Wednesday, January 8, 2020

How to Use Multimedia Fiction to Market Your Book

Contributed by Silvia Li Sam

Authors must adapt to new technologies and trends to reach their audiences in today's ever-changing world. With the internet, there are so many new and innovative ways to reach potential readers. One of the many new trends in storytelling has been multimedia fiction.

What is multimedia fiction? It's a visual short story that adds images, pictures, or even audio to the written word. Websites like Commaful that are dedicated specifically to multimedia fiction have become incredibly popular, and attract more readers every day.

Is it possible to use multimedia fiction to help market your book? 

Not only is it possible, but it might also even be the boost you need to actually reach the public you've been aiming for.

Extend your novel's universe

Short multimedia stories are ideal for today's fast-paced world. People tend to have a short attention span, and so offering them shorter options to sink their teeth into is a great way of catching their interest. This is especially true for young adult audiences.

Sharing short stories in a multimedia format can both attract new readers to your books and build excitement amongst existing fans. The wait between books can be a long one and short multimedia stories can be a huge boost in excitement and fan engagement.

This can be true even after a novel’s series is over. JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, for example, releases short stories occasionally on the site Pottermore. She has also released multimedia versions of the previous novels, filled with illustrations and interactive elements. 

Multimedia fiction can also help you expand your character's background stories or create new paths and possibilities. Perhaps it could open the chance to write a new book series, if the first one turns out to be a success, focusing on other characters or even new adventures or mysteries altogether. Disney has clearly done well with that with all the spinoff stories and movies they have.

Because many sites that offer micro-stories and multimedia stories are also hotbeds for fanfiction, this is also a great way to get fans to interact with your universe and build fandom around your books. For example, Commaful has a fanfiction page that is dedicated to all types of fanworks around books, movies, and more.

Don't be afraid of trying a new type of storytelling to expand your novel's universe.

Offer snippets from your books

You may also use the material you've already written to promote your books.

Offering potential readers and influencers a sample of your writing can boost your book's sales. This is especially true if you sell an online version since you can add a link directly to the website that offers the full text.

It's essential to select extracts that can immediately catch the audience's attention and make them wonder what will come next. Also, try and use all the multimedia format's benefits to your advantage.

Add eye-catching pictures or photographs, play with the formatting, and make it as attractive as possible. Offering portions of your book with new and engaging short stories can make the potential readers feel a connection to your characters and have them aching for more.

Think carefully about how to integrate multimedia

To really take advantage of the format, aim the pictures you select at the right target audience and genre.

If you write horror novels, then utilize bone-chilling photos and images, to keep the reader on edge.  If it's a romance book, then try and find pictures that will fit your character's appearances and the general tone of the story.

Multimedia fiction is more than just the text people read. It's also about visual and audio elements that make the story a whole new experience than traditional literature.
Examine the audience's reactions.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! If a particular attempt doesn't work out as you hoped, try new ideas and see what happens.

Sharing multimedia fiction is a great way to get quick feedback as the stories are short and fun to view. If you have some followers already, this is a really quick way to test out an idea. This will allow you to adapt and improve your style according to what your core audience enjoys the most.

It's free market research, and it will help you both improve your writing skills and discover what people enjoy and dislike about your style.

So, what are you waiting for? There are readers out there waiting! If you like trying new things, multimedia fiction might be precisely what your book needs to become a huge success.

About the Author

Silvia Li Sam is a storyteller, blogger, writer, and social media expert. You can connect with her on her LinkedIn.


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Karen Cioffi said...

Silvia, great tips on using multimedia fiction to market books. Very interesting that after her series ended, JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, releases short stories occasionally on the site Pottermore. She has also released multimedia versions of the previous novels, filled with illustrations and interactive elements. When an author in that category is taking advantage of this medium, we should too.

Terry Whalin said...


Thank you for these insights and tips. I loved it and passed it along to my social media connections. Well-done.

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deborah lyn said...

Thank you Silvia for guesting on WOTM. Multimedia Fiction is totally new to me but makes sense for testing market and for audience growth. Getting quick feedback is a great tip. Wow what a concept; text, graphics and video all in one. Thanks again, deborah

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