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What Can We Learn From Charles Dickens About Book Marketing?  - Part 2

Tease Your Work

Think about anything that makes your work unique, what is likely to resonate with the reader and what you can tell them that will pique their interest without giving too much away. Take The Lego Movie from 2014; one of their trailers was about nothing more than the Lego version of Batman, giving the audience the chance to get to know the character before they watched the film.

Think about something that might be in your book and use that to tempt the reader. You could do all sorts; you can come up with short biographies of your main characters; talk about the setting of the story; share the odd paragraph or a snippet of the story, something that will grab their attention. Anything that can help your readers develop some kind of relationship with the characters before they read the book will do.

Give Your Readers Something to Do

Getting your readers involved is one of the best ways to get their interest. JK Rowling did it – she put an anagram riddle on her Twitter feed that gave a big hint about a potential future project. Her fans absolutely loved it and it was talked about for weeks. By the same token, when Dan Brown announced Inferno in 2013, he kept the book title a secret, providing a mosaic code for readers to unscramble first. Interest was huge, so much so that the website that hosted the message even crashed for a while. Not only did this code-breaking give his readers something to do, something to get them involved in the book, it also kept the name of the book firmly in their minds, even if it was subconsciously.

Be Concise and Constant

More than anything else that you could possibly think of, there is one thing that makes episodic content work – consistency. Don’t just provide a taster of your book and then leave it at that. Provide another, and another, on a regular basis, keep your work on their minds and keep them thinking about it.  Pose questions or quizzes for them; give them a  puzzle that needs to be solved and promise that you will provide the answers – make sure you keep that promise. If you can keep them constantly involved and engaged, the more chance you have of retaining your readers from book to book and, hopefully, gaining a few new ones too as your followers share your work and your stories with their friends.

Novels from the Victorian era, from the time of Charles Dickens, succeeded because they were forever in the minds of those that read them. Instead of one go, readers got to enjoy the book for weeks or months and, because they were only getting a part of the story each time, their passions burned high. You can do this with your novels; share little bits, engage with them, make them think about your work; by the time your next novel is ready to be published, you should have your fan base in a state of constant excitement and, hopefully, your sales will reflect that.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds