by Patricia Fry
Promote Your Fiction Book Through Spin Offs
By Patricia Fry
What's a spin off? It's a by-product or a follow-up to the original. Within the context of a book, it might be a sequel or any number of other writings related to the theme of your book.
The point of a spin off is to generate more sales. Not only will you have additional items to sell, but each book, pamphlet, guide, article or list that you produce is a marketing tool for the original book.
Let's say that you've written a novel that depicts life in a small town in Pennsylvania, follow up with a book featuring bed and breakfast inns in that state or create a mystery for readers to solve based on some of the characters in your original book. Maybe you've compiled a book of your poetry. Next, produce a pocket calendar or greeting cards highlighting some of the lines from your best poems.
Write a companion book for you historical novel profiling real people from the period you featured in your original book or design a walking tour map for the area where your story is set. Or design a quaint book of quotes from that time period.
Produce a sequel to your original story and promote it to your entire mailing list-especially those folks who purchased your first book.
Write articles and short stories to bring attention to the theme of your book. Submit them to appropriate magazines, newsletters and Web sites. (Read about how to write and submit articles in "A Writer's Guide to Magazine Articles" Matilija Press.)
Publish a newsletter related to the theme of your original book or to the process of writing a novel, perhaps. Promote it through your Web site and to your customer list.
Package something with your book-an Indian dream catcher with a book profiling an American native tribe, a magnifying glass for a mystery novel or a packages of sunflower seeds for a book of poetry that's related to flowers and gardening, for example.
Plan carefully before launching your spin off. Ask yourself:
Who is my audience?
What have my readers asked for?
Is there something I should have included in my original book?
How will I distribute the spin off item?
Is it cost effective to produce another book/pamphlet or other items?
Give your customers more than they expected. Think about how you feel when you go to the store to buy an avocado, for example, and discover that you can get two for the price of one. Delight your customers by giving them something extra.
Create handouts to package with your book shipments and to give at book signings, book festivals and presentations. Several authors I know handout well-crafted bookmarks or tiny charms depicting an aspect of their story (an animal or a famous landmark for example. I offer my meditation walking article to folks interested in my metaphysical book, Quest for Truth (Matilija Press). And I love handing out copies of some of my writing articles when promoting my writing books. Budding authors particularly enjoy my article featuring a self-publishing timeline.
Before thinking about your next book, consider writing a spin off to promote your original book. Sometimes it pays to keep all of your eggs in one basket.
Patricia Fry is a full-time writer and the author of 35 books. See her most recent books in the left column of this page.