Essay–The Marketing Problem
As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, I suck at marketing. Especially for my creations like the series Children of Garaaga.
To be honest, it’s a difficult sell. Instead of a large sprawling epic fantasy novel, it’s a collection of short stories, novelettes, and novellas. And while they’re all interconnected, it’s very difficult to convince the general reading public that it’s worth their time. To make matters worse, it’s “historical” fiction.
There is a HUGE niche for historical fantasy. There really is. Just go to Amazon and give a quick search on it. There’s a lot of books there and they perform just fine. But again, they are true novels and not a series whose characters change with every story as well as the date/time/culture.
I’m very proud of what I’ve done with the series. I’ll be even more proud when I actually publish the next installment in 2015. Legends of Garaaga tells the stories of a legend and how it’s passed down over millennia, as well as the discovery and “proof” of a god and its children running amuck through ancient history. The second installment is a three novella collection tracing a bloodline of Garaaga’s brood. As with Legends, the collection called Daemons of Ur will cross time and cultures throughout ancient history. Specifically the Akkadian and Babylonian empires.
Well, that’s great. But how the hell do I sell this? How do I market it so readers know what it is and get excited about it?
That’s the question. The big ugly hairy question. Answer? No freakin’ clue. The amazing Scott Pond created a hell of a cover for Legends and I’m absolutely certain the design for Daemons will be no less incredible. But no matter how great the covers are, selling the stories is the trick. The back matter. The description. And what tale the book leads with.
I’ve been told by multiple rabid readers/listeners of the series that I might fair better if I offer one of the very modern tales and then depend on that more “accessible” tale to drive people to the back catalog. I listened. I thought about it. And I’m more and more convinced it needs to be the new strategy.
I can’t tell you which tale it will be. Those of you who’ve listened to the podcast for a long time, and/or attended the readings at Balticon, heard the story “Marker.” It features Nigel from Tattoo and is…well…disturbing to say the least. I have a number of other modern stories that take place in the same general time frame. They range from short stories to novelettes. Are there enough of them to make up an entire book length collection? No. Not yet. Also, there’s another novel out there none of you have seen that is the lynchpin between my three NON-Street series. Seriously, who the hell would expect Oscar in a Garaaga book?? No, I’m not doing that. Don’t even ask.
But this particular book ties Garaaga, Fiends, and Tony Downs together. I don’t know if it’s the right story to try and drum up interest in the other series, but it might be. I’ll probably write it and then figure that out.
For now, however, I have to finish the paraquel to The Black which is tentatively called The Black: Evolution. After that? Flames. Then we’ll see what other properties I want to work on. Considering I’ll be attempting to write more books for Severed Press, the universes of Shadowpublications.com might have to wait a bit. We’ll see. When I get there, I’m sure there will be plenty of questions, second-guessing, and etc. I’ve no doubt I’ll be the one soul-searching on whether or not this is the best path.
Until then, you have podcasts to listen to, audiobooks to purchase (or not), and ebooks/paperbacks to purchase (or not). Kind of up to you. Again, if you’ve already purchased the Garaaga’s Children: Ancients limited edition hardcover, please don’t waste your money on purchasing anything else from the series until Daemons is released. It just doesn’t make sense for you.
With all that said, I better get back to writing TB2. Expect another episode of The Black tomorrow and Legends on Saturday.