May 11 2008

Are you worth reading?

Published by at 1:59 am under Marketing,Online Novel,Writing Articles

This brief article will help you design a premise for a novel or blog that sells better.

This is true for novelists as well as blogs: ultimately, the ones that are successful are well-crafted for friend-to-friend marketing. “You should read Author X or Blog Y for reason Z.”

The key is not only producing something that someone will want to read, but producing material that someone can easily persuade someone else to read. Nothing drives that more than coherence. If a fan can describe your premise in a single sentence, preferably in 4-8 words, he will be able to sell your work much more easily.

Another factor which matters (slightly) is the familiarity of your premise. For example, writing something like a political blog is somewhat easier because there’s already an established readership in the genre and fans can pretty easily compare your work to existing and popular examples. “If you like Daily Kos, Powerlineblog, LGF or Wonkette, you’ll like this blog,” or something like that.

But I think that this is overstated because, if your writing is tightly focused on a simple concept, your fans can sell the work whether or not their friends are familiar with the concept. Things White People Like exemplifies the potential success of an unusual-but-simple premise. In the world of superhero fiction, I think that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is another highly unusual premise that went gangbusters. “Turtles get mutated and fight evil.”

Is your premise simple enough? How would you sell it to a friend?

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