While I was checking up on my normal round of blog posts, I saw this post by Cassandra Clare (author of the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices, the first of which is the prequel Clockwork Angel, which I am currently halfway through). And wow, that was a lot of links! Anyway, I was thinking about strategies for marketing books, as it becomes more and more difficult to market books (at least if you don’t know how the industry works). Just by visiting these sites, however, you can see a number of ways that Cassandra Clare has done a phenomenal job with her own marketing.

1) Have a great website. It makes a difference that her website is 1) functional, 2) beautiful visually, and 3) interactive. It invites you into the world of the book and gives you options for sticking around while simultaneously ensuring that any obvious questions you are likely to have (how many books in the series, who are the characters, where are the book signings, when will the next one be released) are readily available.

2) Create a network of colleagues. Recently, Cassandra Clare has been recommending books for a long time but recently, Barnes and Noble has dedicated an entire section to display the books that are on her reading list. Not only is she advertising her own work, she is showcasing the work of others. She is creating a dialogue with her readers so that she is viewed as a recommender of good books (which makes her something of an expert) and, by proxy, makes her own work visible. Very strategy (also fun since she gets to show off her friends’ work). Win-win-win for everyone.

3) Be yourself. She gets to talk about writing, her books, her characters, her friends, her work… but she also responds to fans and friends. Her focus is on writing but her personality shines through. Whatever you do, make sure that it is you that you are putting out for the world to see. It’s a lot easier (and more fun) that way.

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