Marketing Speculative Fiction
Speculative fiction is a term for literature that covers genres such as fantasy, horror, science-fiction, mystery, paranormal, dystopian, romance, and alternate histories. Sometimes, a mixture of two or more of them. Why is it called speculative fiction? These are the "what if" stories. What if fairies were real? What if the monster under your bed could eat you? What if aliens came to earth? These tales propose possible answers to those questions.
You can't simply focus on a fantasy audience or horror fans. A good marketing strategy will want to draw from various audiences. Not all science-fiction fans will love it nor will all romance readers, but some will love the mixture of genres. But how to find them? And what sort of tactics will work with them?
Here are a few tips to finding your audience and marketing to them. Keep in mind that speculative fiction is such a broad genre, and what works for one author might not work for you. You have to find your own path.
Finding your audience:
- Identify the sub-genres of your book. Be very specific.
- What's your hook? Make sure it encompasses your sub-genres.
- Find books similar to yours and research what sort of people reader them. (Age group, where they live, what issues are important to them, interests.)
- Stay up to date on news and trends regarding your specific genres.
- Don't try to make readers with no interest like you. Focus on those that already like what you write.
Once you have a target audience, you can set your marketing goals.
- You know where to find your audience online. Go where they are and be seen. Author sites, forums, fan groups.
- Not only go to where they are online, but put yourself out there at conventions, charities, and other events where your audience flocks.
- Experiment with social media. You'll overwhelm yourself if you try to use all the different forms of social media out there. Perhaps Twitter and blogging will work best, or maybe Facebook and Pinterest. See where you get the most attention and focus your attention there.
- Market yourself. It's not all about your book. What makes you unique? You need to know what your hook is as well. If you're likable and interesting, more people will check out your book.
- Giveaways. People love free stuff.
What marketing strategies have you used? Any tips you're willing to share?
By Christine Rains