Targeting specific audiences, Part Two of Three: One specific audience…Guest post by Steve Moore
The Montclair Film Festival is in its second year. For 2013 (from April 29 to May 5, to be precise), it’s expanded, with more venues, films, speakers, and discussion sections. We attended last year. Because I’m an incurable people watcher (even though I’m introverted and don’t enjoy being in large crowds), I observed that there is a large overlap between films and book lovers. Thought-provoking films make people think while they enjoy the film—these are the films shown at the Montclair Film Festival. A thought-provoking book does the same thing.
“Thought-provoking” is a sloppy term. I can easily enter a vicious circle—a thought-provoking book is one that makes you think beyond its plot and characters to more substantive issues. Even a vampire romance can make you think of issues you might not consider outside of your reading. My sci-fi thrillers will make you think too—they’re entertaining extrapolations into the future. What I observed at last year’s crowd at the Festival was that thought-provoking films and books have a common audience—people were talking about films and books.
This year I’m waging a two-stage PR and marketing campaign at the Montclair Film Festival. It sounds like I’m playing Eisenhower planning D-Day, but it wasn’t time- or money-intensive. The Montclair Film Festival has a catalogue so people can figure out what events and movies to attend. I have a small ad in the advertising section. The local newspaper, The Montclair Times, also publishes monthly the Montclair Magazine. April’s issue will feature the Film Festival and has an advertising section where I’ve placed a bigger ad.
I believe I’m targeting a specific audience with my few marketing funds and time (because I’d rather spend it writing) in a more efficient manner. I’m reaching local people that don’t know about my books and might enjoy them if they did. How do I know this is true? Four of my PODs that I donated to the Montclair Public Library became so worn I had to replace them. Many of my “near future” thrillers take place in the tri-state area (The Golden Years of Virginia Morgan, just released, is set almost exclusively in New Jersey). Locals will definitely identify with the venues in the books.
Unfortunately, I’m at a stage in my writing career that deciding which books to promote is a problem—I have ten sci-fi thrillers and an anthology. In Montclair Magazine’s ad I focused on Virginia Morgan, my new release, but in both ads I highlighted my website URL—visiting the site allows them to peruse the entire list with their blurbs and buttons to peek inside the books at Amazon. The locals are very computer literate and shop online. Moreover, many editors and free-lancers live in Montclair because of its proximity to NYC news media outlets and publishing companies.
Who knows whether this will be a successful campaign? It’s an experiment and reflects my perhaps modest opinion that there are readers out there who will enjoy what I write if they could only discover it and know a wee bit more about my background. I discover new websites all the time. Internet sites don’t arrive and slap you in the face (and we tend to avoid those that do). Maintaining a website is a necessary condition, not a sufficient one, for writing success. Somehow, you have to drive people to it so you can see what you offer. This is true for all internet marketing, of course, but especially true for writers.
Stay tuned for Part Three in this book marketing series: the results of the Montclair Film Festival. It'll be here May 30th.
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