Today I’m re-posting a blog post from my guest Christopher Mentzer. I think this article is interesting and it’s given me some new ideas. It was originally published on his blog.
The Writer and Bonus Material
Written by Christopher Mentzer
One of the advantages of owning movies on DVD is not just for the film itself but also for all of the extras that come with it. Hours of interviews, behind-the-scenes, gag reels, and other things. Imagine if you could do that with a book, giving the reader more than just the story.
When an author releases a new book, he spends a lot of time on social networks promoting the novel sometimes to the point of spamming his followers and fans. There are better ways to lure people to your book then to simply say: Buy My Book!!!
One of the simple ways is to provide extra material. These are items not found in the original novel like a bonus disc, if you will, for a DVD movie. After a book has been available for purchase for a couple months or so, advertise a new short story featuring your MCs sidekick or scenes you removed to help the flow of action or storyline. Prove a link location of this new material. If they haven’t read your book, these little tidbits might encourage them to buy it.
Below are some suggestions that you can do, to encourage more sales on older and even current novels.
Back-stories or character histories are usually written by the author to develop them and make them real. The reader usually never sees this material but sharing these will give them a peak into your creative process.
Take some of your secondary characters and have them become the MC in a short story. If practical jokes are a running gag in your novel, you can follow the actual perpetrator on his latest endeavor. Perhaps the merchant who claims he has no interest in love is secretly courting the female librarian. You get the idea.
Behind The Scenes
In DVD extras directors, producers, and actors talk about the movie and why they chose to do it. What inspiration they perform or film it a certain way. The author can do the same thing with their book. Share your inspiration as to why you wrote the book and maybe go deeper as to why the heroine had to die instead of marrying the hero.
Deleted Scenes and Alternate endings
To help pacing of a movie, certain scenes end up on the cutting room floor and then some are collected to add to the extras the show why they were cut out. Alternate endings are made because the writer had two in mind and chose the one that was either more emotional or funnier depending on the type of film. Authors have the same chance of sharing this material with their readers.
Not every scene goes as planned in movies. Actors forget their lines or flub up altogether. Naturally did does not carry over into novels but if you thought outside the box, you might be able to create your own flubs and draw extra attention to the story.
Crafts and recipes
Although not necessarily found on DVDs, these little tidbits give the reader a little souvenir of their favorite novel be it a bookmark, puppet likeness of characters or a chance to make that yummy casserole that your MC ate in the local restaurant.
As you can see there are many ways to expand the desire for your books and encourage readers to want more! As noted in the beginning of this article your new features can be made available as an online read only. Material like the recipes or gag reel available on your website or blog. For longer manuscripts such as the Character Back-stories or the Solo Adventures create an e-book on a website like Smashwords.
What are some of the ways you would entice readers to your books? Which of the suggestions of above would you try? Share your ideas in the comments below.
And as always, Happy Adventuring!