To Market, To Market

My wife (Veronica of Storied Threads) is away this weekend, peddling her wares at Arisia in Boston, so I’ll have two days to myself, and I’ll be spending those finishing up a marketing plan.

I know: exciting stuff, right? Well, it’s already proven a very interesting exercise.

Pitchbook Pg3 copy
A sample page from the “pitchbook,” a presentation to B&N that will, hopefully, convince them to kick out the latest teen vampire romance series and give my novel some shelf space.

The reason for this little project: Barnes & Noble has a program for independent authors and small presses, wherein B&N vets indie books for possible sale at their brick-and-mortar stores, which is of course a huge deal. Part of the submission process is providing a detailed marketing plan, and while I have operated under an informal, in-my-brain plan, I never committed anything to paper (or screen, as the case may be) that really spell out what my goals and target audience are.

And I do have a target audience, which is a crucial point. Sure, I’d love to say Action Figures has the potential to become adored by people in every demographic, but I know that’s not true, and doesn’t help me at all when it comes to marketing my book; I need to concentrate on a core audience of those readers most likely to flock to a YA super-hero story (a piece of advice I recently shared with fellow indie author Robert Rowland, and would be foolish to ignore in my own efforts).

What is my core audience? Geeks, in particular geek girls, who are increasingly hungry for superhero stories featuring a female lead, and are tired of their adventure stories getting bogged down by distracting love triangles subplots. To be mercenary about it, geek girls remain a largely untapped market, because corporate head honchos are, by and large, middle-aged men who insist girls don’t like this kind of stuff (ask Paul Dini about his experiences with know-nothing executives).

My hope is that whoever at B&N makes the decision to put indie authors on the shelves will see the potential here, and give me a shot. The process takes about six weeks, so I won’t know what’s going on until around my birthday in March. I can think of no better present than to see Action Figures in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.

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