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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 300, more Short Form, Marketing Materials

4 February 2015, Writing Ideas - New Novel, part 300, more Short Form, Marketing Materials

Announcement: My new novels should be available from any webseller or can be ordered from any brick and mortar bookstore.  Information can be found at  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

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

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.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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 ferry 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
Cover Propsal
Before you can market a novel to the public, you have to market it to publishers or potential publishes.  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

Author(s) Name:

L. D. Alford

Type: Either Screenplay or Book


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

105,300 words

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.


Fiction Suspense
1.  No more than 3 sentences about the content of your manuscript.
2.  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.

3.  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.
4.  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.

2.  One sentence about successful works similar to yours.
This is an important idea for you and for your prospective publisher.  What is your novel similar to?  Lilly is unique--or so I believe.  Both the theme and the plot are unique--it is not anything like any other novel out there.  This is very unusual.  Most novels are in some way similar to other novels.  Some novels are absolutely unique.  The more unique the better, but not always.  For example, if you are a genre writer or a specific type or style of writer, you will want to categorize your novels.  If you write, for example, romance novels, this is an important qualification that you want a publisher to know.  A publisher who is looking for a romance novel will look at your novel--or, at least, give it a second look.  Some novelists write novels that fit in a niche--this is a means of segregating your novels from others.  There really are some novels that at absolutely unique--this is unusual.  In most cases, you will find your novel fits in a genre and type.  It may not be like another novel, but it might fit the jacket of another novel.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this--it is simply a way to sell your novel.

In most cases, I can find at least one novel that matches my novels, but in some cases... 

At this point everything I'm doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

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