Sunday, September 4, 2011
Have You Been To The Movies Lately?
Movie theatres and play theatres seem underutilized to me. Movie theaters have unused space that could be used to serve the community. For instance, if the first movie isn’t shown until, say, noon, why not use the mornings for author readings and signings? Why not sell books and magazines as part of the concessions area?
Same with play theatres. They often have a show at night during the week and a matinee on weekends. What do the theatres do the rest of the day? Most do nothing. Wouldn’t it make sense that theaters are open in off-hours for author seminars and gatherings of book clubs?
In the near future, I envision, a mini-mall that houses all of the things that are disappearing – music store, video store, bookstore, watch repair, etc. Maybe they each share a giant space that is subdivided or rotated. Book sales from 9 am to noon, music noon to four; movies four to eight.
You’ve heard of job shares? How about industry shares, where a collection of challenged or dying industries gather to serve a community’s needs?
How To Write A Book People Want
Many writers write about what they know, what they’re interested in, what they like. Whether it’s a book that is based on a personal or professional experience, a hobby, or a passion, writers will write books that are meaningful to them but then have to find an audience to enjoy the book as much as they enjoyed writing it.
If one can write about what they like and have a strong feeling for AND write for an eager readership who will buy the book you’ll have a win-win situation. But often writers find that building a fan base or finding those who would fit their readership profile is a labored and sometimes costly process.
Even when you hire publicists and marketers to get the word out about your book there is no guarantee on the return on your investment, at least as far as initial sales are concerned. But there are numerous benefits to promoting and marketing your book regardless of that.
So, if your goal is to write a book that sells, you need to take a different approach about what you write about and how you write about it. Rather than writing your dream book and hoping your readers find you, you now are seeking to write for the demands and desires of the marketplace. You are going commercial and you should feel zero misgivings about it. Hopefully you can still produce a book that is consistent with providing great writing, useful information, and a positive message.
What would you write about?
· Look for topics that people need, not just want – they will pursue the book they have to have before the one they’d like to have. For instance, if it’s tax time and you’re preparing your own taxes, you’ll be more likely to buy a book to guide you through the process than to buy a book that merely entertains you.
· Follow the best-sellers – if best-seller lists show you a certain genre is hot or a certain approach to a topic is being embraced, try to ride the gravy train and follow suit. However, do it quickly before the marketplace gets saturated with too many similar books.
· Write for a sizeable niche – not every book has to appeal to half the country. Instead, find a topic that meets the needs of a loyal group of people that are easy to find or market to. For instance, create a handbook for a particular profession or a guidebook for a specific age class (college students) or a unique group – first time moms.
· Write a book based on trends – be the first to announce a trend or the first to provide a solution to a problem or the first to show how to prevent, deal with, or profit from something.
· Write a book that no one else could write, something unique to your experiences or imagination. Your story is special when few others could have lived it or dreamed it.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.