I just broke into the top 50,000 Kindle bestseller list on Amazon with my new book, End of Mae. I rose over 300,000 ranks in the last two days alone. I’ve spent less than $50 on my entire promotional campaign. This is my second month since publication, and I’ve spent nothing. So how did I rocket a first time indie fiction so far, so fast and for so little? By thinking like a performer.
With the plethora of multimedia opportunity so easily available across the web, it’s a shame to release a simple PowerPoint book trailer and then sit back and wait for sales. To paraphrase one of the greatest literary performers of all time, Shakespeare, “All the ‘net’s a stage, and all the avatars merely potential readers.”
Here are my top five tips for breaking your book out of the pack;
1. PowerPoint has its good points. Use all the tools available to you, but the trick is to use them creatively. When I saw the recent Goodread’s Slideshow Story Contest I didn’t notice it for the prize. I noticed it because it presented me with yet another opportunity to promote my work in a different way. The result was my Story Behind the Story, a picture book-styled telling of the marketing plan that helped launch my new release so successfully. As of this post it is steadily climbing past 4,000 views. That is a lot of free, effective publicity for an afternoon of work.
2. Virtual worlds make an excellent stage. Many people were amazed by the colorful, rich imagery in my slideshow. I received messages and emails asking me how on earth I made those “amazing animations.” Using the virtual world of Second Life, making whimsical and creative imagery tailored to my specific needs was literally easier than walking. I logged in, smiled for the camera and snapped my perfect images. I also chose Second Life for my book trailer, created for me by Kira S. of Ember Marketing.
3. A book trailer should have barbs. You wouldn’t use a marshmallow to catch a fish, so you shouldn’t use a bland trailer to tempt readers. I’ve seen trailers that play like an English 101 slideshow designed to cure insomnia. Make sure your trailer communicates your message by capitalizing on the use of image, movement and sound. My book trailer is fashioned like a movie tease. The opening scene of the book was performed using machinima, and takes full advantage of music, lighting and sound effects to excite the viewer. I’ve been told several times that someone that wasn’t much of a reader purchased End of Mae because of the trailer.