A number of readers posted questions today on various aspects of promoting our fiction. I’ll try to respond to a fair number of these here, in no particular order:
1) Colleen asked:
Valerie’s question is excellent. Thanks for answering. But I have another one . . I write adventure stories of a missionary kid in different parts of South America and eventually, the world. My one-liner for my present novel: “A twelve-year-old boy risks his friendship–and his life–to unmask crime and superstition in the mysterious Archipelagos.” Any ideas for a super article when you write for kids?
Randy sez: The key word here is “South America”. I bet there are a ton of kids every year who have to write a report about South America. You should do a little research here to find out exactly what parts of South America get searched on most often. (See my e-book on SuperArticles for how you do this research.) Then write some informative and kid-friendly articles on those areas. You might even include a short story set in South America.
2) Lynda wrote:
I’ve been pondering. My novels will deal with creationism. I am a former chemist and homeschool mom,so I thought I could come from that angle. Problem: its already been done and by people far better than I in both education and creation science. Any ideas?
Randy sez: Creationism is big among home-schoolers. Since you are a chemist and a home-school mom, you have an inside track here. How about creating a unit-study for home-schoolers on some aspect of Creationism? A unit-study should be targeted to a particular grade-level, so you could do one for each grade you’re interested in. You could sell them on your web site and generate some cash while you promote your novels!
3) Valerie asked:
I am still stuck. What kind of Super Article can a fantasy writer make? The closest I can think of is writing about the extensive research I did into the year 3000 BC. I have based the setting on a blend of many cultures and technologies during this time. Of course, I will maybe use at most 10%, if that.
Do I convert my story idea into a gaming format or module? Do I make an interactive map? (Not exactly sure how to do that but have seen a couple).
Randy sez: Yes, fantasy is harder to write a SuperArticle about. I’ve been meaning to address this question, because it’s come up several times. The advantage you fantasy writers have is that fantasy is big, especially among kids and adults in their 20s. I think it’s going to see a lot of growth in coming years.
One idea I had a few days ago was that one of you fantasy writers could create an article on dragons. Where did those myths of dragons come from? How have dragons played a role in myths and stories through the ages? What is the closest living species to a dragon? What sort of dragon art is out there? Any or all of these could form the basis for a web page on dragons. Google “dragons” to see what’s available. What do you see missing? Can you fill that gap?
But there are other aspects of fantasy you could tie into. For example, all those “creative anachronism” societies. What appeals to those people? How can you serve them? The definition of an entrepreneur is “someone who finds a need and fills it.”
4) Pam wrote:
For example: I have an autistic daughter. She has seizures. That makes it just about impossible for us to go to church while on vacation or visting my parents. Most churches do not have a special needs nursery and are not equipped to handle kids who can’t sit in church, Sunday school or the regular nursery. This should not be. Of all the places in the world, the church is one place where I should be able to take my daughter. I can write an article about this. I even have a name: No Place For Anna.
Will that boost my writing? I don’t know. But like Randy sez, if the writing is good, it will get noticed.
Randy sez: I wish, I wish, I wish when my book DOUBLE VISION came out that I had got in touch with some of the national organizations for autistic people. Because I’m sure they’d have loved the book and helped to promote it. (The leading man in the story, Dillon, has Asperger’s Syndrome.) I’ve heard from a few moms who wrote me to say that they have a son with Asperger’s and he’s just like Dillon. They felt that the book was good for their sons because it showed an autistic man in a positive light.
But I didn’t do that. I wish I had. So Pam, yes, write that article. Then promote it. There’s no telling how far an article like that would take you. If you have autistic characters in your fiction, that would definitely help you promote your novels.
Bottom line: Anything you care strongly about is a prime candidate for a SuperArticle. If you care about it, the odds are good someone else will care about it. Maybe a lot of people will.