Indie publishing offers writers fantastic benefits. Raking in millions of dollars by just– uhm, no that’s not what I wanted to say. Instant fame with just the touch of a– no no no, that’s not quite it either.
Sigh … let’s try this one:
The ability to experiment with the marketing aspects of eBooks as you bumble your way around the world of publishing. Yeah, that’s more like it.
Truth-schmooth, anyway, welcome to the rebirth of Eat Fish And Die, a humorous, military SF short story about the futuristic antics of an idiotic sergeant and his Battle Ready Android named Flipper. With a significant amount of marketing feedback (in a manner of speaking), Hotspur Publishing and I decided to try to reposition our product to better align itself with market demand. That’s business mumbo-jumbo for: hook more readers!
So what changes have we employed? First, I’m moving to a pen name. All my humor books will be written under the byline of S. Ron Mars. The thinking here is simple. Since my first novel has very little humor, there’s no compelling reason to associate all my books under one branded name. Sure, if fans just love me and my regular work, they’re probably going to find my humors stuff too. But for the casual reader, there is no strong reason to link the two genres. Some people might disagree, but I think there’s no harm doing this at my stage of development. My name (even a pen name) is like a brand, and as such, it should be on products that give readers certain expectations that the book they’re about to read is something like the last one.
In addition to a new pen name, Hotspur has redone the cover art to better emphasize the military aspect of this short story. My previous cover got across two things, humor and SF. Now all three aspects, mil, SF and humor are more equally on display. And because the title to some people may not appear humorous enough, we’ve added a warning label towards the bottom. It reads: this is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance. We put that there because its…er…well, not that kind of story. Duh!
Like I said, this is still a bit of experimentation. Would it be nice to do things perfectly the first time around? You betcha-butt! But you know? Even big publishers have made a few mistakes. Well, maybe more than just a few. So in the end, I figure it’s just fine if Hotspur Publishing can experiment and improve things as they grow.
After all, no one ever achieved perfection the first time out the shoot. At least, I never did 🙂