I heard this question in the trailer for Disney’s Brave, which comes out today, and I thought, “what a deep question for a kids’ movie.”
At least for fiction writers, isn’t that what we do? We step out of our own lives with the ho-hum details of laundry and family problems and create a new fate for our characters where we have control.
While this takes a kind of bravery, you do still have to live in the real world and deal with your fate.
Or do you?
I hear of so many people in publishing complaining about the ills of the industry:
Shelf space is limited.
So many books are published.
How can I be heard above all the noise?
People only buy big names.
eBooks are killing print books.
Amazon is ruining everything.
Blah, blah, blah. If your book is to succeed and defy the fate of many books being published today, you have to do something about it. Quit whining about how the odds are against you and use these three tips I picked up from Disney’s marketing of Brave.
1. Quality content. Disney didn’t get international brand recognition by putting out shoddy content. They use excellence in storytelling, animation, voice-overs, etc. From the trailers for Brave, it appears this movie continues in this tradition of excellence.
2. Be creative. I had heard that there were several title choices for the movie, but Disney selected Brave because it would appeal to both boys and girls. This is different than when they chose, say, Sleeping Beauty. Times have changed and this is a different movie, and so their approach has changed as well.
For too many authors their creativity stops when they finish the book. They want to know what worked for someone else so they can copy it. But you and your book are unique. How can you reach people in your area and in your niche in a way that makes them remember you? What is it about your book that is different than all the rest out there.
3. Engage. I visited Disneyworld a year and a half ago and already they were promoting the movie and offering interactive experiences. Visitors could view sketches in progress and visit a little section dedicated to the movie. It made you feel like you were in on the ground-level of something, building anticipation for something that was still more than a year away.
You can do the same thing through social media. Before your book is even completed you should start building and engaging your target audience. Let them feel that they are alongside you, in on something that is going to be big. Then when the final product is ready, you will have fans that are ready to buy and brag to their friends (other potential buyers) that they knew about this book before it was ever published.
May you be brave enough to do the hard things to give your book the attention it deserves.
Image: Disney, used with permission