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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Test Market Your Novel Book Idea Through Serialization

It's been awhile since I've blogged, partially because in addition to writing my stories, I still have a pay-the-bills job that keeps me quite busy. Regardless, I wanted to share something with my fellow writers that seems to be helping me not only gain new readers, but with test marketing my ideas.

As an independent author, I love having the freedom of setting my own deadlines and not having someone telling me that I need to write a certain genre, or a certain way, in order to appear more marketable for a particular audience. I love the freedom of being able to mix genres and write what I want, when I want. This is not to say that having a mainstream publisher or agent is a bad idea. I have friends who do, but being an independent author works better for my personality and lifestyle, so if others don't feel the same way, that's okay. What may work for me may not necessarily work the same for someone else.

With that said the drawback to being independent is that I don't have an editor (which I am in the process of finding, but will talk more about that on another post) or agent offering suggestions about story ideas, and sometimes as writers, although we may think that all of our stories are going to magically resonate well with readers, that may not always be the case.

So, one thing that I've been doing is serializing short story ideas to see if it generates enough interest. The forum I use to sell my work is Amazon's KDP select program. I usually start with short stories first and leave the ending open-ended enough, so if I want to, I can continue it into a longer version of itself. Then,  if I get enough interest, feedback, or requests for more, I know that idea might sell, and I can work towards novelizing it.

click on pic for list of books
For example, I started serializing the prequel, "SoulTracker" to my first urban fantasy, "Heart of the Jaguar." It is a paranormal romance with historical elements that predate the 1848 Treaty of Hidalgo when the U.S. acquired the southwestern territories. Although this is still a work in progress, during this time, I also wrote a few short stories to see if I could generate interest for other genres.

So I wrote two other stories: one titled, "Vile Visitors," a sci-fi paranormal thriller, or some have even called it Christian horror; and a story titled the, "Morning Star Gift," a mystery, suspense thriller about a woman who is trying to escape the clutches of a psychopathic stalker. Surprisingly, readers who had read,
to read this work click here
"The Morning Star Gift," kept asking me if I had ever thought about turning that one into a book. Curious to see if there was any interest for such a story, I worked on serializing it, so I changed the title, point-of-view from third person to first person and created a five part novella called "Run Mama, RUN!"

So far, the story series has managed to reach Amazon's top 200 in the Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense category, in its second week since its debut; no small task, mind you, when I am competing with other 200,000 plus E books on Amazon. Depending on the success of this novella, I may consider querying this to a mainstream publisher, or simply selling it myself through Createspace, which I also use for paperback publishing. In the meantime, I am enjoying the benefits of getting more feedback and requests from readers who are asking when the next chapter will go live. And there's no greater joy, as many writers will agree, than knowing that people love reading their work.

Run Mama, Run!, Chapter 2
Amazon ranking at #192 of Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense
short reads category

bibliography of other works

I hope this was helpful to some of you writers out there wanting to not only establish a reading platform, but also wanting to see if there is anything else you can to do attract new readers. If you have any ideas or suggestions as to what has worked for you, please feel free to share on this post. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Also, if you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive notifications when a new post goes live, please feel free to subscribe to this blog. Thank you for reading!

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