Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

Today's quotation is by publicist Rebecca Crowley quoted in the March 2011 Romance Writers Report article, "DIY Marketing" by Maria Connor:

"You can sell a lot of books with a small market if you have reader loyalty."

I find this quote intriguing because I think all fiction writers are essentially writing for niche markets.  Not all books appeal to all readers; that's the nature of the beast.  So finding the readers who like the particular kind of stories you write is half the battle in the promotion war.  I think that not only means marketing my fantasy novel to fantasy novel readers, and my suspense to suspense readers, but something more than that.

I'm reminded of our guest speaker from last month, Kristina McMorris, who has been very creative about finding readers who will enjoy the particular book she's written.  Her novel Letters From Home uses letters to tell a story set during WWII, so she looked for groups that are interested in that time period, and also groups interested in the art of letter writing, and approached both with tie-in ideas and promotional materials.

Debbie Macomber with her romances in a knitting shop setting being tied in with knitting pattern books is another type of niche marketing that comes to mind.

Our chapter's own Paty Jager has also done this, being profiled in a country lifestyle magazine where she talked about her Western novels.

This is an interesting way of looking at marketing.  So much of what I see romance writers doing is marketing focused on other romance writers--advertising in publications read by writers, appearing on blogs that are read by writers.  It's not that this is a bad idea--it's probably the best place to start, since romance writers are also romance readers.  It's just that it can become a closed circle of all of us just talking to each other.  I think it's useful to think of ways of reaching outside that circle to approach potential readers who might enjoy either the subject or the style of our stories.

If you're published, have you made an effort to reach out to groups in non-traditional areas?  A historical society for your historical novel, or a group of sports fans for your romance with an athlete hero, or a knitting group for your cozy little hearth and home story?  It's a different way to approach promotion, and I'm curious to know if it's something others have tried.


Sarah Raplee said...

I think this type of marketing makes good sense, although sometimes it's hard to figure out who your potential audience might be. But I'd say it's definitely worth doing, and you'll make a lot of connections and meet some very interesting people along the way!

Paty Jager said...

Barb, I agree it makes sense to reach out to the groups you are writing about. I'm going to try that in a week when I visit the Nez Perce museum/reservation to do more research. I'm hoping to leave a book or two and hope the people at the museum like it and spread the word. And I need to see about getting books into casinos as Genene suggested but that takes away from my writing time and it's easier to do promotion from my computer.

I'm interested in what you come up with in regards to this too. I had someone else say you should market to readers but where do you find the readers??

Genene Valleau said...

Barb, I really like the idea of niche marketing. I just haven't done much of it so far.

I'm thinking of it in particular for my back list. A way to give new life to books that have already been released. I think the potential is there--just have to tap into it!