I’m conducting an experiment over the coming three months, between now and the biggest book-buying season in the calendar. I’m going to be simultaneously comparing book launches in two genres, a non-fiction book and a poetry book.
It’s conventional wisdom that business and self-help books sell very well (my new non-fiction book is a bit of both) and that poetry does not. This wisdom certainly applied when books were largely sold in print, through bookstores.
In these digital days, though, the size of your micro-niche shouldn’t be as relevant. A global audience of readers in any micro-niche, even poetry, should be enough to deliver an income.
This is a theory that I would like to test.
A non-fiction business book and a collection of inspirational poetry: they don’t come much different than those two. Yet they both came from the same author and many of us are like this. We can’t keep to one tidy furrow that we endlessly plow. We have to be gadding about, flibbertigibbets that we are!
I believe that’s okay… we just need to recognize that it’s more challenging, from a commercial perspective. We need to be prepared for the extra work involved.
It’s like the difference between an author or artist who does a series of work versus doing standalone projects each time. When you do a series, it’s easier. So much is already established, you just make adjustments where needed. On a standalone, you have to start over each time, and create everything again from scratch.
It’s the same with writing across different genres.
Comparing Book Launches in Two Genres: Voice
The readership for poetry, ficiton and non-fiction is different in many ways and I need to speak to each of them differently, in a voice that represents a different part of me. The work itself, and the marketing materials around each work, need to align with this.
Comparing Book Launches in Two Genres: Email lists
Consequently, my lists need to be segmented. Currently, I am splitting out my fiction list and improving how I correspond with all my list… working out a different strategy for each. Because I’m working on non-fiction at the moment, I’d been neglecting my fiction list. I’ve now set up to correspond with both the poetry and the fiction once a month.
- My Go Creative! list (the non-fiction) get a weekly Monday motivator.
- My poetry list will be guided toward my Patreon page but I’ll be putting more energy into building Patreon, one poetry lover at a time, than my own list for now. This differs from my strategy for fiction and non-fiction but it seems appropriate to me for poetry. A poetry buyer (as opposed to a poetry reader, in themselves a minority) is a rare and wonderful person. I want to get as close as possible to these exotic animals, so I can understand them and show my appreciation.
- My fiction list will be kept appraised of book deals on Kobo and other promotions on Amazon, Apple Books and elsewhere. I’ll also send them news about my attempts to flog my film script, based on Book II of my Yeats trilogy, my progress with that book and the new ideas for Book III of the Irish trilogy.
Comparing Book Launches in Two Genres: Social Media
I use ten social media platforms: Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Patreon, Pinterest, Twitter , Wattpad, YouTube.
- Facebook profile to post personal stuff
- Facebook Author page to host Go Creative! Workshops and upload books news.
- Creativist Club closed group (forum fro creativepreneurs, members of the creativist club) to host morning flow practice: https://www.facebook.com/groups/creativist.club
- I use Goodreads to host giveaways and log my own reading
- I use Google+ autopost my blog, for Google juice
- I use Instagram to visually and verbally capture moments of creative presence, with a picture and a poem (often a #haiku). Instagram is my poetry channel, from there I guide people to my Patreon page.
- I use LinkedIn to be a brochure page that tells people what I do
- Instagram is linked to my Patreon page, which I have just started using to connect my poetry followers more closely together and allow them to become a #poetry patron: www.patreon.com/ornaross
- I use Pinterest to upload pics that take my fancy … should use it better for book covers etc.
- Wattpad to post chapters of my fiction and non-fiction and individual poems
- Youtube to more permanently host Go Creative! video workshops. I could also use it to do readings, but it will be a while before I clear enough space to work up the courage for that.
Comparing Book Launches in Two Genres: Street Team
Would you like to be part of this experiment? You can pre-order either of the two books below. Please choose whichever you prefer, either one or both.
I will put the same amount of time, energy and attention into both books over the coming six weeks and report back on what happens.
What about you? What are you creating this week?