Friday, April 15, 2016

Make Money Writing: M= Marketing Analysis

April is all about making money writing!

Lots of fiction writers complain they don't make money writing. They're books don't sell no matter how much marketing they do or how much time they spend writing. They're usually right. The average US writer makes less than $10,000/year. But the thing about an average it's a combination of the six figure deals and the $0 earners. So many writers probably make less than that.

If you feel like your marketing isn't working, you're probably starting at the wrong place. Most writers start at the wrong place. My husband is an engineer, so I'm going to use a tech example here. If a new tech company--or even established one--wanted to put out a new product, they would first research the market. They would decide if the product they were considering would sell and what changes they would have to make for the product to sell. Writers typically write a book and then try to sell it. What's wrong with this? Nothing, really. But if you haven't researched the market, there is a good chance no matter how well you wrote and marketed that book it's not going to sell. It's day has come and gone. Or hasn't got here yet. For whatever reason, it doesn't meet the requirements of the market today.

You want to write a new book? Great. Decide if this is a book of "your heart." For the purpose of this series, we're going to assume it's not a book of your heart and you just want to write a book that sells. Cool. Choose 5 books in your genre published in the last year. Notice where when and how plot points come out. (I'm not suggesting you copy someone's plot--the content--I'm saying look at the structure). What's the point of view? What's the verb tense? What kind of plots are doing well? (Again, don't copy someone's content but look for tropes). How could you make those tropes fresh? What's going on in popular culture and can you use that to make a trope new again? How long are most of these books? Your marketing starts right here. Check these boxes.

You've heard of the maxim, "Right book, right time?" There is some truth to that. People who read a lot subconsciously take note of these things and without knowing it put out precisely the right book at the right time. And the rest of us work. So get to work.

Do you do market research before getting started? What kind of marketing research do you do?

1 comment:

  1. I don't. I probably should, but I try to write what I love first and then figure out how to market to future agents/editors once I'm done (at least the first draft). I'm in that process right now. :)

    Asking myself the big question of "how to sell this to others, because I love it - now I got to get them to love/like it too!" --> This energy translates into edits and revisions and into a synopsis and hooky query too.