Authors, Don’t Write Books; Create a Whole New World

Image of Mars from NASA.

Image of Mars from NASA.

People don’t buy books. People buy the experience that a story provides.

So authors shouldn’t write books, and they shouldn’t market books. Authors should create a whole new world, and they should market the experience of visiting that world.

Don’t think of your book as a book. Think of the story as one part of the world that you created.

Don’t think of how to market your book. Think of how to get people interested in your world.

The world you create is far more than a mere book. It’s the world, not the book, which people want.

How do you do this?

  • Give your world life before your book is published. Spread the word about the world you are creating. Create buzz for it. Reveal the cover, blurb, and sample chapter in advance.
  • Design striking, relevant images for your cover, blog, social media pages, website, bookmarks, business cards, brochures, PR kit, all your online activity, and all your printed materials. These materials come in different sizes, so you need a flexible design. All the products should fit together. They don’t all have to be exactly the same, but it should be immediately obvious that they match. Everything prospective shoppers, readers, and fans see are a visual representation of your book.
  • Supplement your book with additional material. Post free bonus content on your website or an email newsletter to give fans an incentive to stay in touch. This might include maps, character sketches, or short stories or poems, for example. Not everything has to be free. For example, you can sell a short story that relates to your book.
  • The great thing about a series is that the world can last well beyond just one book. It also helps you create anticipation for each book in the series and steadily grow a following. You can make the first e-book permanently free or 99 cents to help lure readers into your world. An omnibus with significant savings can entice readers to buy the whole world all in one shot.
  • Sell, give away, or hold contests for additional products like bookmarks, special editions, t-shirts, buttons, or maps.
  • Create a highly marketable world and it will help attract visitors to your world. Some ideas are more marketable than others. Some writing is more pleasing than others. The packaging—cover, blurb, and Look Inside—are also very important in attracting attention to your world.
  • Find your target audience—especially, people who aren’t already in your following—in person and online, interact with them, and show them the benefits that your world has to offer. You’re not selling a book, but a roundtrip ticket to paradise. Introduce people to your world. Create a video trailer that depicts your world visually.

Self-publishing world

I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles by clicking one of the following links:

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

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