I spent some time on Saturday doing some basic legwork for our forensic artist, Carrie Stuart Park. For those of you who missed our discussion a few days ago, we were talking about potential SuperArticles we could write. Carrie is writing a novel with the one-sentence summary:
“A forensic artist stumbles upon the killing grounds of a serial killer.”
That’s a great premise, but how’s Carrie going to promote that? Carrie has the huge advantage that she’s a forensic artist. So I went to Wordtracker.com and fiddled around, looking to see what subjects might be related to her work. As it turns out, “forensic art” doesn’t get a lot of searches on Google. So she isn’t going to get famous by having people search on that keyphrase.
HOWEVER, here are some keyphrases that got quite a few searches in the last few months. The number in parentheses is the number of searches in the last 90 days:
zodiac killer (1654)
serial killers (1535)
forensic science (913)
missing persons (575)
missing children (382)
the zodiac killer (379)
crime scene investigation (375)
famous serial killers (334)
forensic scientist (332)
serial killer (226)
It seems to me that Carrie could do a couple of things to help promote her work.
First, she could start a blog on “serial killer fiction.” It could be EITHER about serial killer fiction by other authors OR about writing serial killer fiction OR BOTH. I’d recommend doing both. The blog should of course highlight Carrie’s expertise as a forensic artist. That’d be a unique angle. I bet there aren’t too many forensic artists writing novels. Over time, her blog could attract quite a following among readers and writers interested in serial killer fiction.
Second, Carrie could write some SuperArticles on one or more of the topics I listed above. Since the Zodiac killer is at the top of the list, she could write an article on the status of that case. But she could follow it up with articles on other serial killers. For example, who is her favorite candidate for Jack the Ripper? These articles of course should highlight her background as a forensic artist. And they should point readers to her blog.
Third, she could write an article on how forensic artists can help track down missing persons or missing children. If she’s got any examples from her own career, these would be good to work in. Again, these articles should point to her blog.
A blog is a nice way to build an audience. You don’t have to go coerce people to read your blog. They read it and tell other people about it if your writing is good.
OK, folks, now it’s your turn! Make some suggestions for Carrie! I’ve been a little vague and generic in my suggestions. Can you sharpen my ideas up? What would be a killer SuperArticle Carrie could write?
Be specific! Be precise! Be brilliant! The best suggestion (in Carrie’s sole judgment) as of midnight PST, Tuesday, May 29, will win the usual prize: a free one-page critique of your novel by me.
Start your suggestions!