Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Making your books more discoverable

I've been reading another article on marketing my books, something I do with enthusiasm about every two or three days, and this one basically suggests looking at your books and working out what niche markets different areas of the book(s) might appeal to. I haven't got my teeth into my earlier three books as yet, although I did do something similar with Diary of a Prostate Wimp, a couple of years ago, putting myself on various Facebook and Twitter pages in relation to prostate cancer and such. But to focus on my latest book, The Disenchanted Wizardthe first focus is that the main character is a girl who plays soccer. Okay...there a thousands of girls who play soccer, some in teams with boys, some in all girls teams. The secondary main character is a boy who's intensely nterested in maps. Off the top of my head I can't think of a marketing area that consists of boys who are interested in maps, but no doubt there is one. For instance, I just discovered a whole page of images on Pinterest that looks at ways you can decorate your boy's room with map themes. (Even if the marketing research doesn't open up the doors you're interested in, the things you turn up on the Net in the process are themselves interesting!) It seems to me that a problem with marketing children's books is that it's difficult to market directly to children. Even with print publications, the marketing is almost always via the parents, or the grandparents - or uncles, aunts and sundry cousins. But these adults aren't the first readers of children's books (although many adults, including me, do read children's books - I've just read two books by Nate Wilson, for instance.). It's the children we want to encourage to read the things, but it's finding ways to do that that's not so obvious. It's a whole different ballgame with adult books: it's adults who are online at all the obvious social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and so on. (Carmen Amato, the author of the article I mentioned at the beginning of this post, writes mysteries, for adults.) On the other hand, I always find it curious that TV ads for some children's products play at night, when the children they're aimed at are in bed. The ads in general are cringe-making, and yet there they are, in the middle of some program about some specifically adult interest. Are they actually aimed at the parents? I guess they must be, otherwise they wouldn't be on at such an hour. Yet if that's the case why are the ads so kiddiefied, with goo-goo kids all raving about some new product that looks for all the world like something no adult in their right mind would take to. (And the kids often seem to be too old for the product they're endorsing.) So maybe, to advertise to kids, you do have to advertise to their parents. (Yes, I know there are kids ads during kids programs as well - that's another issue.) The question becomes: How to get the parents' attention about something that doesn't focus on them? Some further thinking required...

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