29 April 2015, Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 299, Short Form, 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
L. 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.
1. No more than 3 sentences about the content of your manuscript.
Lilly Lin Grant is a math genius who happens to know too much about computers—she finds a boyfriend, a Japanese god who wants to give her his powers, and a Shinto shrine to metal.
Dane Vale becomes the boyfriend of a young woman, Lilly, who inherits a Japanese shrine to metal—it would be more helpful if Lilly wasn’t the goddess of the shrine.
Japanese culture and spiritual ideas are the focus of Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer—everything would work out perfectly if her boyfriend will just go along and the other Japanese gods and goddesses get in line.
- One sentence about successful works similar to yours.
The conceptual theme of Lilly is about a young woman and her boyfriend who become the spiritual inheritors of a Japanese shrine and is not similar to any current or past work—it is wholly original.
- No more than 2 sentences about yourself. (use 3rd person)
L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing uniquely explores the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive.
Dr. Alford is a scientist and widely traveled author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality.
- No more than 2 sentences that include “other,” i.e. any reasons, relationships, or other factors that might make your work more attractive.
Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer continues the supernatural themes introduced in L.D. Alford’s Enchantment and Ancient Light novels. It is a standalone novel.
Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer is exciting fiction from the celebrated author of Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire, Khione: Enchantment and the Fox, Dana-ana: Enchantment of the Maiden, Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth, Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon, Antebellum, Centurion, Aegypt, The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, A Season of Honor, Sister of Light, and Sister of Darkness.
We are developing marketing materials. The directions will help you with this kind of information. Let’s go through each of them.
Three sentences about the content of your manuscript. Here you want to boil down your plot (not theme) to the very bones. You want to do this three times. That is from three very different views. This allows you to present your novel plot in a succinct way. It also helps to use figures of speech, a little comedy, and some tongue in cheek. If you can shock your audience, all the better. When I write shock, I don’t mean gross out and I don’t mean offend or insult. I mean you should try to excite and entertain–just like a novel should entertain and excite, so should these sentences about your novel excite and entertain. If you need examples on how to write these sentences, look at my website. I have these for every novel I’ve written. Some are better than others, all should get the point across.
The point is that your novel is fun and worth reading. Don’t ever lose sight of this very important fact. Many times I read reviews or blurbs about novels, and I know I would never want to read them. When I read a novel, I want entertainment. I want to know the excitement of suspended reality. I have too much reality. This is why people loved the Harry Potter novels–they were fun, exciting, and entertaining. They had nothing to do with reality.
At this point everything I’m doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.