14 April 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 284, Name, Marketing Materials
Announcement: Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy. You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com. Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. I’ll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don’t confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of my 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape–a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
I’ll make a slight digression because I’m developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly. Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.
Before you can market a novel to the public, you have to market it to publishers or potential publishers. This means you need to develop materials to market your novel. These marketing materials can be used when the book is published. We’ve already looked at two main pieces used in marketing: the title and the book cover proposal. These are necessary for a web design, and they are also necessary for a publisher. You can live without a cover proposal for a while, but you need a title right away.
The next step is to build the marketing information you will use to present your novel to publishers and to the public. Here is an outline:
Title of Work:
Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer
- D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Fiction, Washington State, Tacoma, Spanaway, Seattle, Computer, Pacific Lutheran University, Hacker, goddess, sushi, Redemption, kami, Japan, Shinto, torii, Shrine, engineering, math; will fascinate anyone interested in the spiritual, mystery, and suspense—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy historical mystery and suspense novels.
Author Bio: Approximately 120 words
Synopsis: Approximately 500 Words
Concept of the Work: Approximately 250 Words
Registration: WGA, ISBN, or Library of Congress, Write the number.
Other Information: If you have more work, a website, anything interesting and professional, especially any awards or recognition.
I’m a little out of order here. I should have started with names first. There are few reasons for not using your real name on your novels, but like all marketing decisions, it may mean the sale of more or less books. This is a critical lesson already learned by many who have already made a place in the business. Every decision about a novel is a marketing decision–even to the name the author uses. Because of this, I recommend you think long and hard about the name you will use to publishers and to the public. I did.
Think of the names of authors. Many are contrived (pen names). Many are intentionally changed. Most are shortened or modified in some way to make them easier to say or more majestic on the cover. Think of celebrities. Many of them (if not most) change their names to be more dynamic and special. Authors don’t necessarily need to change their names for marketability (although some do), they need to just evaluate the name they will put on the cover of their novels for the way it looks and how it sounds.
I decided to use my initials and last name, “L.D. Alford.” This looks good on the cover. It is easy to say. It is a good handle. Plus it represents the kind of writing I would like to be associated with–literature. If my specialty were Romance novels, I might have chosen a different pen-name. If my specialty were horror novels, I might have chosen something different. Just look at the name Stephen King–it looks like the name of an author of horror novels. This is how you want your pen-name to be viewed–matched appropriately to your writing.
At this point everything I’m doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.