Nothing can get attention more than crossing controversial lines. Look at all the posts people get active on when you look at social media. For some reason people are drawn to controversy. They will stop whatever they are doing to watch an interview or read an article. Why not draw them in with some?
Give readers a little bit of something to fight about.
The World is Full of Controversy
Look at what is being talked about in the major media outlets about books and authors. I’m not saying jump on the big political and religious band wagons unless the topics tie directly to books in general or your particular works. There has to be a connection between your work and the controversial topic. Otherwise you’re just a troublemaker and that will not help your reputation nor the marketing of your books.
The world does feed off controversy. Why not use it to your advantage? If your book talks about how minorities are treated, there is plenty in the news that you can pull from that people from all sides are hot about. It could be animal rights, human trafficking, politics in general, use anything that you can connect to your book. Just make sure are doing it constructively for your work.
Tie Controversy to Your Book
Make a list of the topics that are related directly with your book. Add those that are indirectly related and then add anything that involves books, reading and writing. Look at trends and note them. List what is popular and not so popular. How can you get people’s attention using these topics especially if you go against the mainstream ideas on them?
Does your book contain a controversial topic? Maybe you can challenge viewpoints or propose something new.
Does anything in the news touch on your book or the book/publishing industry? Shake a few trees, but don’t get nasty or personal. Never start a fight just to do so. Make sure it is a constructive way to get attention for your book.
Don’t Be Scared
I understand being a little scared. I hate seeing drama started, but every now and then the mean bug bites me. There! I’ve admitted it. But when it comes to your book, there is a safe way to do this.
What is your book about? I had one that was a paranormal suspense. A component of the story was Native Americans. I asked questions about Native American reservations and treatment on my social media page. Got a lot of responses and a few looks at my book.
If your book mentions any topic or person that can cause controversy, bring it up. Let the controversy help you. Did you know that the game, Dungeons and Dragons, was near failure until a famous minister spoke out against it? Then it took off and made a mint. Controversy saved it.
No matter what you do to get attention for your books, never make it personal with anyone aside from yourself. That means if you mention President Obama in your book, don’t go on a personal attack. Bring up events or legislature under his term, but don’t get personal.
Also, be wary of which topics you get people started on as some can get too heated. If there is a topic that is like that with the people you know, avoid it or just skirt the issue. I inadvertently got an extremely heated argument started that had one woman in tears and nearly needing to be medicated because she got so worked up. I had no idea she would get upset like that. Yes, I feel that she over-reacted, but it happened. I have since avoided that particular topic on my page.
Some of this will be trial and error, but always weigh on the side of caution. Get people talking about your book. You’re never going to avoid heated discussions, but not dipping your toe in also doesn’t get any buzz about your book. I’ve joked about writing something that would offend certain people because I know they have a big mouth. If they don’t like it, others will look into it simply because of that.