Biome, a novel
Biome is a Young Adult Science Fiction novel. The story centers around Lizzy, a cadet on Mars Colony who discovers that her memories are being altered every week. In October of 2016, the book was successfully funded for a print run on Kickstarter.
Oh, and... Ryan is the author.
Showing a little spine
Now, sure, it may seem like shameless self-promotion to feature his own novel in his portfolio. But for anyone who's ever undertaken indie art promotion of any sort, you'll understand that self-publication is the same thing as starting a brand.
What follows is a breakdown of how Ryan accomplished this lofty task. Like any good marketing professional, his first (and most obvious) hurdle was reaching his audience, which he had roughly identified. He made this happen in a series of deliberate steps.
01—Having no shame
Aside from everything he did to make sure the book looked and read professionally, Ryan's first step was knocking on doors. Being acquainted with a lot of authors, he knew he could at least ask them to give Biome a read for possible endorsement. He also recruited book bloggers and review organizations to generate marketing content.
Not only did these efforts build buzz for the release—such as a Recommended Review from Kirkus, which got Biome noticed by library distributors—but it also gave the book some accreditation.
02—Asking friends to tell friends
A fan of the Harry’s launch model, Ryan knew from the outset he wanted to do something similar. The Biome referral program worked exactly like its hairless predecessor—friends could refer others to earn branded goodies.
No, it wasn’t a riveting success. But Ryan did manage to scoop up an extra 150 solid email leads for the next step in his marketing strategy.
03—Bringing people along for the journey
With email list in hand, Ryan launched a Kickstarter campaign. In retrospect, there are many reasons this probably wasn’t his best decision. But he was able to use his Kickstarter pitch as a kind of sharable book trailer. Ryan wrote a script, pulled some favors, spent a weekend shooting b-roll, and put the video together piece by piece.
The Kickstarter was a success, raising over $3,500 in only two weeks. Ryan posted daily fun facts about the writing process to keep things spiced up. He also bought his gracious videographer a PS4 a few months later. (The man very much deserved it.)
04—Promoting and future strategizing
Since the book went live in December 2016, it has steadily—and slowly—gained momentum. KDP Select kept the initial ball rolling with free giveaways and the like. When Biome's enrollment ended a couple of months ago, Ryan began exploring other options to build a platform.
Fingers crossed, the best is yet to come.
Stranger Fiction Co.