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Friday, September 2, 2011

Marketing Materials - To Synopsis

2 September 2011, Marketing Materials - To Synopsis

I'm showing you how I prepare marketing material for my novels.  Here is a repeat just to introduce the subject.  Today, I'm working on the next section of the long form information.

Marketing a novel is more difficult in my mind than writing a novel.  I'd like to just spend my time writing, unfortunately, before your novel is published, you have the burden of finding a publisher and after your novel is published, you have the burden of following your publisher's marketing instructions.

Marketing is a very important part of writing a novel.  The first thing after writing your novel is get your marketing stuff together.  Marketing information is critical to your writing and it forms the basis for the inner and outer cover and other future marketing materials.  Here is the outline of what is required.  I'll start with the long form information and continue to the short form.

I put all this information together in the same file.  I do produce a second file, I will go over with you later, specifically for my regular publisher.  I put the commentary in italics.  I'm moving on to genre and author bio today.  I'll leave in the past info without commentary.

The long form information:

Title of Work:

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon

Author(s) Name:

L. D. Alford

Type: Either Screenplay or Book


Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays

121,475 words

Keywords and Market Focus:

Fiction, Russia, Austria, 1918, Wien, Vienna, Daemon, Demon, Aksinya, Asmodeus, Catholic Church, Sorcery, Travel, Orthodox Church, Russian Revolution, WWI, temptation, desire, convent, nobility, Countess, aristocracy, languages, Latin, Greek, German, French, contract, evil, Tobit

Will fascinate anyone interested in sorcery, mystery, and suspense—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy historical mystery and suspense novels.


Fiction Suspense

Author Bio: Approximately 120 words

The finest escape in literature is an escape into a real and inviting culture—so asserts L. D. Alford, a novelist who explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know.  He builds tales that make ancient people and times real to us.  His stories uniquely explore the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive.  L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, and Air Command and Staff College.  He is widely traveled and has spent long periods in Europe and Central America.  L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality.   

Synopsis:  Approximately 500 Words

In November 1918, Lady Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna called the demon Asmodeus to protect her noble family from the Bolsheviks.  At the time, Russia was in the middle of a revolution and a civil war.  The aristocracy was at risk every moment from rapine and murder.  Aksinya conjured a demon to protect her family, but she was too late.  When Aksinya and Asmodeus arrived at the estate, her father and mother, brother and sister were already dead.  She became the Countess of Golitsyna because no one else remained alive.  Aksinya was left in a very trying situation:  she had conjured a demon, whose only purpose was to aid her in accomplishing evil, but Aksinya didn’t desire to accomplish evil—she only wanted to protect her family and now, they were all dead.
Aksinya was unfortunately well trained to accomplish evil.  She was a sorceress and a powerful one.  At every turn, the demon, Asmodeus tempts Aksinya through her sorcery to evil.  Aksinya has other problems as well.  With the demon at her side, the world for Aksinya becomes one of repeated temptation and fall.  The demon tempts her to call a servant, the Lady Natalya.  He tempts her to travel to Wien, Austria and to her relatives there.  He tempts her to sorcery at every turn.  He tempts her to take a lover.  Each of the temptations drives her deeper and deeper into the depths of evil and despair.
Aksinya isn’t passive in her resistance, but she has few tools and fewer chances to fight against Asmodeus.  Plus, she doesn’t want to fight his temptation—that is the nature of temptation.  She desires sorcery.  She desires noble and aristocratic possessions.  She desires control, and the demon gives her all these things.  
What Aksinya doesn’t realize is that Asmodeus’ purpose is not for her good at all, only for evil.  His purpose is to tempt her into destruction, and her destruction will result in the end of her friends, acquaintances, and relatives.  The demon plans a much greater end to everything in Aksinya’s life than she could ever imagine. 
Aksinya wishes to be free from the demon, and she will give up almost everything to achieve that goal.  Will she be able to gain her freedom and will she be able to face the results of that freedom? 
The first attempt at your synopsis should be about 500 words.  If 500 words won't work, you aren't trying hard enough.  500 words is about the longest synopsis you should write.  It is about 1 and 1/2 page double spaced. 

Write the synopsis in the present tense, only diving back into the past tense for past ideas.  Notice, I start with the past tense as I discuss Aksinya and bring you into the present tense about the temptation by the demon.

Write exciting active prose--just like you write for a good scene.  Try to gain the excitement of your reader.  This is your opportunity to interest an agent or publisher.  Plus, this will become your synopsis.  You will want to use this or shortened versions of this all over the place. This can become part of your cover information or inner cover information.

Use loaded words and ideas.  Don't reveal all.  You don't have the space to show, so you will have to tell, but you want to use your telling to the best effect. 

I like to end my synopsis with a question or an implied question.  Some writing guides recommend that you tell everything in the synopsis.  I assure you, you can barely get the main ideas of your novel in any synopsis.  If I intended to encapsulate the entire novel in a synopsis, I wouldn't have written a novel.  You can't get it all in, and I recommend you not try to give it all or any real spoilers.  If the publisher is interested, they will ask for the novel (or a part).  Or this information might be your cover sheet.  The point is that they will have the whole when they ask.  If the synopsis doesn't capture their imagination, the novel won't either.  That's why the synopsis is so important.

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.

Short form information: 

Reviewer’s quotes.

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

2.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.

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 look at more information with commentary.

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