Friday, May 13, 2011

Promotion: Non-fiction vs. fiction

As a writer of both non-fiction and fiction and with my non-fiction debuting next week; I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing and the differences between these two worlds within the literary realm.

My initial thoughts were that non-fiction would be more predictable on how to market. For example, with my book “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” I will be reaching out the veterinarian schools/practices, shelters and pet owners. This would not be an idea book to market with an ad on Facebook.

When my young adult novel comes out I will turn more to social media, YA book reviewers, book tours, school visits, etc. For fiction that caters to a young audience that in well versed on the web I would want to do a book trailer in hopes that it would go viral, like many YA trailers have.

As I prepare to market my non-fiction, I asked around to get feedback from other writers on how they see marketing a non-fiction vs. a fiction. New York Times best-selling author Bob Mayer knows this well as he has sold and promoted both non-fiction and fiction novels. “For non-fiction, we can target promotion to specific audiences much better than we can for fiction,” explains Mayer of Who Dare Wins Publishing. Author Jill Kemerer believes that “fiction authors promote themselves while non-fiction authors promote the ideas in their books.”

Mayer recently released his historical epic, “Duty, Honor, Country” a novel of West Point and the Civil War. He spent the last week mailing galleys out to a bunch of Civil War Magazines and reviewers, as well as the Superintendent at West Point and the head of the history department. This is an example of the power of reviews. That may be the strongest commonality between promoting a non-fiction vs. fiction.

This next week I plan to reach out to as many niche groups as possible but I do plan to use Twitter and Facebook to reach out to everyday dog owners. My book, “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” I hope will be recommended by veterinarians but I wrote it from the heart of one dog owner to many other dog owners seeking advice and guidance.

But in the end, promotional plans for both non-fiction and fiction books are both uncertain. “The bottom line is that you do everything you can and you have no idea what will work. There is a degree of luck involved but luck goes to those who work the hardest,” says author Bob Mayer

What marketing tactics do you feel are the most effective for non-fiction? Fiction? What have you learned from your experiences?


My book, "Caring for Your Special Needs Dog" published by Who Dares Wins Publishing comes out this Wednesday, May 18.

1 comment:

  1. Non-Fiction is definitely more targeted from a marketing perspective. You have clearly defined demographics to pitch it to with PPC ads. Then again, you can apply the same market research to a fiction project. In the end it's more about your market research for your product than about the actual product.