How can the current political and economic standing of your region change how you write? It depends on how you want to sell your book, my friend. And depending on that choice, it may focus your marketing efforts as well as narrow your avenues to be published.
Now that you’ve identified all elements of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), it’s time to move onto broader analysis and approach with PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological).
We begin with the first two. Think about the current political and economic environment of where you live, but more importantly, how will that impact what you write and market said writing?
POLITICAL: WE live in a very divided time. Party lines are standing firm to the point of shutting portions of the United States government down to make a point. As soon as promises of Immigration Reform come up, they are squashed due to lack of trust among parties. This is causing a lot of unrest for the unaffiliated voters, as well as entrenching those on either the left or right. So what does that have to do with your writing?
Well, if it includes political material and takes a stance in any way, shape, or form, you need to be ready to face rejections because of that. If you create a story that is incredibly sympathetic to immigration or has a scene involving a decision for an abortion, you have to understand that will alienate certain readers. Of course, if you go all the way, it could create an argument and discussion about your book and its content. The conversation/argument/debate could prove beneficial to sales. However, you need to be ready to brave the storm.
You also need to understand the times. In this day and age, with information so easy to access, it’s very easy to scrutinize public figures. If you write an incredibly non-politically correct novel, understand your demographic is likely to get more specific. But with that specified marketing approach with certain political alignment could also come dedicated loyalists.
However, by doing so there is a distinct chance that anything commercial mainstream will be unlikely to be picked up by one of the larger publishers needing to please a board of directors wanting safe investments.
I’m not saying any of these approaches are bad, nor are they perfect. What the question needs to be is what is perfect for you as an author. How can today’s political environment benefit your marketing approach and content in writing? The diversity is encouraged, in my humble opinion, because the more content that is available, the more readers will be invited to join, but, and discuss the publishing industry. Of course, certain pieces of content like radical statements with no education foundation to them will only create sensationalism, and should you make that decision you’d better be prepared to be branded as such.
Do you want to create a rally cry for an unrepresented minority that will be a book for them to sympathize and understand? Or do you want to remain on the fence and simply provide entertainment and personal stories that take stances outside of today’s political hot buttons?
ECONOMIC: We live in troubled times. Sure, statistics are showing an upswing in the housing market and jobs are slowly returning. However, to say the economic environment of today is one to celebrate would be a bit of a misnomer. With the continuing pricing issues with eBooks and the number of bookstores being stifled, every writer has to take into account the economic environment they live in. As budgets are cut and wages are troubled, consumers are less confident to spend.
Therefore, your marketing has to have a focus that explains the uniqueness of your content. Without differentiators in a saturated market that is struggling through constant shifts, you risk being left out of the game.
Simultaneously, emotion can play into the economic approach to your marketing. Sympathy is a remarkably strong emotion to evoke. When a reader can relate to the story you’re selling, or identify with a character, then they may justify the purchase on an emotional need, which helps reduce fiscal decision making from the equation.
So think about how your writing, and marketing, can capitalize on the current marketing situation.
How will the political and economic environments change how you’re writing and marketing? Chime in with the comments section. The conversation’s always live on Twitter @ThomasAFowler, use the hash-tag #WritersConquest. As always, keep checking my official website for the latest updates. Thanks so much for taking on the Writer’s Conquest.