You can find a great deal of information on crafting an effective brand or platform for nonfiction books, but it can be difficult to craft a brand for your fictional book short of writing tons of stories. However, the tactics for crafting a brand or platform for your fictional book requires some modification to be as effective as the tactics for nonfiction books.
Create a Course that Trains the Readers in a Subject from Your Novel
One of the biggest things that you can do to create a platform for your novel is to create a course through a program like Siminars that promotes a subject in your novel. You can do a good comparison of the product by reading its review here – Siminars Review: Is This The Best Platform For ePublishing? Siminars allows users to put together courses on any subject that they choose. They are designed to be engaging and effective, promoting learning while at the same time giving the authors significant opportunities. It’s easy to figure out how to craft a course for your nonfiction book. Most writers just use the main subject of their nonfiction book, create a course and set themselves up with the platform.
Fiction books can use the same tactic. Break down your novel and look at the subjects that are discussed and the skills incorporated. In both (Lord of the rings novels) “Two Towers” and The Return of the King, Samwise Gamgee laments that he did not remember to bring ropes or how to weave them. It ends up forming the basis for some interesting developments in the story. You could then use Siminars to create a course that teaches rope weaving and rope usage.
You must make sure that each course that you develop follows the same high quality as your eBook. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your brand. Prioritize the skills that are discussed in your book based on their likelihood to draw in your book’s target audience. Thoroughly develop one course and promote it. You can then move on to others. Sprinkle references to your novel throughout. You can use specific examples so long as they correlate and you provide plenty of value. You may also want to use other literary examples as well as real life ones. Stories can be powerful tools for persuasion.
Write Articles that Relate to the Skills or Subject Matter in Your Book
Just as you can craft a platform through a program like Siminars by providing courses to educate people on key skills you feature in your books, you can do the same with articles. Target online magazines as well as print magazines, and craft articles that relate to the content of your fictional book. You don’t have to go in-depth in here. Try to target magazines that your core audience reads. For instance, if your target audience is made up of 19 – 25 year olds, you might write an article relating to funding college experiences if you can find a way to connect it with your book. In the article, you can then use an example from your book. Be careful when doing this so that it does not look obviously promotional.
You can also go beyond the skills that you discuss in your book and write articles that focus on the issues presented. For instance, if your novel contains an analysis of race relations in Thailand during the 1960s, you might consider writing an article that discusses methods for improving race relations in lesser publicized conflicts. You should be delicate in mentioning fictional examples though in a sensitive matter like this. Instead, you can reference your research or the true accounts that you uncovered as you researched your novel.
By using magazines and other publications to write articles that include references to your book, you help to expand your potential fan base. You’ll want to make sure you include information about your book as well as your website in the bio. Use an appropriate writing style for each publication, but also try to find ways to mimic the style of your fiction writing if you can. The consistency will help to increase the strength of your brand with your fans and make it easier for them to recognize your work.
Participate in Writing Groups and Connect with Other Writers
Good writers are good readers. Many professional writers and bestselling novelists including Stephen King and Anne Rice have said as much. You will find no better opportunity to develop your platform than in a writing group with other writers. Obviously, not every writing group is as good as the other. You must research the different options to find one that works for you and for your genre.
When looking for a good writing group, look for one with writers who have similar focuses as your own or are a group that has individuals who are at least familiar with yours. You might not find that joining the Romance Writers Association of American is not beneficial if you write young adult science fiction. General interest writing groups such as Writing.com and Critique Circle have genre specific categories so that writers can tap into their particular niches.
When participating in these writing groups, you must make sure that you give more than you take. Often times, this means that you should participate in the writing competitions, story critiques, and assisting other writers. You never know what connections you might make. Read the instructions and requirements on all of the writing sites before you start posting. Even though you may have a few eBooks published and some courses uploaded on Siminars, you are still a newcomer to the site. Most of the time, the accepted wisdom is that you should provide critiques to other writers before asking them to critique your work. You should also make sure that you avoid getting into flame wars or insinuating that you’re better than other authors who have not yet been published.
Maintain a Regularly Updated Blog
Many times, authors assume that if they maintain a blog, the blog must be directly related to the subject of the novel or to writing in general. It does not. In fact, you’re likely to get more readers if your blog provides more interesting facts and articles than one that only talks about the writing technique.
For many authors, it’s natural to want to write about the writing process. After all, you focus on that. It’s your craft. You probably have a lot to say. However, if the target audience for your book isn’t a writing based audience, your blog won’t help you to create that platform. You should brainstorm articles and topics that your target audience will want to read.
As a fiction writer though, you have an added advantage. Many writers post samples and teasers on their website. Once you have that platform established and a fan base, they will get excited to hear about what you’re working on. You can also use it as a way to draw in additional readers because it offers them a low key way to evaluate your work. Occasionally sharing articles about the writing process or inspiration that you draw your stories from can also be appropriate.