Thursday, May 6, 2010

Romance, the Future of Promo by an Un-Tekki

Hi, romance novel lovers, this is an impromptu post brought on by a discussion of *what else?* how to promo in effective ways that reach the readers who are interested in reading your particular romance subgenres, or those readers who would simply enjoy the stories you write.

It’s the wild, wild west of promo-ing out there, right now, especially for those of us who pen for the small print/ebook publishers. Blogs, Yahoo chat loops, Twitter, sites like THE ROMANCE STUDIO and COFFEE TIME ROMANCE, and many other venues I’m not familiar with. Remember, I am basically an Un-Tekki kind of gal, in that I can’t keep up with the latest and greatest the web or the internet has to offer, as far as promo-ing, or anything else, for that matter.

Heck, I can’t keep up with the good opportunities out there that I’d like to take advantage of... ya know, because I’m penning that next story for submission ~ which I should be doing now instead of writing this blog.

However, I thought I’d let the psychic in me, some prefer the term intuitive, have it’s say... meaning, I have no clue what’s about to come forth. I’m just going to let it flow.

So, what are the best ways to continue promo-ing in the future? What will the opportunities be in the future? That is, how do authors connect with those readers who want to read their books? Because now is the time of the niche market ~ it’s the new frontier and the settlers are moving in.

Mass market, as it has been, is dying. Truth is, the romance novel superstar authors of today, will become a thing of the past. Niche stars will and are emerging. It’s a greater bigger galaxy for the romance novel, just like Hubble is showing us a greater bigger galaxy-filled universe. This, however, like most transitions, is both a gradual change and an eclipse of change. And, how it all plays out depends on many evolving factors... all of which are subject to change.

Yeah, that gives us all a clear picture, doesn’t it?

Okay, placing the magic hat on... given this is the Aquarian age, community is a dominant force in what occurs from now on. The more authors of a specific subgenre flock together, such as those of us at HAPPILY EVER AFTER, the stronger they will ALL be in selling their books. It’s like a cyber boutique, or the particular styles of romance are offered in an intimate webbie setting that reflects the mood, and the atmosphere of the genres.

One easy example of this is vampire romance, the sites that are devoted to this genre are obviously designed in a specific *bloodlust* manner, just as Western Romance sites have those sexy cowboys, maybe spurs and leather saddles. You get the picture. Yes, this is an obvious way of promo-ing and is being done, created more and more often. However, in the future, this becomes far more crucial and becomes like the change from black and white movies to technicolor.

Or, perhaps, think in terms of a Renaissance Faire. If you’ve ever been, it’s a celebration, it’s the type of entertainment that is liberating to the soul and spirit. And, consider all those vendors hawking their wares. As authors, we’re hawking our wares. The more we appeal to a reader by what we have to offer, the more likely a sale will be made.

Folks, readers, want to wander around in a cyber Renaissance Faire of reading goods. They want to enjoy their day and see what the world has to offer them. Or, they want to know where the booth is, enjoy their visit, find and purchase the books they want ~ in the most convenient way possible. Of course, the more they enjoy the experience and the read, the more they will return.

The idea of the everything-available shopping mall will be replaced by a Faire-like atmosphere. And, what will also be crucial is reliability. That is, a consistent, good service environment, a place the reader can count on to be there like a favorite haunt or a good-times’ tavern. Often, folks just like to rummage around in their favorite stores, a pleasure unto itself. And, more often than not, they’ll purchase because they’ll discover that irresistible read.

As the world closes down, with less and less opportunity to travel and explore our beautiful planet, the yearning to travel, to escape will only increase. Books, your books, could offer that escape. In fact, the demand for escape fiction of all kinds will only skyrocket.

As you peer into the future of promo-ing, what do you see, feel? What are the opportunities you sense on the horizon?


May your romance reading dreams come true...

Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Savanna Kougar said...

Happy promo-ing and reading...

Bekki Lynn said...

I loved the references to the Renaissance Faire -- such a wonderful vision.

Wouldn't it be fun to have something like that, but the authors become one of their characters and recite some scenes. Maybe it's time to renew the period of readings.

Thanks for posting, this was a fabulous blog.

Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, great idea! There's a lot of fun and effective ways to go.
Course, the main thing is that it takes time and energy to do, and develop.

Celia Yeary said...

SAVANNA--whoa!! You said what I wanted to say! Only you said it much more eloquently than I could even think it. Oh, man, I'm tired--had a long, difficult day and it's showing now.but you are so right--the niche author is the coming thing. I'd like to see something like All Romance eBooks splinter into factions--one for us cowboy lovers, one for the vampire lovers, one for the space lovers, and one for the contemporary lovers.I think we become lost in cyperworld, all mixed up. Maybe I'll do my own post with my ideas about promoting. Nitey-nite. Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, nitey-nite, sleep tight.

Wow, what a wonderful idea for All Romance ebooks! And, for all such vendors.
They list by genre, often. However, they could expand to create a mood-beautiful setting.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Fascinating, Savanna! I agree with the whole time issue and like Bekki, I love the references to the Renaissance Faire.

I think sub-groups do work up to a point but I know as a reader myself I crowss genres so having somewhere with a 'bigger picture' of what's here in romance is also vital.

I think sharing is the only way to go. Have the groups but also have welcome hands coming from the groups so that vampire romance sometimes guests in historical romance or science fiction romance and vice versa - I wonder if that might work for everyone.

Serena Shay said...

Beautifully said, Savanna! I love the idea of a Renaissance Faire for readers. I'd never want to leave. ;)

Savanna Kougar said...

Lindsay, I wasn't suggesting not to cross-pollinate, so to speak, since I write in several subgenres.

In the Renn Faire atmosphere there are the characters and entertainments, plus all the specialty booths right there for everyone to choose and enjoy at their own leisure.

For example in a cyber Renn Faire, a bookselling venue or a promo venue could be set up in an overall fun and enticing atmosphere, but provide the boutique type of areas where readers could peruse and shop for specific subgenres... like hats or a turkey leg at the Faire. Everything is there for the reader, but in its own mood-fun booth.

Plus, I'm suggesting a whole new dimension of creativity other than what is currently available, as I've seen so far.

I just tried to access the link you sent for positive attitude selling. Okay, maybe the modern young woman would find that site attractive... maybe. I find it all so much boring hype, overall. I don't care about exploring it, or finding out about anything there. I don't think I'm the only one. I think a lot of us folks are darn tired of slick magazine hype, or any hype.

Oh, this author is hot, a star...oh this that and forever... on and on... really, who cares, anymore? What I care about is a good read. I don't want to be *sold* anything like its the latest fashion, not a book or an author. I want the book available for me to find because I'm interested in reading it.

I'm suggesting a site, or sites, or a way of marketing that attracts folks overall like a Faire environment, but has individual places to shop for specific interests. Maybe, you want a Renn dagger or some apple cider.
Maybe you would rather watch a fire-eater than a comedy show. It doesn't mean those who are performing the comedy are *LESS* than the fire-eater in talent, or even as a stars in their entertainment profession, it simply means folks prefer what they do, or have a yen for a certain kind of entertainment or read.

It seems to me, to put it in very simplistic terms, the HYPSTERS have been running the selling show. Their tactics don't work that well anymore. In fact, often there tactics are a huge turn-off.
Why not offer an environment for simple enjoyment that also offers the reads folks want?

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, I know what you mean. I'd never want to leave, either.

Savanna Kougar said...

P.S. Personally, I never purchased a Nora Roberts books because she was a so-called superstar. I read one of her books before I knew who she was or her star power. That convinced me, not all the drama-hype, or accolades.
Same goes for much lesser known authors. I don't buy because of hype, or how many books an author has sold. I buy because the story looks promising. It appeals to me personally.

Linda Banche said...

Ah, Savanna, I'm with you. I want a good story. I'll try different authors, looking for that good read. I don't necessarily go for the big names because they're big. Some are great, and deservedly so. But there are other big names whose books I wouldn't take if they gave them to me and added money, too. Most of the ones I like are mid-list, at best.

And we all have to keep writing. Readers want the stories. They don't care what we had for breakfast.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Savanna- the more you tell us about your Renaissance Faire the more I'm with Serena and you - I'd never want to leave, either.

Savanna Kougar said...

Lindsay, smooches flying toward you. Smack, right on the cheek.