Thursday, September 6, 2018

For Better Results, Always Include Links To Your Archives

It takes a colossal amount of time, effort, energy, and luck to get someone hooked on a piece of content you made. Whether it was a blog entry, a gaming guide, a short story, a video, a novel, whatever you made, people don't seem to appreciate the sheer amount of Predator-like hunting savvy you need to have in order to sink that hook.

But sinking that hook is only the first step. Once you have someone's attention, you need to reel them in so they'll check out more of the stuff you made.

That was a tasty worm... got any more?
That's why anytime you create something, you should be sure to tell your audience exactly where they can get more of your stuff. And, in this digital age, that means you need to always include, at the very least, a link to your archive.

More By This Author...

Do you remember, in the time before smartphones and common-place Internet, when there would be a "More By This Author" page in the front of practically every book you picked up? It didn't matter if it was a hard-boiled crime series, romance novels, Westerns, or young adult books, if that author had other books on the market there was a list that told you their titles all the way in the front. And if the book was a second or third printing, and that author had released other stuff in the interim? You bet that list was updated.

Huh... seems like each of the ducklings got a spin-off book. Put a pin in that, mom.
The reason these pages exist is that publishers know something very important about consumers... you can't depend on them to meet you halfway. If someone reads a book, they might very well enjoy the experience. They may even tell themselves that they'll look for more of those books at some point. But unless they loved that book, they aren't going to remember the name of the author or the series. And in the time before the Internet, they couldn't just ask Google to find the relevant information for them. If the local librarian or bookstore staff didn't know the book, series, or author the reader was talking about, then they were out of luck.

Worse, as any marketing professional will tell you, the more frustrated someone gets in the search of a product, the more likely they are to just walk away instead of making a purchase.

As such, the burden is on you to make your stuff as easy to find as possible. If you create videos, always put a link to your channel in the description, and in the end credits. You can find examples of this over at Dungeon Keeper Radio, if you're a fan of fantasy and gaming. If you write books, include a page of author works (and make sure those previous works are linked in ebook files, so readers can just tap their finger, and be off to the checkout). And if you write a blog, you need to be sure you give your readers all the information they need so they can find more of your work.

Take a look at the top of the page. Both halves of my archive are easy to see. Additionally, I have a link to my Vocal archive, since people who enjoy my work here might be curious enough to see what I write over there. There's also a link to my Amazon author page, for those who want to check out more of my work. And, if you dig back through my previous entries, you'll see that every post ends with a list of links for folks who want to connect with me, follow my work, and see all my updates as they happen.

Because sometimes you just need to offer the fish a hook. If they're interested, they'll chomp down on it themselves without a second thought.

That's all for my Business of Writing post this week. Hopefully it helped some folks who forget to mention they've got a whole mountain of other stuff their readers could come and check out. To stay on top of all my releases, follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. And to support my work you can either Buy Me A Ko-Fi as a one-time tip, or go to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. Every little bit helps, and there's free books in it for you!

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