Thursday, January 17, 2008

Novel Update...Typesetting and Publicity

No word yet on the typesetter. He or she is out there somewhere, and I believe God is wooing them to connect with me, but so far they haven't. I've talked to several folks who've responded with encouragement to my request (thanks), but nothing solid yet. I've now begun farming out bids for the typesetting , but with a going rate of $7,000-$8,000 (for a project of this size), I simply can't afford that kind of green. So we're looking to God--not asking "Will we get this done?" but in faith, "How will we get this done?"

So there's a whole other arena with respect to the novels that needs some TLC and, frankly, some shrewd strategizing: Marketing and Publicity. I had a convo with a publishing industry guru just last week, and she reinforced what I already believed about marketing books: You don't need to market to everybody. You only need to market to the small niche of people who will not only love your book, but will actively spread the word to others. The notion comes from the book The Tipping Point, where the author identifies this niche group as the "innovators" (I think)...the people who are willing to try new things, and who tend to influence national trends through their innovative choices.

So who are the innovators and early adopters for Christian fantasy, Christian fiction, and fantasy fiction in general? Those are the niche groups I need to target.

That's why one of my heroes, Marcy (who's graciously offered to help with this project) has been compiling links to fantasy fiction discussion boards, and Christian fiction discussion boards...because that's where many of these innovators hang out!

I'm also curious about something that the writers of the book The Shack are doing to promote their work. They're calling it the Missy Project (named for a character in the book), and it's essentially an invitation for readers to become part of an underground publicity effort to promote the book, and they provide a whole list of ways (in the back of the book) for people to do this.

This is the kind of publicity and marketing that I think has to happen for these novels, because there's no big budget to do a mailer or a national campaign. But in the end, it may prove to be a more effective approach anyway.

OK, so there I've spouted off a bit. If there are any publicity or marketing gurus out there who are looking to join the Pearlsong Team, don't hesitate to let me know. You are welcome, and we need you!

6 comments:

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Michael, glad to hear you're planning to finish the trilogy. Blessings on your work.

I'm not a marketing guru but a fellow writer. I'm also not able to "join the Pearlsong team," but I can give you some information about where to contact those interested in Christian fantasy.

One of my goals for the last year and a half has been to improve the profile of the genre. Along with another group of bloggers, we began the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour: http://csffblogtour.com/ . We also started a team blog, Speculative Faith: http://specfaith.ritersbloc.com/ (I write every Monday and would LOVE to have you guest blog some time soon). And we have a "newsletter," really more like the classified ads, designed to inform those interested in the genre what books are coming out, what authors are doing, etc. This is called Latest In Spec: http://latestinspec.org/ .

Other resources, and you can find links to these at my blog, include The Lost Genre Guild, Christian Fandom, Mindflights. A Yahoo Discussion Group called ChristSF is another place you can find fans.

BTW, since you're probably going to pay to have your books typeset, have you considered Print on Demand? Jeff Gerke, formerly an editor, is starting a POD press dedicated to Christian sci fi and fantasy. If you'd like to take a look at his guidelines, you can find them (and other helpful information) at WhereTheMapEnds.com.

BTW, I'm doing a series of blog posts just now on book buzz. I doubt if you'll find anything new, but feel free to stop by and take a look.

Becky

Michael D. Warden said...

WOW...thanks Becky! This is a treasure trove of vital info. Thanks.

And you'll be I'll guest blog! I'd be honored. Just tell me where to show up!

All my best--Michael

Sojourner said...

Hi Michael,

I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series and glad to see that God is providing a path!

I'm part of the CSFF tour that Rebecca is talking about.

There are two other blog marketing groups that I participate in.

One is the Christian Fiction Review blog.
The site is http://cfrblog.blogspot.com/.
You can find more information on joining at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CFRB/ if you are interested. We tour books by authors who are part of the group. Our last tour was for a self published book through Cold Tree Press. I'm not an author but the group is mostly made up of authors and they might have contacts and information that can help you.

The other group is FIRST. We try to generate interest by all posting the first chapter of a book on the first of the month. Though FIRST features all genres I know a number of our members are SciFi and Fantasy fans. You can check this out at: http://fictioninrathershorttakes.blogspot.com/

Blessings, Rachelle

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Michael, email me at rluellam at yahoo dot com and we can set up a guest blog appearance. This coming Monday we are beginning a tour for Jeffrey Overstreet's Auralia's Colors, so it will need to be the following week at the earliest. But we can work that out.

Becky

Ruth said...

I was going to suggest the CSFF and Rebecca Miller...but I see I was beat to the punch. :)

Anonymous said...

Everyone who has read Gideon's Dawn recently should go to Amazon.com and write a review.
At the present time, there are none.