Friday, 13 August 2010

Pizza, Marketing, Audiences, and more

With the first novella due out in September, thoughts now turn to the best ways in which to market it. Should we do as publishers so often have, and change it to fit a perceived market? Or leave it as is, and hope a market exists somewhere?

Well, there are a few scenes which, if dumbed down on the gore factor, would send the novella on its way to being a YA title. Matilda chain smokes and swears all the time, but as she is a Victorian lady the worst she goes to is "Bloody Hell." This is option A.

The most gruesome scene is one where the demon Sephyr rips apart a man. There's nothing really equal to that in the novella. However, the next one will be a zombie story, and the gross-out factor there could be high. The natural alternative to option A then is to leave everything in. People being dripped apart, the description of a female vampire drinking blood that was literally based off of a female orgasm, the (mild) swearing, the chain smoking and the child sacrifice. Oo-ooh, did we give away too much? Anyway, fans of things like Conan the Barbarian etc will like this novella. This would be option B.

Now for a tangent

Jim Butcher, Changes, Spoilers

Here at Scathach we are big fans of Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files. We lovey long-time. At the end of the latest novel, Changes, Harry Dresden is apparently killed. Maybe. It's kind-of vague. Anyway, Jim Butcher has revealed that when he submitted his book to his publisher his editor refused it. Butcher had to send in the first 4 chapters of the sequel before the editor okayed. The editor also refused to allow the sequel to be called Dead. Now it is to be called Ghost Story.

(For stories of why other indies have went independent, drop by this blog on the 20th of August for our Indie Blog Carnival).

Bringing it back in

This is part of the reason we are independent here at Scathach. So that we don't have to change what we write to meet the dictates of someone else's view of what the market can support. But the question today is, should the story change depending on our view?

We don't think so. The story written is the story we want to write. Changing it could fit the story to a certain audience, but only by taking it away from a different audience. This is what the big publishers have lost. When you "fix" a book to appeal to as many people as possible you do so by removing the things that make each book unique.


It's like a pizza shop that only sells 1 type of pizza. You don't put pepperoni on it cause some folk don't like pepperoni. You don't put any meat on it, cos you want to sell to vegetarians. No mushrooms, no peppers, no pineapples. Pretty soon all your selling is Margharitas.

And that's when the indie pizza places open up, even if each one only sells one type of pizza each, they'll still gain an intense gathering of loyal followers. Much like indie authors will.

So the story stays as it is. Going forward from here, we must identify our target audience. After that, we work out where to target them. And we crack the Twitter/Facebook problem. Huzzah!

Oh, and last point, Pleasure and Death is now officially a working title only.

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