Don’t Beg & Bully, Engage Your Audience

As I slowly weave my way into the writing world, the biggest thing that stands out to me is the marketing. Truth, it’s a minefield out there and in the modern, digital age it’s even tougher to take your story, hold it up high, and have anyone notice you’re there.

Go to the grocery store and stand in line. I dare you to look in any direction and not be assaulted by advertisements. Yes, assaulted. It’s why half the time I get my groceries delivered. But I digress…

Be the solution. Don’t assault your audience, engage them.

Keep it simple. Remember the 90s when every advertiser was screaming at you from a web page? Banners flashed neon pinks and yellows, marching ants paraded around the border. Don’t be that guy. Seriously, stop trying to blind everyone.

There’s a trend happening in advertising right now, and it has to do with 1) engaging people and 2) mobile vs. desktop devices. One message, one call to action, make it count. They’re realizing that more isn’t necessarily better, so advertisers are trimming off all the fat and getting to the core of their message. What does this mean for authors?

Example: We all know that cover art is the first thing anyone sees. It has to stand out and be eye-catching enough to entice readers in. Don’t put your cover over the ad, then an image of your book on top of the cover, then giant fiery letters screaming ON SALE NOW! Don’t. Do it. Let your art stand apart. Use a color, or even a soft, muted design that sits far in the back like it’s supposed to. Let the cover (or book image) be the sparkling jewel. Then, write one, simple, engaging line and make it count.

Clean is better. Ever sat in a cluttered house and been so frustrated you can’t take it? Then you clean that baby, and suddenly a huge weight comes off your shoulders? Now you can sit, relax, enjoy. Same deal.

Images should always be clean, crisp, and engaging to your audience. Again, don’t blind us by stretching an image out of proportion to make it “fit”. Use your space well, and keep the images clean.

Text should be simple, elegant, and easy to read. Don’t put pale yellow text over neon yellow dragon’s fire. The text will get lost in the image and you’ve lost your audience. Make it stand out with clean lines and bold contrast.

Engage. This part I know you can do. As a writer, you’ll already have a pretty good idea of how to craft a sentence that pulls your reader in. Copywriting for any product should do the exact same thing, engage. Don’t give us titles, quotes, what your best friend’s dog had to say about the story, original price, sale price, how to win a trip to Mexico, and your favorite food all crammed into one space.

One line to rule them all grab your audience, maybe give them a price, then call to action. Don’t beat people over the head, bring them into your domain. Then you can lock them in an iron cage.

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