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The Martian Way to Market Fiction

The Martian

What are the keys to marketing fiction? You can see all of the elements in a great science fiction novel that I read last week called The Martian by Andy Weir. The book is already a huge New York Times bestseller, and it’s being turned into a major motion picture starring Matt Damon as the main character. It’s one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve read in a long time. I’ve already told several friends about the book, and now I’m telling my entire newsletter list. When it comes to fiction, word of mouth is the primary driver of sales. So, what makes "The Martian" so good and what marketing secrets can novelists learn from this book? Besides having a killer cover, use these three tips: 1. Write fiction that feels like … [Read more...]

Don’t Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

When you try to fly by the seat of your pants, you eventually land on your butt. - Anonymous It’s hard to feel confident about your marketing when you don’t know what to say in key situations. For example, how do you respond when someone asks: What’s your book about? What does your non-profit do? Why should I buy your product? In addition, it’s important to know what type of specific marketing language to use on your website home page, personal bio, promotional brochures, etc. Too often, authors, non-profit directors, and business executives try to make this stuff up on the fly. Important decisions are ruled by misguided beliefs that you should “stay in the moment,” “keep it fresh,” or “let the spirit … [Read more...]

The Love / Hate Relationship Between Authors and Publishers


A recent survey of 800 traditionally-published authors revealed some surprising thoughts about the book industry. Compiled by Jane Friedman and Harry Bingham, authors from the United States and the United Kingdom revealed a contentious love/hate relationship with their publishers. The data revealed the following conclusions: Authors have serious reservations when it comes to their publishers’ marketing skills and philosophy. Authors believe publishers are poor at communicating with their authors. A clear majority of authors are unimpressed by their publishers. Authors feel poorly paid and poorly treated. Yet, authors are NOT leaving the traditional industry. The results of this survey do not surprise me. I’ve heard … [Read more...]

Do Not Believe in Yourself


Successful marketing does not start with believing in yourself or your organization. It starts with believing in your results. I've met lots of authors, non-profit directors, and business executives who are passionate about what they do. They have a strong belief that their book is great, their charity campaign is worthy, or their products are top-notch. However, the problem is that no one really cares what you think about yourself or your organization. To be more specific, your readers, donors, and customers are not influenced by a belief in yourself (unless you're the pretentious Tony Robbins). Instead, people are motivated to read, donate, and purchase based on the results they want to experience. Consumers operate on the principle … [Read more...]

Marketing that Beats the Odds


Here at the WildFire Marketing world headquarters, we talk a lot about spreading our clients’ messages like wildfire. There’s nothing better than seeing people respond to a new book, an innovative product, or a noble non-profit campaign that improves their lives. But, some messages deserve extra attention due to the inspirational power that they represent. As an example, I recently attended a fundraising event for a wonderful non-profit client, Growing Leaders, who teaches character-building skills to high-school and college students. The main speaker for the evening was an award-winning teacher named Brad Cohen. Brad has been honored as a Georgia Teacher of the Year, written a prize-winning book, featured in People Magazine, and … [Read more...]