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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Marketing Materials - Short Form, Similar Works

7 September 2011, Marketing Materials - Short Form, Similar Works
I also produce a short form for my novels.  The short form is not complete.  That is, unlike the long form, it doesn't include all the information you might need to give a publisher or an agent.  It does include the kind of information you might need for a reviewer, a newspaper, a book show, a website, and etc.  You can additionally use this information for teasers and to help write other marketing material.

The short form gives you quick and terse words to describe yourself and your work.

Short form information: 

1.  No more than 3 sentences about the content of your manuscript.

Aksinya contracted the demon, Asmodeus to save her family from the Bolsheviks, unfortunately her family was already dead—now, who can save Aksinya.   

The demon, Asmodeus' purpose is to tempt Aksinya to accomplish evil.

Before Aksinya can gain her freedom from the demon, Asmodeus, she might lose her friends, family, and acquaintances, and it will all be her fault.     

2.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.

The conceptual theme of Aksinya is similar to Faust, a story about a man who makes a contract with the devil. The difference is the main character in Aksinya did not intend evil through her actions and constantly attempts to find some means to break her contract with the demon.

This answer to this question is more important than many would imagine.  Publishers and agents want to know something they can compare your work to.  If you can make a comparison, it becomes easier to sell an idea. 
In this sentence, you want to find some novel or work that your novel can be compared with.  The comparison can be either plot or theme.  If you can't find a classical or popular work to compare it to, you aren't looking enough (or you aren't familiar enough with literature) or the possibility really exists that you have hit on an idea that has never been used before.  I do have one novel that is that unique. 
Dana-ana: Enchantment and the Maiden is an absolutely unique plot.  There is literally nothing in classical or popular literature similar to it.  Here is what I wrote for it:
The conceptual theme of Dana-ana is unique. It has almost no similarity to other novels. It is in some ways a coming of age novel with a supernatural twist, but the supernatural basis is not similar to anything in popular or classical fiction.

This is not true of most other novels in the world.  I can find comparisons for all my other writing. Most popular and classical novels have easy comparisons.  For example, the Twilight novels can be compared to any number of young adult novels or to Dracula by Bram Stoker.  Any Vampire novel easily can be compared to Dracula.  The Harry Potter novels are easily compared to many children's novels, anime, and manga.  The theme of a school for magic isn't very unusual especially in manga.  You could compare it to the Sword in the Stone--the teaching of Aurthur by Merlin. 

This little sentence is like the sentence on the long form about the audience--it has great importance although it seems like a simple question and answer.  Audience allows the publisher to know who you focused your writing toward.  The comparison allows the publisher to understand what you think your work is similar to.

3.  No more than 2 sentences about yourself. (use 3rd person)

4.  No more than 2 sentences that include “other,” i.e. any reasons, relationships, or other factors that might make your work more attractive.

Tomorrow, we'll continue filling out the short form for Aksinya with commentary, of course.

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