To diversify products, broadens your chances of attracting customers and selling to them not just what caught their eye, but the product they would’ve walked passed. In my case, that’s books.
But you can’t choose any old product and think it’ll lead to other sales, it needs to be related. No point having sports shoes for sale when you’re selling books. That attracts a totally different clientele who won’t be interested in your main product at all.
Art is eye catching and can relate to books if it’s fan art of a popular story that’s similar to your book.
Problem: I’m not a well-practiced artist. I can draw. I can’t colour. When I begin to add colour I tend to ruin the piece. Now, I could put in the effort and take some classes, or diversify into cross-stitch, or making badges. But that takes time, effort, and money I’m not willing to spend.
Solution: colouring in fan art pages. With the growth in popularity in adult colouring in books, it’s no longer an idea reserved for kids. I can do it quickly, print at home onto white cardboard, and it doesn’t take me away from writing (in fact, it can be used as a mental break).
For me, colouring in fan art makes sense for a few reasons. My ideal customer is a female reader aged 17-35. Now if they like the same sort of stories found in anime, they might enjoy reading my books as anime has been influential in some of my works. Having fan art of the anime that has been my inspiration is my link to my books.
No-one is one thing. A person isn’t just a reader, they can be a gamer, a fan of art, a great cook, an athlete. By diversifying, the hope is to appeal to as many people and encourage them to look closer at what else is available, take the time to read a blurb or ask what’s a book about while they’re choosing what colouring in pictures they want.
The reason to diversify;
Broad appeal instead of niche.
When it’s related it can lead to book sales.
Think of what skills you have and what is fun for you to do (no point in putting in the effort for something that’s going to be boring and take you away from what you love doing). It could be jewellery making, face painting, sewing plushies. But keep it to a minimum effort and cost. If it takes you away from your main work, that’s bad (this is meant to be a side project). Also, if it has a high production cost it’ll strain your budget to get stock ready and make your retail price really high so you can break even at least. Do what you can, don’t over think it or stretch yourself thin.
While you’re creating start taking lots of pictures. Share with your established fans what you’re doing; in progress, behind the scenes, and finished product posts. Even do an exclusive offer to them so they can have the first chance to buy. Just don’t forget while you’re trying to attract more, you have people already who like you and need your attention. Look after them first. Then worry about diversity.