deadmix.html. To read more about “The Edger,” visit her blog at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales at http://www.petitfoursandhottamales.com/marilyn-baron/; for her angel stories visit TWB Press at: http://www.twbpress.com/achoirofangels.html. Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748. Her next book, “Under the Moon Gate,” a romantic thriller set in contemporary and WW II Bermuda, will be released from The Wild Rose Press in spring 2013.
The devil went down to Georgia. Roswell, Georgia, and more specifically, The Lion’s Den music store. Enter at your own risk. The proprietor there specializes in mixing music to die for…on CDs that are guaranteed to knock you dead by the final note. As the citizens of Roswell go missing, one man, Daniel Craig, ventures into town on the hunt for lost souls, a search that will change his life, forever.