Session: But What If I’m Literary? Book Marketing For Authors Who Write Outside of Commercial Genres
Indie authors are often counseled to produce a high volume of work, price competitively, do giveaways, and advertise. But if you’re a literary author, you might find these strategies either impossible or ineffective. This session addresses how you can modify the usual indie author marketing advice for a more realistic and successful approach, whether you write novels, short stories, or poetry.
Format: Video Interview
Audience: All Levels
This post is part of London Book Fair Self-Publishing Advice Conference (#SelfPubCon2019), an online author conference that showcases the best self-publishing advice and education for authors across the world — harnessing the global reach of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ network. Our self-publishing conference features well-known indie authors and advisors, for 24 sessions over 24-hours, in a one-day extravaganza of self-publishing expertise straight to your email inbox. We hope you enjoy this session. Let us know if you have any questions or input on this self-publishing topic. Visit our Facebook Group and join in the conversation there, or leave your questions and feedback in the comments section below.
Hello, my name is Jane Friedman and welcome to, But What If I’m Literary? Adjusting Marketing Strategies When You’re Not in a Commercial Genre? First things first, let’s talk a little bit about what I mean by literary. What’s the definition I’m have in mind here for a literary work? This is a term that can result in a lot of disagreement among agents, editors and authors. And I don’t think there is any single right definition, but for the purposes of this particular session, when I say literary, I’m referring to work such as poetry, personal essays and literary novels that aren’t strongly positioned within a recognized commercial genre like romance, mystery, science fiction and fantasy. So literary works tend to be as a stereotype, more concerned with aesthetics, with the art of the writing, with writing something that will stand the test of time that’s not necessarily for entertainment, but to make you think.
Literary work also has a very strong connection to writers who are coming out of creative writing programs. So people who have MFA degrees or other advanced degrees in writing are probably more likely to be on the literary side of the fence. If you were to ask agents and editors about literaries sometimes they might jokingly say that literary work is that work that doesn’t sell, which, you know, isn’t true. There are many literary novelists and literary writers who sell very well indeed. But it is the stereotype for literary work that maybe it doesn’t sell in as great a quantities as you know, the latest John Grisham novel. So because literary writers tend to have different concerns, they’re producing different types of work, they’re usually producing work more slowly. The marketing tends to be different. The audience is also different. The people you encounter are going to have probably different priorities than those who are more strongly in a commercial genre like romance or mystery.
So this session is trying to address those concerns given that the community attitudes are going to affect your success on some level. Now, my background does come partly from that university literary side. I have a creative writing degree. I edited a literary journal when I was in college and read reams of poetry and short stories and all sorts of things that aren’t particularly commercial. And most recently I was one of the editors at the Virginia Quarterly Review, which in the United States is one of the top literary journals. And right here I’m showing the cover of an issue that I helped put together very specifically on the business literature. So if you were to read, if you read literary journals at all or if you’ve paged through them, then you probably have a good idea of what constitutes literary work.
Well, I am going to be talking about some of the unique concerns related to marketing literary. There are some things that do not change. So here I’m showing you a chart. This is a chart from Ingram put together by marketers who work for that company. It’s the biggest book wholesaler and distributor in the world. And this is showing you kind of the marketing pyramid and the foundation, as you’ll see, it’s very literally called Build Your Foundation, has to do with optimizing the product. So the title and author metadata, making sure that the way that your book is packaged sets you up for success. So I want to discuss that first because it’s just as important to like get back to the basics, make sure that when you go up the pyramid that you are not subverting your efforts because you have a creaky foundation.
So when we look at the product foundation, and this is the book itself, the Books Foundation, there’s the cover, which some say is the most important marketing tool, the book description, which appears at the retail sites or wherever your book might be sold. You know, it’s on the back cover, it’s on your website. It gets used in a lot of ways. Editorial reviews, also called professional reviews. These are the reviews from gatekeeping sorts of publications or from traditional media sources, categories and keywords. That’s part of the metadata of your book. And then the pricing itself, all of these things contribute to the foundation that you’re building on and you want to make sure that you’ve got it right or it’s, you know, to the best of your ability, you’ve got things right.
So the book cover, as I mentioned, some people consider this the most important marketing tool and it has to fit your genre to be successful and it has to fit your audience’s perception of who they are, what they like to read. Whenever we’re reading a book, especially in print, the cover says something about who we are and what sort of things we like. And in the literary world that can be quite important. What sort of things we’re signaling to others about what we read in our identity.
To give you an idea of how this plays into sales in a very strong way, I’m going to use this case study that was presented by authors, Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant, and they’ve published dozens upon dozens of titles at this point in their self publishing careers. They’ve also worked with Amazon publishing, at least Sean Platt has, I believe. And one of the series that they’ve done is called The Beam and it’s a science fiction fantasy series. It’s not really a literary series, but notice how the cover on the left has a dramatically different feel than the cover on the right. And the one on the left actually has more of a literary feel to it. It really follows in that tradition. And the one on the right is more a commercial genre treatment. Now, why they start, they started off with the cover on the left.
Why they started with that cover, I don’t know. Maybe they thought they wanted to appeal to a more literary crowd, but they realized that this was subverting their efforts. It was giving people the wrong message. It wasn’t appealing to the people who are most likely to enjoy the book. So once they revise that cover to the one you see on the right, it tripled their sales. Now you might say as a literary author, if you’re writing a literary work, maybe you should make your cover look more like a commercial effort. But the last thing you want to do is have a cover that doesn’t appropriately convey what’s on the inside. The packaging should match the story. So when you’re designing the cover for your book, whether it’s in partnership with another designer, however you’re getting that done, take care to look at other authors you would consider comparable to you. We’re going to be talking about comps later on as well and make sure that you’re creating something that benefits the community that you want to enter and the sorts of readers you want to attract. The product description is basically your back cover copy or it’s what appears on Amazon. For now, I’m just going to focus on what appears on Amazon.
Best practices have shown that it’s very effective to have these descriptions. Start with some sort of a headline to make it bold and then have a paragraph break afterward. When you’re looking at books on Amazon, you don’t get the full description upfront. You have to actually click on a button that says “Read more.” If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, I’m sure you’ve seen this or you can bring it up the site up and see how this works in practice. So where I’ve drawn the red line here, that’s about the point where you would have to click on a button to read more. Even just, even if you don’t have the best copy in the world, just having a nice bold headline that is you think your most attractive selling point or the story hook. That alone can just really help readers get into why they might be interested in your book even if they don’t end up reading the whole description.
If people do go on to read the entire product description, you’re going to have 4,000 characters to give them an idea further of why they’re going to want to buy and you want to make this as readable as possible. You want to use paragraph breaks, bold lead ins and other formatting to pull out important points, add literary community endorsements, use comparable titles and the community. All of the texts that you put in here is searchable. So if someone happens to be on Amazon and they’re searching for certain types of works or certain types of literary authors, using all 4,000 characters to get in more of those potential keywords that will surface your book and search. This is obviously good for you. Here I have an example of a book description from Orna Ross, the leader of ALLi and you’ll notice that she’s got the literary community endorsements. She’s also got some formatting to help pull out the most important points and plenty of paragraph breaks.
The editorial reviews, that’s the section on your book description page that comes before the customer reviews. Sometimes these are called professional reviews in the publishing community, they come from places like the New York Times or Publisher’s Weekly or what we might call the gatekeepers, the people who are influencers inside the book publishing community. Now it’s common that in self publishing you don’t really go after these types of reviews. They’re kind of hard to get and sometimes you may even have to pay to secure them. So they’re generally frowned upon, especially if you’re paying. And it’s hard to argue with that. That said, in the literary community, these things matter more and they can be worth your time to secure if you’re going to be going at in a very traditional marketing direction. So you may want to start with what’s easier, which is to contact specific authors who you think are comparable or who you’ve developed relationships with in the literary community. And we’ll talk more about that as we go, or to other names who would be recognizable to your target audience as of literary providence. So this is signaling that becomes, as I said, quite important for literary authors to show that you’re part of that community. And I hesitate to say it, but also club.
Now there are on Amazon of course, and all retailers. There’s metadata associated with your book that will surface it in certain categories or with certain searches. So there’s, there are two levels to this, the category itself and then the keywords. And this session isn’t about metadata. You can find lots of other articles and there’s probably a session during this, during ALLi’s conference here that that is probably covering metadata in fact. So, what I’ll just say is if you can’t find a session like that, Amazon itself has great advice on choosing the most appropriate categories and also on choosing your keywords. So they want you to get it right. And if you just follow the instructions, you’ll probably do a decent job to get started.
With pricing, self published authors are often encouraged to price lower. In fact, that’s one of the advantages that self published authors have because traditionally published titles tend to be very high, very, very high price points that make it more difficult for them to sell at high volumes. There tends to be more friction associated with the purchase, especially if the author is unknown. And for those who might not know, traditional publishers tend to price their ebooks above $10. $12.99, $14.99 is not uncommon depending on the author, whereas self publishing authors will be usually under $5. Of course there’s lots of variation here and fiction and nonfiction can be treated differently. But let’s assume you’re doing poetry or essays or literary memoir, literary novel, you may be thinking that $2.99 to $4.99 or lower perhaps would be the price point for you if you’re self publishing.
The catch here though is that literary readers are accustomed to paying more. They may in fact predominantly buy traditionally published books. Of course this is all going to depend on who you’re marketing to and who you think your audience is, but if your audience is literary, they’re going to be accustomed to those $12, $14 price points for Ebooks, assuming they are reading ebooks. In the literary community it’s well known in fact that they tend to shop for print and they tend to go to independent bookstores to purchase. So you usually have room to charge more. And in fact, psychologically speaking, if you price too low, the reader may get the wrong idea about your work and its value. So you have to be cautious here and find the sweet spot between not increasing the tension or the resistance to purchasing a new author if you’re not known yet by your readership but not pricing so low that they start to question the quality of what you’ve done. So, if I had to offer a ballpark range, you’re probably looking at pricing that somewhere between $4.99 and $9.99. And of course you may have a retail price that’s closer to that $10 mark or at the $10 mark, but be running promotions and discounts or have couponing that would, that you know, off and on that you’re offering those to encourage people to purchase.
In the self publishing community, Kindle Unlimited. Whether or not you should enroll and be exclusive to Amazon is a huge question and I’m not going to really get into the larger debate here. That’s not what I want to talk about. Instead, I just wanted to say that it’s usually not appropriate or beneficial for literary titles. The economics of it are probably not going to work in your favor depending on what it is that you’re writing. And also your audience may not be users of Kindle Unlimited. So as I mentioned earlier, the literary market, those folks tend to like print. They tend to be a little anti Amazon, in fact, and it’s probably less likely that they are members of Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited tends to benefit people who are voracious readers of genre fiction. And it’s especially a big question in the romance community if you’re an indie author there of whether or not to be Amazon exclusive and in KU.
If you’re literary though I think the answer is more straightforward, unless you’re really kind of straddling the fence on like a commercial literary crossovers sort of thing. So of course the decision is up to you. But let me just kind of describe the two different approaches here. If you’re exclusive to Amazon and you’re going to be likely very focused on your algorithm on, you’ll be focused on boosting your rank and how that Amazon algorithm works. And it usually benefits releasing high volume, like repeatedly, getting a lot of reviews. You might be pricing low and doing free runs, pushing through promos and ads to keep that ranking up to keep your visibility high. It’s a very different type of marketing. Then if the more traditional kind of literary marketing here, I’ll call it wide, that’s what it’s called in the self publishing community when you distribute your book to all of the retailers. And right here, I’m just talking about the ebook edition. So when you go outside of Kindle and you’re distributing to Apple and Nook and Kobo and all of the rest of them, so if you’re going wide and not exclusive with Amazon, you’re usually more focused on long term cultivation of a readership who is willing to pay for your work at a higher price. You’re likely investing in your author website, building an email newsletter list, and you, yes, you’re probably accepting lower Amazon sales. But for the sake of long term growth, you know, that’s the trade off that you make. So again, I think the wide strategy is more appropriate for most literary titles. But if you think you are in kind of this crossover area, then the answer might not be so simple. One strategy that I know some authors use who were in that position as they might be exclusive with Amazon on a new release for the first few months, but then later take it wide.
Now I’ve already mentioned at least a couple of times that the literary market tends to favor print. And so this raises market distribution considerations for you. You’ll probably not want to be exclusive to Amazon on your print edition, meaning that you would use Amazon KDP to distribute 100% for you. They do have an expanded distribution program that theoretically reaches bookstores and libraries and the global market. But as you might imagine, independent bookstores do not like ordering from Amazon. And if they see that they have to make your book purchase from Amazon through, even if Amazon is acting as a distributor, they’re likely to say no. So again, if your literary customer is a bookstore customer, you’ll want to be using likely Ingramspark, you’re going to be offering a 55% discount so bookstores are more likely to order. You’re going to offer that on a returnable basis as that’s what bookstores prefer.
And that will encourage the bookstores at least in your local area or in your region or whomever you’re working with to order and to partner with you in some way. You’ll also be looking at ebook aggregators like Smashwords or Draft to Digital to ensure that your ebook is available to library markets, which could be important to your overall marketing and linked to Indiebound in addition to the other retailers at your author website. Now this is particular to US authors. Indiebound is a place where consumers can go to purchase books through their independent bookstore. So it’s really difficult to have your book list at Indiebound. If you’re distributing through Ingramspark, then it should automatically show up. So just ensure that your title shows up there so that you’re more literary bookstore friendly. Customers can order from the place that they prefer and support their local independent.
Okay. So we’ve gone through the building your foundation. I now want to move on to developing your audience. Going up the triangle here. Again, this is a really useful framework that was created by Ingram, the marketers at Ingram and it’s a great way to think about how to tackle your short term and long term marketing. So the develop your audience piece, generate engagement and direct relationships with readers and influencers to build an audience and establish brand recognition. This is where things can be really quite different for the literary author. I think something that happens if you’re self publishing in the literary market is there’s some kind of status anxiety that may strike because literary authors tend to be a little more uptight about how you get published and they may not see self publishing as as valid as traditional publishing. Some of this comes out of the university tradition that I’ve explained where, you know, professors of writing, you know, their tenure committees and their peers may not consider self publishing to be a legitimate way of showing that you’re doing work that is, you know, I’ll in quotes peer reviewed or has been accepted or validated.
Validation is important for literary authors. They, the people who, the people who matter have to think that you’ve published appropriately. And regardless of what you think about that, this, if you are a literary author then you probably already know about these dynamics. And here I’m showing on the screen a book cover, it’s Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton and it’s a wonderful book. If you’re a literary author, I highly recommend reading it, especially if you’re self publishing and you’re running up against some of these status issues. And part of it’s psychological. Like there’s nothing you’re going to be able to do if you do feel this anxiety other than acknowledge it and then move through it to address it on a marketing level. Your best bet is to focus on literary citizenship and being very supportive and active in the literary community of other literary authors regardless of how they publish.
So you’ll want to try and make friends on a 360 degree basis, and be media agnostic or platform or publishing agnostic in your approach. So in literary citizenship is a term that has come out of the literary publishing community. I believe it was first originated by the editor of Tin House, which is a US literary journal who posited that every person who’s active in this community, whether you’re a writer, author, editor, publisher, were emerging professional, you need to participate in activities that help show encouragement, nurturing participation, support of literary activities, which are, tend to be not very profit driven. They need support. Sometimes they need volunteers and donations. So one of the things that the Tin House editor was trying to get across when he made this call to literary citizenship was to get people to, like, to get writers to actually subscribe to the Journal they were submitting to. So this is kind of a big problem where writers will submit to lots and lots and lots of literary journals, but they don’t read them and they don’t purchase them, which creates quite a tension as you might imagine between the people who edit and the people who submit.
Okay. In any event, some of the literary citizenship favorites, like the things that adherence to this philosophy will do is they will do a lot of book reading and sharing of that book reading. They will interview authors or do Q and A’s like Kristin Setsee at my site has an author interview series, Christina Cats who writes creative nonfiction, and she’s based in Portland, Oregon. She once started a reading series as part of an act of literary citizenship, which was very helpful in her community and platform development. And you know, if some of these things are in person, some of these things are digital. You should, I think it’s nice to have a mix of both.
And then you see the last note here is posting about books you’re reading on Instagram or whatever your favorite social network is. So this is just about making yourself continually visible in that literary club and trying to get your name affiliated with the literary community to be community minded. And this affects all authors. It’s not just the literary folk. You need to think about how you’re behaving and supporting the influencers. So these are the people who’ve already made a name for themselves, already have an audience and people are soliciting their favor. So, you know, it’s a kind of scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, of course. And you know, to help develop those relationships and to be a good networker, you want to link to them, interview them, comment or guest at their sites if they’re active, make some other public show of support, attend their book events, review their books on Amazon or goodreads.
Just make your name visible to them in a way that doesn’t demand anything upfront. And over time they’re going to start to get familiar with you and hopefully return the favor. And then there are your fans and evangelists, the people who already know you, they’re invested and those are the people that you would engage with directly online and look for opportunities to interact and you stay in front of them on as friendly a basis as possible. This is where the literary community, they tend to eschew that type of activity. Like it’s sometimes seen as beneath the literary author to engage with readers, which I think is silly. You can set yourself apart as a literary author by doing things that directly engage readers and being welcoming of that. So I would say do not follow in the footsteps of the big literary folks by thinking that reader interaction is bad for your career. It’s almost always good for your career.
Now, engagement with folks happens on lots of different levels. I’m mainly going to be talking about digital media opportunities but this applies to in person events too. And I’m reminded of a New Yorker cartoon that, where it shows a guy with a cannon and he’s blasting thousands of business cards into a cocktail party. And it kind of, it just reminded me of people who are on Twitter and they’re just kind of blasting out links to their books or to their podcasts or whatever without any consideration of the existing conversation that might be going on and they’re just inserting themselves, blasting and then walking away. So I have a couple of examples here of people who kind of do that cannon blasting of the business card, except it’s on Twitter and these aren’t people that I know. I don’t know Glenn Atkinson, I don’t know Jeff Hammer, but they are trying to say something to me and get me to promote them even though no relationship is established.
In the literary community in particular this will get you nowhere fast. Like it’s, people want to understand who you are first before they’re going to be promoting you. And to have some sort of warmer connection there is necessary for a favor to be granted here. We have better strategies. Matt Gartland is sharing something from Sean Platt and commenting on how he loves his honesty and strength of character. We have Emily who live tweeted something I was saying at the Willamette writers’ conference a few years back and that’s it. You know, another great way to, if you’re in a room with someone you would like to build a relationship with, someone who’s potentially bigger than you are, an influencer, you know, sharing their wisdom, sharing links to their stuff, this is a really great way to warm up the connection so that when you do meet them, there’s probably are already going to be some familiarity there.
Also if you, if you’re going to events and for the literary community, I think this is, it’s almost unavoidable. I think it’s really important to get out there, even if you’re in a small town or if you are in a small town to go out to conferences or to events where you’re going to be rubbing shoulders with people who write the same stuff as you. Being able to share photos from those events and show that you’re in this particular literary scene with these particular literary authors. I just can’t speak to how valuable that is for building brands and perceptions that are helpful for your work over the long term. This is a snapshot from a conference that I spoke at where I was with Pete Mccarthy and he in fact works today in marketing at Ingram and is partly responsible for the chart that I’ve been showing you during this presentation. And so because I’m very interested in the issues that he’s an expert on, you know, I immediately when I had the opportunity I was able to share this photo of us together kind of reinforcing that, you know, we were kind of birds of a feather. We were both focused on digital marketing practices and the publishing industry. These are issues that we care about. So you know, sending these types of signals through photo sharing and event sharing online is really helpful for solidifying some of the benefits of attending events broadly.
When you’re looking at a book launch plan as a literary, you’ll probably want to research and spend more time on these types of activities rather than say, like gaming the algorithms at Amazon. You’re probably going to be looking at guests posts that would appeal to the literary reading community. Lit Hub is an example of a site that would, that’s like the gold, a golden prize or the golden ticket if you’re able to get on it. Pitching yourself to relevant podcasts in the literary community, investing in local and regional book events. Obviously bookstores and libraries are cue there, but be creative. Think about, you know, places where alcohol is served. There was a really successful literary reading in my community at a wine shop, and it was a three or four literary authors reading together. You’ll also want to be thinking about prepublication review efforts. I mentioned the importance of getting those professional reviews. Typically that requires some investment in advance review copies, whether digital or print and sending those out well in advance of publication, you know, three, four months out if not more. And then there’s a lot of reaching out one on one to your literary comrades and asking for reviews or coverage. And the more you can reach out one on one, the more successful you’re likely to be.
Since you may not be publishing books very often, something you’ll have to consider for long term platform building is how you’re going to show your work regularly or how you will be consistently visible. Get your name out there, build, build what would be a literary brand? There’s a great book about this by Austin Kleon Show Your Work. That’s about the power of sharing elements of your work, even if it’s not quite done or sharing elements of what you’re thinking about, what you’re reading, what you’re consuming, et cetera. For literary authors, I think this tends to be more critical because you may be producing at a lower volume, at not a frenetic pace. Like I know romance authors for instance, might publish four, five, six more books a year, whereas the literary author, you may not even be publishing one book a year. Of course, every author is different, but let’s say you’re in the low volume camp, you’re going to have to think through, okay, on a weekly basis, what can I be doing so that I don’t totally disappear from sight to, can I do an email newsletter? Is there an interview series I can do? Should I be thinking about a podcast? It hardly matters what medium you choose. It could even be a local or regional event. It’s just something to keep your name in front of people consistently.
Okay. So now we’re at the very top of that pyramid, we’re at expand your reach, use targeted paid media and promotions to reach new audiences, stand out in a crowded marketplace and make the sale. And this is where it authors need to be pretty cautious because the targeting has to be perfect. If you’re going to be looking at discount newsletters such as Bookbub or any of the lists through were Written Word Media, there are also lists through open road. Typically these services do wonderfully with older readers, with people who are avid consumers of mystery crime, thriller, Romance, women’s fiction, typically more genre readers. That’s not to say literary authors don’t or literary readers aren’t subscribing to these, but it’s less likely. And as I’ve already talked about the print ebook issue with this market. So if you’re, you’ll want to just really study closely, look at traditional publishers, what books, what sorts of literary titles are they putting through these programs? Do you think there are some good comparable titles there that you could use to advertise against? So do your due diligence here cause it’s easy to waste a lot of money and not get any payback or pay off. And of course you have to ensure that your foundation is really solid as we discussed at the beginning of the session with the cover and the description and the pricing. All of that has to be telegraphing the right message in order for these types of newsletter promotions to work effectively.
Something that may be more useful in the long run, although it is, it can be harder, is doing some sort of email newsletter swap with another literary author who’s willing to partner with you. Now, literary authors tend to be a little more squeamish about hard sales and promotion through any channel. It can be very hard for them to say, “please buy my book,” much less, “Please go buy this other person’s book.” So there has to be some familiarity there, some comfort levels, some agreement that yes, we share an audience in common and we think this is going to build both of our brands, our reputations in the process. Another barrier here for the literary author is that not that many literary authors cultivate an email newsletter marketing list. So you, it may take you a while to find some authors who are of the same mind as you in terms of a marketing approach.
When you are paying for advertisements, whether it’s in an email, at a website or elsewhere, some of the best practices are, at least according to Bookbub and other services like it, calling out the accolades or the awards you’ve won and praise that can be very helpful. And with literary all the more so and quoting another author typically works best or the author who would be comparable, who signals the right sort of literary credibility review counts help. So you may want to hold off on paying for advertisements until you can say that you have got an average certain type of star rating. And then as I’ve mentioned, having comparative titles, authors, movies or TV shows that evoke the same literary field that are popular with your audience and in a literary way that can be useful as well. If you want to take a look at all the potential opportunities for advertising in the literary community, look at Lit Breaker, that’s the literary advertising network that will primarily reach people, readers in the United States.
So study their kit and see if it might be a good fit for you. But I think usually you’re better off going to the email newsletters that accept advertising and would be a great fit and Lit Hub is one place to start. You can also consider literary journals and magazines that may accept newsletter ads. Poets and writers in the US is a good example of a literary outlet that might be a good fit. Finally, collaborative marketing is always desirable and beneficial regardless of the genre that you’re working in. If you’re a self published author, you have the latitude to partner with other authors on bundles or box sets to do discounts and marketing as you see fit rather than depending on your traditional publisher to do it or to give you permission to do it. So, in the United States there’s a collective called Tall Poppy Writers that’s primarily upmarket women’s fiction.
I think there may be 50 authors who are part of this collective and because they’re the authors are generally not producing more than a title a year, if that. There is, they’re very focused on cross marketing and promotional opportunities and you know, a rising tide lifts all ships sort of approach and it just helps keep all of them visible continually. You know, in those gaps between book releases. I’ve seen memoir collectives formed for the same purpose and if you’re an enterprising you can form a collective or co op. But if you’d want something that’s just a one time more low key effort, just look for other literary authors that you might bundle with. Roz Morris who’s a UK literary author did such an effort some years back and I believe if I’m not mistaken, I think the bundle of books that was offered was put out at $9.99 which is befitting a for the literary market. I know there was a similar box set that was done by thriller writers. It was maybe Deadly Dozen I think is what it was called and it was released for 99 cents. So that kind of shows you the difference in pricing psychology even when you’re doing a collaborative marketing that the literary authors went at 10 bucks. And then the thriller authors went out at 99 cents.
Thanks so much for sticking with me through today’s presentation. I hope this has provided some clarity on the differences between literary marketing and more commercial genre marketing for self publishing authors. If you’d like to keep up with me and some of the information that I provide, I have a free newsletter. You can subscribe at JaneFriedman.com. I share digital tools and resources for writers. They’re often related to marketing. I also have a paid newsletter. It’s called The Hot Sheet. It comes out every two weeks. It’s $59 a year, and it keeps you up to date on industry trends, news, across the board for traditional and independent authors. So you can check that out at hotsheetpub.com. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing you all online.
Do you have any questions or feedback about this Self-Publishing Advice Conference Session? Leave a comment below, or send us a question using hashtag #IndieAuthorCon
Register for #SelfPubCon2019
Our next online conference for authors runs in association with the London Book Fair, March 2019.
Register now and we'll send details of our speakers, sessions, sponsors and competitions closer to the time.
Hosted by the non-profit Alliance of Independent Authors. Always free.