Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Post with author M. Anthony Phillps

How to pick the right topics and audience


M. Anthony Phillips

I’m a new novelist with three books under my belt. Picking a subject to write about to me has to not only be something that is passionate to you, but also is marketable in an ever changing audience. My genre of choice is fiction because I love a great story. When I was a kid I used to stay up late at night with my father watching old movies. The experience stayed with me, not just because it helped shape who I am, but also because it gave my father and I a chance to bond.

I guess you can say every fictional story has an audience, but if you’re just doing a story just because a particular genre is the latest thing, and you’re not really passionate about the story, then it could come off as not being believable. What defines you as a person? What cartoons, or movies did you watch as a child? Do you find yourself saying “That would make a great story?” 

It’s okay to jump in on the latest thing—children’s books are very popular, so if you do, become educated—buy a book and read it to your kids to see their reaction. If it doesn’t warm your heart, then maybe it’s not the one. Picking the genre you want to become a genuine author in is the easy part. The hard part is finding a core audience and how to market them.

If you choose to self publish your book, which is  usually what happens to first time authors unless you’re a famous celebrity, send out a press release to announce your book. Do an online book tour that will reach a variety of readers, send out postcards to family and friends, post an add on your facebook page, start a website, and there are many other strategies  as well. Eventually you’ll start to develop a hardcore following that will become avid supporters of your books.

About the author:

M. Anthony Phillips is a native of St. Louis and studied writing and history at Harris Stowe University. M. Anthony is an avid historian and reader of fine literature of fiction and non-fictional books. This is M. Anthony’s third novel with a sequel to follow with hopes of becoming a full time novelist. M. Anthony resides in St. Louis and Los Angeles where he loves acting as a SAG member, practicing martial arts, writing screenplays, and living the life of a modern day renaissance man.

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