Marketing Tuesday: Finished with my survey results (and a game)

So, for as long as I’m doing Marketing Tuesdays, I’ve made myself a little image — with Scary Halloween Lettering, because for me at least, trying to wrap my head around marketing is scary.

But I have the most amazing readers. I had a massive response to my three-question quiz. Thank you to every single reader who answered — there’s a story that will be coming your way once it’s written.

The results were compelling, consistent, and very, very revealing.

  • My readers like what I write, and are not looking for me to switch up genres or be any less… er… challenging in my willingness to drag all sorts of characters, conflicts, and genres into the stories I tell.
  • My readers, however, know a lot of writers who write things similar to what I write, and these other writers are not marketing their work as hard SF, or high fantasy, or space opera, or crossover fantasy.
  • These other writers who write in the genre I’ve been writing since I started market their work as urban fantasy. Werewolves, spaceships, stepping from one world into another, magic in modern settings or strange settings. I’ve gone extensively through their work, bought a lot of it, am reading a lot of it. 

So I’m going to have to do a bunch of stuff over the next months. 

Get or make new covers that accurately reflect the contents of my work.

Change titles on some work: It was noted by a number of respondents (and my husband) that both Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Warpaint are dreadful titles that are not even marginally reflective of the contents or genre of the stories they contain. 

Create new editions, making sure that the books contain their previous titles so there’s no confusion or accidental double-buying.

Write new cover copy. 

All of this while still working on the current novels, Dead Man’s Party and The Wishbone Conspiracy, which I’m just letting you know right now is another awful title and is as of today relegated to the status of Working Title That Sucks, and That I’ll Fix In Revision.

In Other News…

Was talking to my older kid, Mark, last night, and he mentioned that he was writing a text adventure using software named Twine. I was knitting while talking on the phone, and made a smartass comment about my software being called Yarn, but after he gracefully bypassed my dumb joke, he described what he was doing, and I realized that Twine would allow me to build the text-adventure game that I already tried to make once — and that failed badly — a game that would let folks play through finding everything they want and nothing they don’t on this ridiculously huge site with all the different stuff that’s on it…

And I started building that game today.

 

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

4 comments… add one
  • dragon Mar 28, 2019 @ 14:10

    Very cool. I still want someone else to do my marketing … if it ever comes to that.

  • Talena Winters Mar 28, 2019 @ 12:51

    This post made me smile. I’m glad so much positive came out of that survey, Holly. I look forward to seeing what you do next with your work. And I get that marketing is a scary monster, but the more I learn about it, the more fun it becomes. It’s just another way to do what we do best—tell stories. Marketing is telling a story that involves your client, or that they want to b a part of. The tools are (sometimes) different than when we write a novel, but the intent is the same.

    You got this.

    • Holly Mar 28, 2019 @ 13:19

      For someone who wanted to be invisible except for sitting there writing the books, it’s a steep learning curve. But parts of it really are fun.

      • Talena Winters Mar 28, 2019 @ 13:38

        Yes! I feel like I’ve been learning about marketing as long as I’ve been learning about writing, and just now starting to feel like I have a clue! Don’t let that discourage you, though. Even mucking about, I had successes, and every change in the right direction makes an impact. 🙂 I think that’s why I see it as “fun” now—like writing, it’s creative, and a constant challenge, even when you feel like you know what you’re doing.

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