27 June 2018, Writing - part x537, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, About Titles
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
Titles must be somewhat unique, but not completely unique. Choosing a title is both easier than ever, but more perilous than ever. In the past, a title was simply a title. It was only local to the book seller and to print media in general. Today, the world of print, sales, and marketing is the world of the internet. If you chose a title that is too common or already widely in circulation, no one will ever find your title—it will be lost in the internet. On the other hand, if you choose a title that is so unique and unusual that no one can find it, no one will find it.
A title needs to represent the plot of the novel, but it also needs to be somewhat unique, yet not completely unique. How can you tell? Make an internet search with your title. If you find a book with the same title within about twenty years, you might want to rethink your title. If you find a host of novels with a similar name, you might want a different title. If you find some similar names or perhaps a few similar titles, but nothing exactly the same, that might be the proper title to use. This is somewhat unique.
If you come up with no other novels in your search—you could have a great title or one that is too unique. If the search comes up with many results but not necessarily book titles that might be too unique too. If you come up with a few similarly titled novels, the choice is pretty good.
The reason is that a novel title that is the same as may other novels, will be impossible to find either purposely or accidentally. I see this all the time with self-published novels. If the title is not unique, it will not come up anywhere in the top of the search. Even when I’m looking for it, I might not find it. With the title and the author, the novel usually pops right out, but otherwise… Many times potential readers only know the title.
What you are really aiming at is for a search to bring up your title at the top. This is possible with a somewhat unique title.
If the title is completely unique, as long as it is simple and spelled normally, it might be okay. However, a title that is complex, oddly spelled, or otherwise strange might be equally difficult to find in a search. If the potential reader can’t spell it, they can’t make a search for it. If it is so unique that an accidental search won’t find it, you are potentially doomed.
Just think this way, the title needs to be able to be found. Check a potential title with an internet search. That should give you a great idea if the title is acceptable or not.
L. D. Alford
Type: Either Screenplay or Book
Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays
Keywords and Market Focus:
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