Dragon Con has come and gone once again! This large, multi-media, popular culture convention covers an abundance of genres in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Anime, Manga, Comics, as well as offering a huge variety of actors, artist, and my personal favorite, authors to meet and greet. It is also the place where I first met my writing friends, in a writing class held by Ann Crispin. We started a writing/critique group then and there, one that has survived over 13 years. We may not be as active as once was, but we still keep in touch and do increase in activity here and there when time permits. D-Con provides us a place to meet and to catch up on each other and the projects we are currently involved with. Which brings me to my little revelation, well, not so much a revelation but something good to know.
I have been in business of some kind most of my adult life, and let me tell you, marketing is the tool to making money. While sitting in some of the panels, I listened to a number of authors, both established and non-established, and while some touched upon the marketing aspect of their craft to promote their works, I didn’t think it was touched upon enough. Having a well written, interesting story published is very important to establishing a career, but it is not always enough to keep the bills paid. Getting a buyers interest is very important, and while advertising your books via, ads, bookmarks, samples and such is indeed, very important, sometimes you need a little more to gain a buyers interest. Sherrilyn Kenyon is a perfect example for marketing to get buyers interest. She created a symbol in her books, a catch phrase, a token that can be seen, and touched, one that is recognizable: The Dark-Hunters, Artemis tattooed symbol. This is a marketing win, one that helps bring in the money through sells of tees, jewelry, books, short-stories, bags and a plethora of miscellaneous merchandise that provides not only an avenue to attract new readers, but also money, money that can help off set the bills.
With that said, why not create something in your storyline that will give the reader something to recognize? A distinct physical attribute? A symbol? Something that the reader will remember, something that can be placed on tees, and other merchandise (tees, buttons, greeting cards, etc…). What better advertisement than to have your character/symbol on an awesome tee that is riding on a happy reader? Walking billboard. I use the walking billboard in my business as well, and you wouldn’t believe how many customers I have gained with this concept.
So, next time you envision a character or side-kick, think how they would look on a t-shirt or a greeting card. A little extended marketing can go a long way in obtaining new customers interest! Besides, if they don’t sale, you have t-shirts for Christmas, birthdays and summer. Two birds….