This modern era is both a boon and a curse for writers. We ‘indie authors’ write, edit, publish, and market our own efforts. For better or worse, millions of eBooks are now available to the public. So how do we capture the interest of the discerning readers out there? Indie authors, by definition, do not have access to a pool of professional editors, nor the resources of a major publishing house, thus the question of quality will always hang in the air. Ultimately, the decision of when the work is good enough to be released is completely up to the author. This also goes hand in hand with marketing, and thus, to the point of this post. How do we brand our work in order to get it noticed by the masses?
There are many options available. Some writers promote themselves with the concept being that if readers enjoy one book, then they will enjoy others. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, James Herbert, and Charity Parkerson are amongst a few that have, or are, following this credo. The authors named are prolific writers within their genre, and very successful.
Others use another philosophy, and this is the path that I am following. Rather than promoting my name, I am promoting the title of my series, ‘Terran Chronicles.’ Within this boundary, I have chosen a number of marketing strategies aimed at branding my work.
The first is the book covers themselves, the series name is the first thing that catches the reader’s eye. It sits boldly at the top of the cover page. Each book within the series has its title below, and in smaller print. My own name is prominent, but at the very bottom of the page, thus maximizing precious space for amazing cover art.
In addition to the full sized novels, the Terran Chronicles saga includes a number of short stories, one per main book thus far. These can either be purchased for $0.99 or read for free via a code that’s available at the end of each book. This is a marketing strategy aimed at getting readers to visit this website, and thus generate even more interest.
Another element to branding the Terran Chronicles Universe as a whole, is the journals. These short stories are written from the perspective of characters from within the Terran Chronicles Universe. These are designed to be read in conjunction with the other books. However, if they are read alone they would make little sense. These short stories add even more depth and feel for folks that are enjoying the storyline. These book covers do not vary, except for the name below the title, and utilize the same cover art for each one. People will be able to identify the Terran Chronicles journals even from a distance. My hope is that these people will be curious enough to see what journal they are viewing, then click on it to find out. By viewing the sample, people will be able to discover which character wrote the journal. These short works are also priced at $0.99, thus making them extremely affordable.
Whatever marketing strategy each writer employs, a key element to success is branding. There are millions of writers out there, more than ever before, thus capturing an audience for our work is getting tougher with each passing day. Will you brand yourself, your series, or find yet other innovative ways to attract readers?
Take it easy mates.