Infographics are a popular marketing tool in the business world because they are a great way to get a company's name out in front of potential customers. A popular infographic could be shared widely, giving a company both an SEO boost and adding to its brand recognition.
We don't see infographics used much in the book world, but they could be a boon for authors who are willing to invest the time and energy. They're really not that hard to make once you get over the first hurdle.
Here are five ways authors could use infographics. If you have another use for them, we'd love to hear about it in the comments.
1. Reveal background details for setting, characters, or events
There's no better way to keep fans coming back for more than to reveal how a character got their scar, or explain the history of a royal guard, a gang of cutthroats, or a secret society.
JK Rowling, for example, even has a whole site built on background details for the Harry Potter books, and has published several spin off books.
2. Show how your book is similar to popular books
Readers are always looking for books similar to their favorites, If your book shares themes and tropes with popular series like the Foundation, Narnia, or with a famous author's books, you should point that out.
The more connections the better.
3. Share what you found while conducting research
If a reader likes your stories, chances are they will enjoy it when you reveal the work that went into the stories but never made it into the text.
If you had to consult with a bladesmith or herbalist in order to write your book, share the more interesting details you learned from the expert.
4. Create a timeline for the events in your book
When fans are reading book eight in a series and you reference events in book three, they're going to appreciate a timeline that makes it clear the order of events, and what sudden but inevitable betrayal lead to war.
5. Build a relationship graph
If you are writing books with a large cast of characters and multiple plotlines, chances are your readers will appreciate the help in identifying who did what to whom.
You can use a relationship graph to explain details referenced in the text, such as political alliances, familial connections, or dynastic inheritance.
P.S. If you do decide to make an infographic, please let me know. I am not a good enough artist to charge for making an infographic, but I still get a kick out of them and would be happy to give you feedback on your work.
P.P.S. The infographic is licensed CC-BY, and can be shared freely.