1. Writing A Thriller is Like Drafting A Marketing Plan!
Most movies start with very fast-paced action. A few seconds into the glorious destruction of the set, in billows of smoke and cordite, we get a glimpse of what our main character is made of. Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Tom Clancy’s Bourne Trilogy adapted for screen as Mission Impossible readily comes to mind.
In a marketing, the above would simply be the engagement activities that introduce the book irrespective of its genre. With teasers, like a cover reveal, it is of great importance to snatch your potential audience off their feet and hurtle them down the activities on the timeline, never letting go. Like great oratory, the tone of the storytelling rises and falls, so should the market-creating activities – the book signing, reviews, podcasts et al, get new readers considering, buying, reading, reviewing, falling in love with your book, and telling others.
Dan Brown has described the incentive for a page-turner as the 3Cs: The Contract, The Clock and the Crucible. Translating that to marketing, that would be the promise of a great read, held in the title and cover, the limited time offer or promo and engagement around the last mile distribution.
As author of the thriller, The Man Who Knew Too Much, I find myself straddling both worlds with ease, and never enough time to enjoy each fully.
2. The Readership Acquisition Funnel is Like a Good Story.
Drawn in from the blurb at the back of the book, the avid reader hurricanes into the first chapter. Within, as a writer you have created an experience that grabs your audience by the scruff of the neck and hurtles them through the next 80,000 words.
Likewise, CX, Customer Experience must serve your book in the implementation of its reader acquisition strategy. Riding shotgun with well-crafted communication assets in meaningful and useful sales platforms, various propositions about your book invade the customers’ eyeballs wherever they are. Across online and offline platforms, the customer expectedly, gives in to the consistency of your marketing drive at all touch points and moments of truth. How great when your book delivers on all promises! The experience of a page-turner can’t-put-down body of work with several 5-star ratings!
So like a good story, welcome the reader, and like great marketing, let’s fill that funnel.
3. Value Capture for Content Industry
For authors and the other constituents of the creator economy, making content today is a huge part of the gig economy. With 55 million workers in 2017, the projected gross volume of the gig economy is expected to reach 455.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2023 while a study shows that 41% of postgraduates freelance.
As the pandemic disrupted work, as we know it, with rightsizing, and outright job losses, outsourcing apps like Fiverr have become big online destinations for the content industry, and indie publishing, a DIY channel, from author to reader, from cover to cover.
The above is the background to the zillion dollar question. What would be the best practices to capture value, after creating value? The answer is still blowing in the wind.
Getting paid for creating value is the norm, but for on-demand, or for content-as-a-service, (CaaS) providers, capturing value is still a WIP. It will be requiring a final resolution as long as the gig economy is around. Faculty in business schools should snap this up as dissertation and research topics world over.
However, in the interim, authors, and content creators, you have to tell your story, about your work.
- Start Where You Are with What You Have
- Learn the skill, pay for the skill or partner for the skill
- You market is waiting, willing and able. Feed Them Your Story.
Jack Oswald (pen name) is a trained artist and a communications strategist. He is married with kids and still struggling to paint amid zoom meetings and presentations. Connect with Jack on Twitter @JackOSWALD14.