Once again it’s Flobo and welcome to my little corner of the interwebs. As always I’m going to be talking about writing, but most things can be applied to other facets of your more interesting lives. Ready?
Okay, so you spent weeks upon months upon years developing “The Great American Novel”. It’s got action. It’s got suspense. It even has that romantic subplot movie studios love so much. Whatever which way you’ve done it, it’s now on sale and potentially millions of people can buy a copy. Time to for that house in Maui, right? Of course not.
Besides the promotional tours and marketing, people are usually going to ask you about your next book (or product, or service or what have you). A lot of authors (myself included) make the mistake in falling in love with a character and making that character their flagship for a book series.
Even the pros do it. Do me a favor and search “Dirk Pitt“.
The problem (I believe) is that the market has changed. Sure, for every Harry Potter or Percy Jackson series that makes their creators millions, there are tons of Bland McMilqutoast series that are clogging up shelves. If you are an independent author, our job is to make your brand known but sometimes having variations on a single product can work against you.
Let’s take Apple Computer for example. In their prime (after rehiring Steve Jobs) they only offered a few products: A desktop, a laptop, and the iPod. Of those three core products, variations and multiple generations were made.
If Author X falls in love with Detective Smith for a novel, then decides to write ten Smith novels, it would be like having ten generations of the same product. There may be some improvement within each installment, but most people know what they are getting into when they pick up a copy.
If Author Y released on the other hand released separate Det. Jones, Dr. Riley, and Gigolo James novels. With everything being equal, Author Y has released three “jumping on points” (or products) people can pick up and enjoy. Once those new eyes are reading those novels, Author Y may make the kind of fans that will try his or her work, regardless of genre.
Of course, don’t force creativity for commerce and write what you know and all that.
Not saying this is the only justification but Author X could be the best writer since caveman drawings, however if detective fiction isn’t my thing, there’s no reason for me to be inclined to check out the adventures of Detective Smith.
I guess what I’m saying is diversification is key, and I’m not talking about your stock portfolios…..Even though I could be.
Now go out there and make millions of fans with your varying “products”. All I ask is that if you have a book signing, please let me have VIP access… 🙂