Thoughts on Theme Marketing

We’re writers here. We want people to read our writing. Lots and lots of people, preferably.  A frequent topic of discussion is how to let readers out there know that our books are available. I have a book coming out in September and another one next May. So I’ve been trying to think of creative ways to find readers.

When a book or a series has a theme that lends itself to marketing, that makes part of this job easier. If you have a series focusing on a quilt shop or a dog show, for example, you might search for quilting groups, quilt shows, or a quilting fabric store to find readers. You could set up a table at a dog show and find a vet willing to help you publicize the book.

I’ve had a flood of ideas on where I can let readers know about my Local Foods mystery series, the first book in which comes out next Spring. Since the series features an organic farmer and a Locavore Club, I’ve already contacted the New England Organic Farmer’s Association and made plans to attend their well-attended summer conference in western Massachusetts next year, with my book featured at one of the bookstores that exhibits there and an ad in the conference program. This is particularly fun for me because I used to attend that conference as a farmer, and presented a session or two, as well.

I’m visualizing a launch party at the wildly successful Newburyport Farmers’ Market and maybe having the books sold at the new year-round permanent Farmers’ Market they’re talking about establishing in Boston. I have an old high-school friend in California with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm who said he’d publicize it and that his farm neighbor has an even bigger CSA. These ideas just keep on coming.

Speaking of Murder, my book coming out this fall under the pen name Tace Baker, features a Quaker linguistics professor, and one of crime-solving tools in the story is a video-editing application. Quakers tend to be a little more subdued and less numerous than farmers, but I can try to get the book listed in the catalog of Quaker publications. And maybe attend the Linguistics Society of America annual conference, or at least take out an ad in the program, and do the same in the video-editing software industry. It’s set in small-town New England, so there’s always that angle, too. Ideas on where to publicize this book, though, are not flowing quite as well.

Of course I’m working the social media links for all these groups (and getting a bit exhausted trying to keep up with it all), finding Facebook and Twitter links and trying to keep active with that.

What kind of publicizing have you done, or are planning to do, relating to the theme of your book? What have you found that works, and what doesn’t work so well?

About Edith Maxwell

Agatha Award winning author Edith Maxwell writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Beyond the Page) and short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries series and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries (both from Kensington Publishing). She lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau, where she writes, gardens, cooks, and wastes time on Facebook.
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7 Responses to Thoughts on Theme Marketing

  1. Toni Leland says:

    Hi Edith, nice post! I write equestrian fiction – mostly mysteries and thrillers – so I’ve found that promoting at horse-related events helps me find readers. Hard work, this promoting stuff, but worth the effort!

  2. edithmaxwell says:

    Exactly, Toni. Glad that works for you. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Steve Liskow says:

    Hi Edith. You have some great ideas here, and I hope they bear fruit (no pun intended).
    My novel The Whammer Jammers is a mystery about roller derby. A local skater posed for the cover and I interviewed players, referees, and coaches,for background. I bought a program ad last fall, too. So far I’ve had two signings with one team, have another arranged for next month with a new team, and I’m trying to arrange a signing at the third new venue. I’ve moved a fair number of books at the signings because of the specialize audience, and my favorite author picture to date is a group shot of me with one team. It’s on my Facebook author page. I still follow the sport and am delighted that four more teams are now competing in my area. More sales and more skating. 🙂

  4. Steve Liskow says:

    Thanks, Edith.
    It doesn’t ALWAYS work, though. My following book is about teen trafficking in Connecticut, and so far none of the…um…shall we call them “discount” motels in the area seem to be interested in my selling copies of Cherry Bomb in their lobbies.

  5. Hi Edith. Thanks for opening up this wide topic. I love your ideas and (of course!) I’ll be watching for your books. Right now I’m doing two kinds of targeted promotion: one that’s based on the Vermont Nancy Drew-type series I’ve started writing in public (on Wattpad!) where I’m digging into the “why” of our love for the old teen series, and the other framed on both Vermont and the theories of Seth Godin in TRIBES. It amazes me that we can enjoy learning these new promo skills, while also keeping the stories rolling. Maybe it’s a new cure for writer’s block — stepping into and outside of the story at regular intervals! Here’s to theme promotion and great reads.

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