Good morning Story Empire readers, PH here with you today following up on my previous posts regarding dual use of the meta-content you generate when developing your books. If you would like to read the previous posts for this series, you can find them here and here.
Continuing from last time when I got into the nuts and bolts of using your novels meta-content for your marketing as well as development, today we will touch on some other types of marketing content you may want use as part of your strategy for dual use. To emphasize what I mean by dual use, this is the concept that you are creating content for the development of your novel as well as marketing which means that you are writing this content for later promotional use in mind. This leaves you with pretty much a rough draft catalog for what you need during your book release. In creating this meta-content, you should not expect that it is a final version, but one that can be quickly updated and edited into usable marketing content. This means writing this content in a meaningfully usable format for what you need. The last post in this series dealt with blogging, but this time we are looking at reader guides.
Reader guides can take several different forms and I expect to touch more specifically on those various types in another blog series, but the intention today is to introduce how you can create these various kinds of user guides while you are developing your meta-content.
For those who may be unfamiliar with a reader guide, this type of material would fall under anything that you could create to better inform or engage readers about your book. Again, nonfiction lends itself to this type of material very readily, but fiction is a bit different so you should think about what types of content you’re creating and whether it can be used for a reader guide.
Ways for developing and using a reader guide can range from short lists of questions about the book that could be used by book clubs or at library appearances. This can also be included in blogs, newsletters and your private groups of followers and readers. Another type of reader guide that has been very useful in the past, especially in fantasy, is an extensive reference guide at the end of a book that contains numerous names of characters and locations which many fantasy writers find useful for reference while they are reading.
Let’s take a look at how this type of meta-content would be created and then used. Typically we may be keeping a list of characters and place names of all kinds when we are developing a book. This is especially true for me as a fantasy author. Since I probably need to reuse this material, I should be developing it in such a way that I can easily reference it for my own writing, but also for my readers and include that at the end of my books on my blog, a newsletter edition, or in private groups I have on Goodreads or Facebook. If I keep a good list that’s well updated and detailed just enough, I can quickly and easily use this material for additional information for my readers.
There are other ways that we authors can easily develop reader guide material useful for readers. One way is that we often ask ourselves a lot of questions or possibly interview our fictional characters as a way of creating back-story and more information about characters using.
Such a list of questions from these interviews of characters can be a great way to also create additional marketing material from this meta-content. For instance, our own Harmony Kent shared a list of questions she asked herself about one of her books. You can view this post by clicking that link and it should help you immediately understand my reference. As you will see, Harmony wrote a number of questions to herself to creatively challenge her premise so that she could further develop the book. This type of material can be used to quickly develop reader guides that can serve for questions and answers for book clubs which informs readers in general as well as other venues already mentioned.
I hope this information helps you think additionally about using your creative meta-content and writing it in such a way that it can be quickly and easily transferred into marketing information. Using your meta-content this way from the beginning can save you a lot of time and also keep you from scratching your head about what to write and share with readers about your new releases. This will alleviate a lot of wasted time developing this type of marketing material since you won’t be trying to think about what to write. Instead, it will all be at your fingertips, especially if you keep track of it in such a way that you can put it into use quickly and apply it to a marketing campaign in your release plan.
Are you currently developing a book and have similar meta-content to what’s been used today? How can you use some of the information you’ve developed to become marketing content with the release of your book?
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