Let me be clear from the outset. I HAVE NOT wandered into the fifty shades of definitely grey areas populated by E L James wannabees. Nor is this blog adopting a Page 3 feature. But let me ask you one thing, "Did the picture attract your attention?" The honest answer is probably YES although the reactions will definitely embrace more than fifty shades.
One very important technique every author can learn from the picture is the art of being able to tease your potential readers into becoming fans. I am not suggesting we insert similar pictures of ourselves on the back cover. In my case that would be like trying to attract vegetarians to McDonalds. What we need to do is learn the art of teasing our potential audience in wanting to know more.
We all know the critical importance of having a first paragraph that attracts attention. Something like,
"Jack stood in the sparsely populated supermarket cafeteria contemplating the best way to kill his mother. He eventually settled on a stake through the heart swiftly followed by a generous sprinkling of holy water. Rose would happily minister the water, holy or otherwise. "
From 'The Lift' - You can read the full story in the first edition of ETO. Available March 1st (See what I did there?)
There is also the art of using 'the snippet' to arouse interest just as Chris Keil did for his contribution to the first edition of ETO:
It turned out Jack was a movie producer, semi-retired. We traded a few names. He thought he’d met Hugo, probably at an awards evening. Adrienne had moved over to the glass wall, leaning against it, staring out into the colonnaded terrace. She turned, aware that I was watching her, catching my eye and smiling.
“And Jimbo?” Jack said. “Jimbo Johnson?” I shook my head.
“I don’t think so.”
“A legend,” Jack said. “You should look him up, tell him I sent you.” He gestured at Adrienne and she refilled our glasses. “Come to that, I’ll be talking to him this week, I could ask him down, the two of you could meet.”
“I’m going to fuck your wife,” I said to Jack, breathing the words into the rim of my glass, the champagne effervescing under my nose like the onset of laughter.
© chris keil 2013
When I read this I wanted to know what happened next. Then I wished I'd written it myself! I did ask Chris if I could use it the next time I went to my local pub. He graciously consented. I did explain I would have to substitute 'semi retired hobbler' for 'movie producer' and 'lager' for 'champagne' as well as make bloody sure the hobbler in question didn't hear me!
But there are other ways to entice readers to you book. What about a teaser trailer you see when you go to the movies? YouTube is a great social media tool for getting a simple video out there. It doesn't have to be all computer generated images as I learnt this week from G.H.Gaines. he has show that this type of teaser marketing is accessible to everyone who has something to offer.
G.H. writes in the Science Fiction genre. His video really gripped me and made me want to read more. And you know what? There isn't a single picture in it. You can view it here.
G.H. has also established a Google Community for his book. Yet another way of gathering potential customers even before your book is written.
APOLOGIES TO ALL SCIENCE FICTION AUTHORS
Getting a magazine up and running is more work than I realised. The Science Fiction post is therefore going to be postponed until March when I can give the many excellent independent Sci Fi authors the time their work deserves,