30 June 2018, Writing - part x540, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, Keywords and Market Focus
Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. More information can be found at www.ancientlight.com. 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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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 http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
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.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:
1. Design the initial scene
2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a. Research as required
b. Develop the initial setting
c. Develop the characters
d. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5. Write the climax scene
6. Write the falling action scene(s)
7. Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
For novel 30: Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
For novel 31: TBD
Here is the scene development outline:
1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
5. Write the release
6. Write the kicker
Today: Time again to look at marketing materials. I just finished a new novel—actually, I finished it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been working on the marketing materials. I always develop the specific materials first, then the condensed materials for my currently defunct publisher, and then the cover. You can see above, I made a proposed cover. I haven’t put any of this information on the internet yet, but I’m building up to that.
Here is my proposed cover:
Marketing materials are a must. I’ll be straight up with you. I know most people have not completed their novels. Some of you might have. You might be still working on your editing and proofing. You might be still perfecting your novel. All of that is important, but none of it matters if you don’t have a plan for marketing your work. Marketing means you have some plan and know what a publisher might want to know about you and your work. What you need is a format for your marketing materials, and here it is.
Title of Work:
Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
Fiction, detective, supernatural, fae, fairy, romance, intelligence, Britain, United Kingdom, MI6, magic, New Scotland Yard, goddess, Dagda, organization, the Crown; will fascinate anyone interested in mystery, detectives, and the fae—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels.
Here is where we begin to define the contents of our novel. A publisher and an editor can find out a lot about your novel simply from keywords. You want at least ten keywords and not more than twenty keywords. The keywords should set your novel apart from other novels, and it should result in a searchable that theoretically would find your novel out of all the bazillions of other novels. I like to go from large to small in these keywords. Let me explain.
If you look at the list of keywords for Blue Rose, I think you will see this form and my attempt to provide somewhat unique descriptive words to define the novel in a simple list. The number of keywords is sixteen, so over ten and not more than twenty. The first is fiction—this is a fiction novel, and that’s repetitive. Fiction should tell the searcher this is a novel. The second is detective—I’ve mentioned for the beginning that this is a detective novel. The third is supernatural—I like to include supernatural themes and ideas. Fiction is grossly inclusive. Detective is separating. Supernatural is definitely separating. Supernatural and detective begins to make the novel very unique, especially for a search. I hope this also interests a publisher. I want them to ask themselves, supernatural and detective, and wonder how these terms might describe a novel. This is also what falls out of the title. I didn’t go into a great amount of detail about choosing a title, but part of the title factor is intrigue. I want a potential reader to be intrigued about my novel just through the title.
This is the same for keywords. The potential publisher should look at fiction, detective, and supernatural and be intrigued about the possible subjects of the novel. The keywords that follow continue this. If you look at the words after supernatural, fae and fairy point to the type of supernatural. Romance brings in the idea of something romantic in the novel. The words beyond that further specify the concept of detective and expand even that to intelligence operations. Intelligence is that word that followed by Britain, United Kingdom, and MI6 further expand the concepts in the novel. As I noted, I’d like a potential publisher to want to know how these subjects can fit together. The rest of the keywords just relate ideas in the novel in a very compressed way. I hope you are intrigued and potentially excited just from the keywords. If I read such a list, I would be interested in reading the novel—this is the type of novel and writing that excites me. Plus there isn’t much writing like this.
I’ll look at market focus next.
Author Bio: Approximately 120 words
Synopsis: Approximately 500 Words
Concept of the Work: Approximately 250 Words
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.
What I will do is go through each step and give you my answers based on my latest novel. I did leave the top parts filled.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic