(Originally posted on The Over 50 Writer)
FEATURED BOOK: Brimstone 1
AUTHOR: Jason William Karpf
PUBLISHER: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
GENRE: Christian sci-fi
SERIES OR STAND ALONE: First of a trilogy
TARGET AGE: late teens to seniors
(readers who love the Lord and are fans of Twilight Zone and James Bond)
IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR JASON WILLIAM KARPF TO THE OVER 50 WRITER. JASON SHARES A WEALTH OF INFORMATION ABOUT A CRUCIAL ASPECT OF ANY SUCCESSFUL WRITING CAREER – MARKETING.
JASON IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR AN EBOOK COPY OF BRIMSTONE 1.
Today’s media and marketing empower the Over 50 Writer
by Jason William Karpf
I grew up in the entertainment industry, the font of youth culture (not quite the same thing as the Fountain of Youth). Everyone wanted to hire young writers, cater to young audiences, and look younger while doing it. But I didn’t succeed as a young screenwriter trying to follow my mother’s footsteps. By my mid-thirties, I quietly buried my dreams and moved on.
How could I return to fiction as I approached my sixtieth birthday? I had two compelling reasons. The desire to write science fiction and thrillers glorifying Jesus finally overwhelmed my fear and excuses. And I had new means to tell stories and seek audiences, empowerment that didn’t exist when I was young. My intervening experience in marketing told me so, twenty-five years of applying my love of storytelling in ways that paid bills and imparted lessons.
When I was a young writer in the 1980s and 1990s, the gatekeeper system was in effect—a relative handful of well-funded organizations controlling the production, distribution, and promotion of creative content. This system constituted “barriers to entry” for anyone wanting to write a book, make a movie, or record a song to be enjoyed by perfect—and paying—strangers. Digital technology has lowered the barriers. In the twenty-first century, production, distribution, and promotion are within anyone’s grasp.
But what about making real money? If I’m a novelist, doesn’t that mean a contract with a big publisher? As Over 50 writers, we’re cursed with nostalgia. Reality: being a self-sufficient scribe has always been difficult. In the “good old days,” hefty advances only came to a fortunate few. A daunting percentage of produced works (books, movies, TV shows, etc.) flopped in the gatekeeper era as the big companies had no secret formulas. The phone stopped ringing for writers saddled with blame as success has always been provisional. And these novelists or screenwriters with careers poised on the knife’s edge—like my beloved late mother—were still the “lucky ones.” Today, legacy media are even more cautious in what they greenlight with audiences even more fragmented and fickle. Easy Street is a couple of blocks from the Fountain of Youth.
Why the history lesson and pep talk? Because if you were born in 1971 or earlier (highly likely if you’re reading this blog), you should be writing. But that requires the additional responsibility of marketing your work. Don’t be afraid. Be grateful you can now assume that responsibility. Don’t think you can do it? If you can tell a story (again, highly likely if you’re reading this blog), you can market.
So now I’m going to tell everything you need to know to market your writing? No. Guest bloggers have a set word limit on The Over 50 Writer and besides, you have to put in the work of learning as well as executing marketing. You can learn this on your own. You can do this on your own. Explore these topics as you turn yourself into a marketer:
Target marketing: Who are your readers? Your subject matter and genre are key determinants. Find articles and websites identifying readership for your type of writing. Describe your readers by demographics (age, gender, ethnicity, income, education) and lifestyle. Create reader personas, hypothetical versions of ideal readers crafted from these identifying variables (marketers frequently develop personas during planning).
Promotional mix: The promotion mix represents the traditional methods of marketing outreach: advertising, public relations, sales promotion (contests, discounts, giveaways), direct marketing, personal selling. You don’t have to use all elements. Some may not be appropriate or effective for your target markets. Some may be too expensive. Determine which parts of the promotional mix you will use.
Media selection: Your target markets will prefer certain media. Research the ample data on these preferences. Devote your efforts to these media.
Content strategy: Treating marketing communications as content—informative, valuable, actively sought by customers—is a dominant marketing trend. Websites that attract users with useful content epitomize the strategy. Social media is also all about content strategy. The Over 50 Writer blog is a perfect example. So is my guest post on the blog. I want you to find value in the very content you’re reading, motivating you to buy my novel, Brimstone 1.
Budgeting: Decide carefully where you will spend money on marketing. Domains and hosting are obligatory expenses for web presence. Options grow from there. Will you need a designer for website or graphics? Will you need an email service like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp for direct marketing? Advertising costs money—be VERY careful here.
Scheduling: Time is money, so track the time you spend on marketing. Set deadlines for marketing actions. Establish a calendar for regular social media activity. Consistency is key.
Evaluation: Track results. Reinforce marketing actions that prove effective (e.g., an email message with higher percentage of response). Revise or eliminate ineffective marketing.
Relationship Building: Marketing is about relationship, a willing exchange of value. It is not about shouting “Buy, buy, buy!” Connect with your readers. Nurture the relationship.
You’ll notice I haven’t provided how-tos, such as how to use Instagram or how to operate a WordPress blog. Instruction is widely available—books, videos, courses, networking groups. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be impatient. If you’ve waited fifty-plus years to find your true voice as a writer, you can take time to learn digital communication basics. But don’t be overcautious. Don’t wait until you “get it perfect” before you go live. You can always revise and improve your marketing.
This is a great time to be a writer. Seize the production, distribution, and promotion of your work. If you happen to be over fifty, rejoice in the wisdom you bring to this new era of storytelling. Celebrate barriers lowered.
Joshua 6:20 NLT
When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.
Blurb for Brimstone 1
Christianity’s greatest revelation in twenty centuries is coming from the heavens—in the belly of a spaceship marked for destruction!
Billionaire Baxter Moore and his family have broadcast scripture into space for eighty years. Now, a UFO heads to Earth in response. Brimstone 1—the first Christian rocket—will intercept, piloted by NASA veteran Jana McAlister. A young engineer, Elijah Lindstrom, unravels the secrets and falls in love with the beautiful astronaut. As the countdown approaches, an anti-Christian militia plots the annihilation of Brimstone 1 to end the extraterrestrial evangelism.
An apocalypse looms as timeless scripture, futuristic technology, and worldly conspiracy collide. Will Elijah become “the new prophet” as Jana proclaims? Will humanity find rebirth or chaos in the revelation aboard Brimstone 1?
Patti’s review of Brimstone 1:
This sci-fi page turner explores the possibility and responsibility of Christians to spread the gospel beyond our own planet Earth to outer space. This has been the objective of three generations of Moores, all three named Baxter, backed by their multi-billion-dollar media enterprise, for close to a century.
Engineer Elijah Lindstrom and world-famous astronaut Jana McAllister are key players in the mission to launch Brimstone 1, a rocket meant to retrieve a message from outer space. Opposition from the anti-Christian Humanist League leads to a showdown of good versus evil.
Author Jason Karpf has crafted a story that promotes the theme of sacrifice and faithfulness of Christians to stand up for the sovereignty of Jesus Christ as Lord as they strive to spread the gospel.
I would recommend this book to sci-fi fans who enjoy futuristic stories that deliver suspense supportive of Christian values and enhanced by technical jargon.
Amazon Buy link http://ow.ly/oCMx30ry9Ga
DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN AN EBOOK COPY OF BRIMSTONE 1 BETWEEN NOW AND SATURDAY), MARCH 6TH AT MIDNIGHT MST.
BY LEAVING A COMMENT, YOU GRANT PERMISSION FOR YOUR EMAIL TO BE REVEALED TO THE AUTHOR IF YOU ARE THE WINNER TO FACILITATE RECEIPT OF YOUR BOOK.
Jason William Karpf grew up with storytelling. The son of a screenwriter, he was a child actor in the early 1970s, appearing on classic TV shows The Bold Ones, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and Bonanza. Screenwriting became his calling from his teens to early thirties. In 1994, he wrote the book Anatomy of a Massacre, the true story of the era’s worst mass shooting.
Today, Jason is an author, speaker, college instructor, and marketing/fundraising professional. His blogging and nonfiction writing brings a Christian perspective to marketing and communication. He is author of the Christian sci-fi novel Brimstone 1, released in 2021 by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
Jason and Ann, his wife, live in Minnesota and have three grown children. When he’s not writing, speaking, or teaching, he’s making music, playing bass and guitar on his church’s worship team. A history and trivia aficionado, Jason was a four-time champion on the TV game show Jeopardy.