This is a post by Novel Publicity President, Emlyn Chand
Around here, we’re always looking for innovative new book marketing tools. And last week, I found one that got me really excited—Quibblo!
Quibblo is the place to make and take quizzes. Using their online quiz-building program is incredibly simple. They also provide really attractive flash widgets so that you can embed any quiz you like on your website, simply and seamlessly. If you want to try it out before launching your own quiz, there are hundreds available on the site. Scroll through and take them at your leisure. It’s easy and fun!
Okay, but what’s this got to do with marketing my book? you ask.
A whole heck of a lot, I answer enthusiastically!
It’s great to write for writers, really it is. But to move copies of your book, you’ll need to market to readers. Yes, writers are readers too, but there’s only so many of them to go around, and they only have so much time; their to-read lists are only so long. Do you think Stephenie Meyer made it big by marketing to writers? Nope.
If you’re writing content for your blog like we do here at Novel Publicity, you’re marketing to writers. If you are simply posting excerpts of your work, chances are you’re marketing to no one. This is a harsh reality to point out, but unless you already have a following, not that many people are going to take the time to read samples of your work.
What you need is a creative and fun way to bait and hook ‘em. Quibblo is perfect for that!
Here’s what you do…
Establish an idea
Create a quiz related to your book that has broad appeal. For my upcoming novel Farsighted with is of the paranormal YA genre, I have the following quiz ideas:
- Which Farsighted character are you?
- What’s your psychic power?
- What flaw is holding back your psychic development?
- Who’s your Farsighted boyfriend/girlfriend?
My friend Pavarti has a cool fantasy novel called Two Moons of Sera, and she’s created a quiz to tell readers what species they are (from the fictional peoples in her book).
Come up with an idea that matches your book but can also have a wider appeal. Of the options listed above, “what’s your psychic power?” would likely attract the most quiz-takers.
Determine the results
You probably want to have about 4-6 different outcomes for your quiz. Let’s say you’re doing a character quiz. The personalities of some of your characters may overlap; it’s important to establish archetypes to prevent this cross-over.
In my quiz, for example, there are two bad guys, so I can’t give a blanket evil response option. I have to explore their villainy separately. You may be interested to know that a handful of some 30-odd people who have taken my quiz have been identified as the murderous character Dax, but nobody is the high school bully Brady. Hmmm…
One you have your archetypes selected, write-up a 2-3 sentence result for each category. If you have a more general quiz topic like “what’s your psychic power?” be sure to tie it into your novel in your write-ups. Example: You are intuitive and good at picking up hints. Your psychic power is second sight. Just like Alex, the blind character in Farsighted. He must follow the clues in his vision to prevent his crush’s murder. But how do you prevent the inevitable future? You’re the one with second sight; you tell me!
Write the questions
Now comes the fun part; you get to write the questions. I’d recommend including 5-10 questions. Too many and you run the risk of boring people and losing them mid-quiz. Too few and your results may be a crap-shoot.
Try to come up with questions that are engaging but general enough to have wide appeal. Also keep your target audience in mind. Since my novel is YA, I wrote a couple of questions that would definitely appeal to a teenage audience but aren’t too teenagery to put off adult quiz-takers. These are: What do you think of your parents? and Let’s say you have a gigantic crush on one of your friends. What do you do about it?
Make sure that people who haven’t read your novel can take the quiz without any difficulty. This is meant to be fun, not a test in trivia and other fictional minutiae.
Now is also not the time for esoterica. Be clear!
Add pictures; create badges
You can upload an image to represent your quiz and one to represent each of the results. Your book cover is great to use here – gets it out there in front of potential readers.
NOTE: When using Quibblo, don’t publish your new quiz until you’re certain that your images and content is perfect. The site only allows a 20-minute editing window. I published and then went back to edit my image thumbnails. The site locked me out, and now my quiz has no images 🙁
You can also create grabbable badges for people to display their results in the side bar of their blogs. This will require custom HTML coding (which I can cover another time), but it’s really cool!
Check out the badges I made for my quiz.
Embed the quiz widget
Quibblo makes it so, so easy to embed either your entire quiz right on your website. Simply click share and then copy-paste the code into a text widget or a blank post or page. So easy!
Now get to making those book quizzes. Feel free to come back to this post and paste the link to your quiz below. We’d love to see what you come up with 🙂
About this post’s author:
Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel Farsighted released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at www.emlynchand.com or by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads.