SUBCULTURE SALES & MARKETING TEAMS
At a book festival I met a comic book artist. Fans of his characters stood in line to get their comic books signed. Some were dressed in comic book fashion and used strange words. Comic book collectors are a huge subculture. I’ve learned their conventions fill the largest arenas in the country, with high priced tickets. Like NASCAR fans!
I knew there were doll collectors. But I didn’t know there was a subculture –a world of doll collecting. I learned this from a new-found friend who phoned with so much excitement she could hardly keep up with her thoughts. She’s the owner of one of the doll museums I found online and contacted about the release of my Blue-Eyed Doll book in 2016. I sent her an origami Japanese doll book mark that sent her over the top. She’s going to a doll collectors’ convention in Chicago, she told me. Allen Pate is speaking at another doll collector/museum event in Indianapolis, so she’s stopping there also. (Allen Pate is a renowned authority on antique Japanese dolls. I spoke to him while working on my book and he’s listed in the acknowledgements and resources. He has a beautiful website.)
She said each year her doll museum holds a gala. Last year it was for Black History Month. This year she planned to do something international. She was considering Hinamatsuri, Japanese Doll Day. Then my timely letter and bookmark arrived and pushed her over the edge. Would I be part of her event? How much would I charge? When is Hinamatsuri? Will I have the books by then? How much are the books? How can she get them? She wants to give one as a gift to each of the guests. She requested fifty book marks to give to Allen Pate’s audience to promote the book and her event. The date is set, and her plans are spinning. I’ll be there March 5.
Authors, my tidbit for you today is discover your book’s subculture. They are great marketers. Editors, agents and publishers want to know your target audience. Who is your book for? Who will buy your book? A subculture isn’t necessarily your target audience for buying or reading. (My book is targeted for middle grades, not adult antique collectors.) The subculture is interested in marketing your book to promote their discipline or organization; your kindred souls. A subculture could be your best supporter and ally. And what author-marketer doesn’t need one of those?