Outside-The-Box Strategies To Expand Your Audience And Gain Traction Marketing Your Writing Through Powerful Visual Imagery
According to a wise sage known as Google, there are precisely 129,864,880 books in the world. What is more, every year, globally, UNESCO estimates that 2.2 million books are published.
Needless to say, with those figures, it’s virtually impossible to stand out. The odds of making the best-seller list are probably not much better than the odds of hitting the Powerball Jackpot. Virtually everyone today has a book available for sale.
So what to do? I’ve come up with some strategies that might be of use — all of which rely on using videos. As for my background I’ve published four books, created a short film, produced numerous comedy shows, and, as a result, have experimented with all sorts of different marketing techniques.
- Create Videos With Alluring Imagery — Creating videos around your writing is very important. But the type of video should be analyzed closely. Many authors create a book trailer, which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t work all that well. This is because a book is unlike a movie and these trailers generally don’t give the reader an accurate sense of what they will be getting. I think a better strategy is to read a section of the book aloud and create a quick video with images that highlight the underlying text. Here is an example Julia Noel Goldman helped me put together, with a reading of a poem from my latest poetry book, “Notes From The Bonfire.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSVgcOpfqCw
- Create Videos Reading Your Work In Strange Places — Audiences are accustomed to seeing writers read in a public setting. Or in front of a fireplace. Something very humdrum. It might be better to try something different. I attempted this once, when I created a video of myself reciting William Blake’s “The Tyger” while sitting in my bathtub. It was weird, particularly because I was fully-dressed, yet seemed to be a fairly dynamic way to celebrate National Poetry Day. This same kind of outside-the-box thinking could be used to market just about any type of writing.
- Create Animations Based On Your Writing — There are great apps now that help you create quick animations. One of these is called Flipaclip. While I’ve yet to try Flipaclip myself, friends have and the results are often impressive. By animating your writing in a colorful way you may be able to attract a wider audience. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vblast.flipaclip&hl=en_US&gl=US
- Go Some Place Cool, Take Video Of Yourself Addressing The Camera, And Use That Video To Hype Up Your Work — I attempted this when I went to The Zero Space Museum in New York City. This is a very cool place with installations that include projection mapping, lasers, geodesic dome shows, programmable LEDs and interactive surfaces. I took this cool video plugging my humor book, “Do Not Feed The Clown,” and then shared it on Instagram. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7v2iGoYGZI
- Go Some Place Cool, Take Video Of The Place, Then Use That To Hype Up Your Work — On the same trip to The Zero Space Museum I took a video of the LED Ceiling Lights and then later just added Title Text, and, that fast, had a promo that cost nothing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kramFJI8Vlw
- Create A Video Montage Of Interviews On The Street — Stop people on the street, ask them what they think of your book, and create a video montage of the results. I did something like this when I wanted to promote my short film, “Inside Job.” After the screening, I got feedback from various audience members (see end of video). https://vimeo.com/174039926
- Creating a Video Mixing Old School And New School Marketing Techniques — In an effort to promote a comedy show, my friend and I went on the subway with him dressed in a lizard costume holding an old-school sign. He then removed the mask and stuck a balloon up his nose. This weird type of promotion mixes old school carnival barking and more sophisticated IG video marketing in a way that might work well for writing too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw0wn3InSsw
These are just a few of the techniques you can employ when using video to market your writing. The most important element is that you in some way defy expectations. This will help your work stand out from the 2.2 million other books published each year.