As authors, we will do pretty much anything to plug our book, garner interest in our stories. Some of the more outrageous marketing ploys have picked up new fans for us, but in many cases, we could be hurting ourselves rather than helping to gain more sales.
A relatively new ploy is to compare your book to XYZ famous author, promising your readers as good or a better read than a novel that has spent months on the best seller list, has a dedicated fan base, and will usually end up with a movie deal at some point. Some authors will even say their book is a cross between XYZ author’s novel and ABC’s author’s book.
Interesting concept. Some might say it’s a sure fire way to boost your sales.
Why, then, am I wondering just how effective this method of promotion is?
The answer as to why I’m wondering this is simple and comes from a question that keeps bothering me.
Didn’t these people work hard to achieve their fame?
These famous, well known authors gone through the vetting period, just as all authors do. Their books didn’t automatically hit the best seller lists. It took them time and the same thing all of us are doing now—branding their name.
So, when you promise potential readers that they will enjoy a book that is as good as one written by Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, or any other author who has worked hard to have their name recognized, whose books consistently hit the best seller list, what are you assuring these readers?
Will your book grab their interest from the first page? Will the reader recognize the style they’ve come to love and look forward to from famous author XYZ? Are you, as an author with a limited fan base, be able to hold the reader’s interest further than the first few pages of your book?
Why, you say, of course I can do that. My book is fabulous. It’s best seller material.
Good way of thinking, but keep those thoughts to yourself. More traditional methods of marketing your book will find you an audience that appreciates them. Remember this, one day you may be that fabulously sought after author. Do you want people comparing their books to yours, in an attempt to entice your fan base away?