Friday, August 2, 2013

Kari Luna's Marketing: Do What's Fun

Recently we attended the Summer in Words Writing Conference held in Cannon Beach, OR.  Under the leadership of our dear friend Jessica Morrell, we gained new insights and skills.  We also met several accomplished authors.  One of those authors was Kari Luna.

Ms. Luna, one of our keynote speakers, discussed her adventures in writing and promoting her debut novel, The Theory of Everything. Her book will be released this month (July 2013).  Though she touched on several topics during her presentation, her key message on marketing was: HAVE FUN!

The Theory of Everything is a contemporary, young adult (YA) novel that features a fourteen year old heroine who loves eighties music.  Led by a panda shaman, she finds a connection to her missing father via the mixtapes he made for her before he disappeared.

Pulling from her experiences in advertising and playing organ in a variety of bands, Ms. Luna used a 1980's aesthetic as the theme for her marketing campaign and promotional materials.

So, what are some of the things she did?

  • A friend drew a promotional poster, similar to what you might see for a local band.
  • Using elements from the poster, Ms. Luna created pins. (Perfect for her YA audience and nostalgic eighties fans!)
  • Again, pooling her resources and working with friends, she was able to produce a book trailer.
  • Working with her publisher, she wrote a proposal for her trailer to be featured on a variety of media outlets.  Though several proposals were sent out, MTV was the first  to respond, so they got the gig!  (Note: It was Ms. Luna's 'what the heck, it can't hurt' attitude that gave her the gumption to approach MTV.  MTV was chosen, because they are a great fit for her 1980's aesthetic.  Even Ms. Luna was surprised when they put her book trailer into rotation.)
  • Her website is fun and includes extra content like drawings of her main character's wardrobe and mixtape download.
    Promotional pins
  • Her blog has a vintage feel that features more pictures than words.  (Very cool - especially when you take into account that members of her target audience are Twitter & Instagram users.)
In keeping with her fun, up beat, do-it-yourself, spunky with a vintage twist persona, Ms. Luna only does promotional activities that she thinks are FUN and appealing to her target audience.

Questions to ponder:
  1. What themes and aesthetics can be pulled from your latest work and used in your promotions?
  2. Can portions of your world building be used as extra content on your website?
  3. Band pins, t-shirts, and mixtapes are mentioned throughout The Theory of Everything.  Are there any items or artifacts in your story that can be turned into promotional tools?
  4. What are some of the things you like to do that are fun for you?  Is there a way to leverage these activities to PUSH your books or PERSONA?

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