Fridaywritingtips: The Book Doctors on Not Following Trends & Seth Godin on Finding Your Tribe
One chart-topping-block-buster can create an epidemic. When Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series blew up, the market was inundated by vampire stories, vampire TV shows, vampire clothing, vampire make-up, even vampire-approved toothpaste. All trying to cash in on the seemingly unquenchable blood lust for all things vampire. As a result all manner of shoddy vampire books were pumped out, failed, and a vampire saturation point was reached and surpassed. The vampire glut became unbearable. And then came Suzanne Collins and her Hunger Games. Suddenly there was a rush to produce YA dystopian stories, shows, clothing, make-up and toothpaste. Saturation is being approached. Then along will come the next Big Thing.
But what do these fads and trends have to do with your book, especially when you are trying to be the unicorn in the vast field of donkeys? Well these books were able to create a niche by connecting with their core audience of readers and as their fans/audience grew, so did the popularity of their books, until they broke out, entered the mainstream and took over the world.
Lots of writers ask us what kind of book they should be writing, what’s “hot.” Our advice is, don’t follow trends, set them. Yes, be aware through research what’s going on in the marketplace. But write something that you’re passion about, that’s familiar yet unique, and that’s totally you.
As you’re doing that, the next most important question is: who’s your audience? Who’s going to read your book? Even more important, who’s going to buy your book? Describe your audience-and their motivation to buy- as specifically as possible. Prove to an agent or an editor that people are hungering for your book and that you’ve been actively connecting with your audience and listening to what they say through your company, your workshops, your blog, your social networks or whatever others means you have.
Marketing guru Seth Godin puts it this way: “If you don’t have a better strategy for your book promotion than, ‘Let‘s get on Oprah,’ you should stop now. If you don‘t have an asset already–a permission base of thousands or tens of thousands of people, a popular blog, thousands of employees, a personal relationship with Willard Scott . . . then it’s too late to start building that asset once you start working on a book.”
You can use a famous book as a model for creating your own readership and audience. And that’s what it’s all about these days. Connecting with and cultivating your tribe of people. Nowadays, a great way to do that is social media. Sadly, right now, in 2012, the best pitch you could have for book is:
“I have 1,000,000 Twitter followers and they all want to buy my book.”
If this is true, it doesn’t even matter what your book is about, you will have a book deal in a nanosecond. Because then you and your book have the potential to be the new trend.
Want to learn more? Find this and other helpful tips in “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. Buy a copy of the book at your local bookstore or from: http://www.thebookdoctors.com/our-book & get a FREE 20 minute consultation with The Book Doctors (with proof of purchase)
Happy writing! See you at the bookstore. The Book Doctors