As I move into the final stage of preparation before my first novel is available, I am reminded of the growing importance of knowing your audience and marketing to that audience. Publishers of YA novels know their audience well. They have mastered the art of attracting readers and encouraging buzz through two simple concepts: the book cover and fan videos.
Lauren Kate’s Fallen series has probably one of the most successful case studies of this exact approach in my opinion. In honor of the forthcoming Rapture, the last book in the series due out in December (December, ugh! that long?!), I wanted to share a little bit more on why I think so.
Fallen’s cover was the very reason why I reached for the book to begin with. Sitting on a bookshelf, surrounded by dozens of vampire and werewolf series, it stuck out. It was like an Evanescence video — dark and haunting — and I needed to know what it was about. If it captured my attention, a woman in her late thirties, I could only imagine how it captured the attention of its league of readers – the screaming 16 year old girl.
I read the series and of course I was hooked. While I didn’t think it was written particularly well, I did like the story and had to know what was to come of the main character Luce, and this beyond beautiful boy she was strangely drawn to, whom we later learn is Daniel, a fallen angel who is destined to find and lose Luce lifetime after lifetime – punishment for “something” they did thousands of years earlier.
When I started to research Lauren Kate to learn more about the series, I then stumbled onto the website which echoed the dark design of the book, with the sound of crows and wind, and a visual of the book’s setting – a dilapidated church serving as a reform school for problematic teens. But not only did I find the website creative, but the book’s community of fans as well, creating their own buzz and excitement around the series through incredible fan videos.
Tapping into this fever, publishers created contests for fans to submit their videos, which were then showcased on the book’s website. And because the community showed such excitement for the series through videos, the book’s marketing team created an incredible video trailer to tease the next book in the series, Torment. Featured on the book’s website, it served as the point of entry for the site.
Then the book cover was revealed.
And it didn’t stop there. For the third book in the series, Passion, the trailer went a step further, giving readers insight into the theme of the book, which was history and time.
And of course the book cover was incredible, finally revealing Luce’s face, which was another nod to the story, as we finally get to see in that book who Luce is and has been lifetime after lifetime.
But the trailer for the series’ conclusion, Rapture, is truly epic and worth an award in itself. While the cover has already been revealed, and isn’t one of my favorites, the trailer is truly incredible and has me on pins and needles waiting for the book.
I just watched it today for the first time so I wanted to share it with you. Of course I am an aspiring novelist so I don’t have her marketing budget as Ms. Kate. But I am trying a few fun things, and drawing my inspiration from the buzz around books that I have really enjoyed these past few years, including the Fallen series, and its epic conclusion Rapture, whose trailer I could get lost in.
Case and point.