Friday, August 9, 2013

Jonathan Evison's Marketing: Do What's Fun

Another author we met at Jessica Morrell's Summer in Words Conference was New York Times Bestselling author, Jonathan Evison.

Mr. Evison will be the first to tell you that with regards to his marketing and promotional activities: If it ain't fun, I'm not doing it. <We are paraphrasing him, of course.>  Wearing his signature fedora, Mr. Evison engages his audience with humor and a casual, matter-of-fact tone.  This attitude and aesthetic is consistent throughout his marketing activities.

Morgan says: At one point during his presentation, Jonathan was drinking water, coffee, AND beer.  So, it makes perfect sense that his author website homepage would feature the cover of his books as beer bottle labels!!!

Jonathan Evison's home page.

To promote his book West of Here, he put his world building to work and created a website for the fictional town of Port Bonita, Washington.

Port Bonita homepage.  Note the BUY link for West of Here in the lower right of the page.

 The Links tab takes you to both real and fictional websites for more content.  Mr. Evison stated that he had a reader claim that Port Bonita really exists because they were able to find a Chamber of Commerce website.  He had to inform his reader that he created that page, as well as the page for the restaurant featured in his book.

Links page that includes a fictitious Chamber of Commerce seal and links to real websites.

Port Bonita Chamber of Commerce page was specifically designed to be static, look dated, and was produced with a 'generic' website template.  The same is true for The Bushwacker restaurant page, below. 

Again, reusing his world building information, the History tab links to a timeline for Port Bonita that contains even more content.
Click on each bubble to reveal extra content.

Mr. Evison obviously put a significant amount of time and energy into this portion of his campaign for West of Here.  We cannot speak to the amount of money spent, as it is clear that Mr. Evison has a wide variety of creative contacts and friends, in addition to his own talents.  All that we can confirm is that his works are well thought out, researched, and documented.  As a result, he had a wealth of content to reuse in his marketing and promotions.

Therese says: Remember that your books will be available for readers to find and buy for yearsMr. Evison had FUN creating these website pages. They are promoting his books and will continue to generate connections with readers for many years.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What extra content (interesting tidbits from your research, drawings, pictures, notes, etc.) do you have sitting in a file that could be reused to enrich your website?
  2. As we all know, our readers enjoy our stories and the experience of being submerged into the worlds we create on the page.  What are some ways that you can extend that experience beyond the pages of your books?

1 comment:

  1. Okay, you've convinced me. When I write my next series, set here in N Idaho, I'm totally coming up with a website for the businesses my characters own and frequent ... the imaginary ones that is. There will be a combo of real and not-so.

    Thanks for another great post!

    Cathryn Cade
    Best-selling author of sci fi romance
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