A lot of people looking to make money online turned toward Kindle as if it were the next magic bullet. Chances are that they were be thinking predominantly in terms of non-fiction. The assumption is that it’s easier to market and easier to sell something that serves a particular purpose or answers a particular question. Besides in the info product world, that is their strength.
People want solutions to their nagging problems. So for example, people will very often search for things like ‘how to create wooden furniture’ or ‘how to make money online’ because they are things they want to learn. This makes them willing to pay (especially if they think they’ll earn money as a result) and it makes your book easier for the right people to find.
But what if those of us who want to write fiction? Writing fiction is more fun than writing non-fiction. The big catch is, how would you go about marketing it?
How to Sell Fiction
The thing to recognize is that when you write fiction, people aren’t going to be searching for it because they won’t know what it is. Call your book Quest of the Giant Mammoths and no one is going to think to look for it.
There are some ways you can get around this limitation. One is to make sure that your book includes terms that people will search or that it tackles a subject matter that appeals to a specific group.
A good example of this might be to write about transhumanism. Transhumanism is a topic that deals with people enhancing their bodies through technology and there are many forums on the web discussing this movement. Write speculative fiction on this subject and you will then not only be more likely to get found by readers but you will also have routes to market – specific places where you can promote yourself.
Likewise, you can get your book to stand out by making it a sequel to a well-known book or the next book in a franchise. This can create copyright issues, so the only way to do this legally is to choose characters in the public domain. For example, Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain as the author Arthur Conan Doyle passed away long ago. You can likewise write about historical characters (King Arthur), legends (Robin Hood) or even religious figures (Thor).
Another strategy is to go the opposite way and try to make your book so unique and so interesting that it stands out. How about writing with a unique writing style for example? Creating a unique format for your book like Cloud Atlas? Or writing on a subject that people don’t normally touch? If you do this and you do it well, you can potentially create a buzz and this can help do the marketing for you.
You will need to be creative if you’re going to sell a fictional title and it will almost always be more of a challenge than selling non-fiction. Or maybe not. I’ll share some information on that in a later post.
Here is a book that really helps explain fiction marketing.
But if it’s what you love, then perhaps making lots of money isn’t the biggest concern for you?
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