How readers find books has changed dramatically in today’s digital, mobile, social world. One recent study indicated that consumers now discover books in up to forty-four different ways! With this in mind, I want you to think about introducing readers to your work through music.
Why music? It’s a fun, creative, new medium that introduces you and your writing to an entirely different community of potential readers. To show you how and why it’s done, here are three authors who are introducing readers to their work through music:
Ed Hancox, author of Iceland, Defrosted – Ed is the author who first put music playlists on my book-promotion radar. His non-fiction travel book about his passion for the people, places and music of Iceland, has a truly unique playlist that he created using Soundcloud. Not only was his soundtrack one of the creative tools that helped push Ed’s book to the top of the Amazon bestseller list for books about Iceland, but it made book promotion an extension of his creative process. Here’s how Ed describes the experience: “I really enjoyed doing it. It was like making a cassette tape for a friend in the 1990’s. I then shared it with everyone. The response was amazing! People from all over the globe got in touch to tell me how much they enjoyed it.” Ed’s “how to” article about how he made his playlist for Iceland, Defrosted is worth a read.
Susan Rodgers, author of the Drifters novels – Susan has just begun creating a playlist for her books, which are in the women’s fiction and romance genres. Her lead character, Jessie Wheeler, is a singer and songwriter. The title of each book in the series is a signature song within that book. “All along I’ve known what Jessie’s ‘music’ voice sounds like,” says Susan. “But it wasn’t until a serendipitous find online led me to Eva Cassidy that it hit me how clearly Eva’s style and voice reflected what I’ve been hearing in my head. She just fit as Jessie’s voice. Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong also inspired me.” These are a few of the songs Susan will be adding to her playlist. She’s exploring Bandcamp to host the soundtrack she’s creating.
Roz Morris, author of My Memories of a Future Life – As in Susan’s book, the character in Roz’s award-winning novel is also a musician. However, Roz has taken a very different approach to music and writing. Her blog project, “The Undercover Soundtrack,” has become a popular place for writers to discuss how music influences their creative process. If you listen to music while you write, that’s a playlist worth sharing with your readers as well.
There are so many ways authors can use music to introduce readers to their writing. As you can see from the three examples here, making a music playlist doesn’t “feel” like your typical book promotion project. Rather, it’s fun and imaginative. That creative energy and enthusiasm conveys to readers and encourages them to engage with you and your work. Ultimately, that’s what effective book promotion is all about.
How have you used music as an author? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Kathy Meis is founder and president of the social book discovery platform Bublish. She is a professional writer, editor and editorial manager with more than twenty years of experience in the media and publishing industries. Kathy was also a founding editor of Forbes MediaCritic and is a founding partner of PubSmart, a new author-centric publishing conference being held in Charleston, South Carolina this spring. She ghostwrites business books and is a frequent blogger on the subject of book promotion, author branding, social media and discoverability. In 2012, Kathy won the People’s Choice Award at the Startup Showcase at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change Publishing Conference.