Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I recently read John Locke’s (no, not the guy from LOST, but the million-dollar, best-selling author sensation) book about marketing. In his book he stresses how important it is to define your market audience. It got me thinking about my books in terms of my readers. Who am I writing these books for?
You’d think this would be straightforward. It’s a YA book, so teens, right?
To explore this more fully, let’s go back to my childhood....
Just joking ☺
Seriously, let’s go back a little, to two years ago when I started writing Portal. At the time, I had no idea that what I was writing would turn into a book, never mind a series of books. Genre? Never heard of the concept. I read what I liked and was, of course, aware that there were different types of books, but I had never consciously thought of books in terms of genre.
Portal was not written with an audience, never mind a “target” group, in mind. I wrote it for my daughter, who was eight at the time. Is it suitable reading for eight-year-olds? No. Clearly not. It was suitable for my daughter because of the way I told her the story, but the finished product is not something I think an average eight-year-old would enjoy.
When I published Portal, I was required to put it into a genre. So, I looked at similar books and decided that YA would probably be the most appropriate grouping as the main character is a teenage girl. However, Portal also has a strong older cast who drive the story. Without Rupert and Olivia, there would be no Portal.
Once I published the first book and reviews started coming in, I quickly realized that the book appealed to a wider audience than anticipated. I had somehow managed to cross a variety of genres. Terry Goodman (senior editor at Amazon Publishing) wrote, “I think it has a very clever hook and plays so well against a variety of genres—YA, fantasy, romance, sci-fi. It’s a very tough balancing act to walk the tightrope of so many genres without slipping up on one of them, but I’ll be damned if you didn’t pull it off with aplomb.”
My audience includes young and old, males and females. So should I be forced into a genre? Thinking ahead, if I were to shop the Portal Chronicles to the publishing houses (who do seem to like books that are categorized appropriately), should I edit it to make it more YA-appropriate? My gut says no. The Portal Chronicles has done amazingly well. Why mess with something that seems to work? What do you think?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Q: Is Imogen the first indie author you have represented? Please share how you found each other.
A: Years ago, when I worked on the editorial side at Random House, I was lucky enough to acquire a wonderful self published memoir, but Imogen is the first Indie author I’ve worked with as an agent. I read an article a few months ago about self published authors doing a wonderful job of getting their work out there, checked out Imogen’s web site, and was immediately intrigued.
Q: What do you look for when deciding who to represent? What in particular was it about Imogen’s work that attracted you?
A: The first thing I’m looking for is a great, original premise and a great narrative voice. But the ability to market yourself is also a big plus, and Imogen had all three of these qualities!
Q: What are your plans for Imogen and her books?
A: We’re deciding on our strategy right now. I tend to be a very editorially minded agent and I have some ideas for taking Imogen’s already wonderful series and fine tuning a bit, and then we’ll most likely start sharing the work with publishers this Fall. We’re also partnering up with a wonderful film coagent at CAA.
Q: Will Imogen still remain an indie author for some of her work?
A: TBD, but my hunch is that yes, she will most likely continue to take an indie route for some of her work, while we publish other work through mainstream channels.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing when promoting your client?
A: An amazing book! Word of mouth is the most important thing. I want everyone who reads my books to love them so much that they recommend them to friends. But an articulate, attractive, internet savvy author doesn’t hurt either.
Q: What advice would you give to those indie authors out there wanting to become traditionally published authors?
A: Give it your all. A self published book that has sold a few hundred copies is harder to sell to a publisher than one that has never been published. But if you can sell several thousands of copies, you’re putting yourself in a good position to get noticed… and published!