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  1. #196
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    I have just recently self published and am currently in the process of purchasing reviews to use as a tool to self promote my book. To be honest, its a blatantly avant garde/non commercial dark fantasy/parody spoof. Based on my own research, there is not much of a market for this type of genre. Does this mean that I have no hope for any type of commercial success? Or does it mean I have that particular market cornered for myself?

  2. #197
    Compulsive Writer MLSawyer's Avatar
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    Hey Starchaser3000, there's a good thread running at the moment about reviews.

    http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33024

    Plenty of stuff to help you out on this site and most people are pretty happy to answer questions and so on. There's also a marketing thread among other things.

    Good luck with your work.

  3. #198
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchaser3000 View Post
    I have just recently self published and am currently in the process of purchasing reviews to use as a tool to self promote my book. To be honest, its a blatantly avant garde/non commercial dark fantasy/parody spoof. Based on my own research, there is not much of a market for this type of genre. Does this mean that I have no hope for any type of commercial success? Or does it mean I have that particular market cornered for myself?
    Yeah, so I'm not a fan of purchasing reviews. Your money is better spent with mailing review copies once you've identified influencers. Niche markets can be easier to market to because you an laser focus. But as you say if too small you might be sol. If you want to earn from writing, make your next one a bit more mainstream. I'm not suggesting you write paranormal romance about sparkling vampires...unless you want to. I write heroic epic fantasy in a market that has gone dark and gritty...Ir does allow me to stand out from the pack. But there is still enough people who like it.

  4. #199
    Was: "Virangelus" A. Lynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullivan_riyria View Post
    Yeah, so I'm not a fan of purchasing reviews. Your money is better spent with mailing review copies once you've identified influencers. Niche markets can be easier to market to because you an laser focus. But as you say if too small you might be sol. If you want to earn from writing, make your next one a bit more mainstream. I'm not suggesting you write paranormal romance about sparkling vampires...unless you want to. I write heroic epic fantasy in a market that has gone dark and gritty...Ir does allow me to stand out from the pack. But there is still enough people who like it.
    I have always subscribed to the policy of writing novels according to what is in your heart without regard to the market trend. Eventually, the market may switch to something that favors your style. L.J. Smith first began publishing paranormal romances, including the Vampire Diaries, as early as 91. Yet it was until recently that vampires blew up in popularity, and now The Vampire Diaries have picked up enough steam to become a show. Also, univ you're planning on making a lot of money, you're typically looking in the wrong industry. Being an author seems to fall under "starving artist" category. You can read some Piers Anthony's biographical writings for more thoughts on wealth and writing

  5. #200
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    What I have written is more like the fiction/fantasy novel/series that I never saw and read. But I think my personal sense of humor in regards to some parts of obscene sex and violence and touching upon certain political, social, and racial issues might be misunderstood negatively. If that happens, I already got the bases covered to explain away WHY and for what reason I wrote my book in such a non commercial way.

    In later years when I gain more experience as a writer, I plan to write a more commercially serious single volume outer space science fiction novel and leave it open for a possible sequel. But this parody/spoof series of mine will probably keep me occupied for at least the next two years before I can even think about starting on that.

    Sullivan, could you elaborate more on how the current fiction/fantasy landscape has become more dark and gritty??

  6. #201
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchaser3000 View Post
    But I think my personal sense of humor in regards to some parts of obscene sex and violence and touching upon certain political, social, and racial issues might be misunderstood negatively.
    It didn't do William Burroughs any harm

  7. #202
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchaser3000 View Post
    Sullivan, could you elaborate more on how the current fiction/fantasy landscape has become more dark and gritty??
    Well for years, fantasy was pretty much very optimistic. There was evil to defeat, knights in shining armour and the good guys always triumphed over the bad guys. This is the fantays of "my youth" that I grew up with but I had stopped reading fantasy because it all became "just the same old thing."

    The market (publishers) also saw this and so they were looking for something new...something different. So writers such as G.R.R. Martain, Brent Weeks, Joe Abercrombie, started writing fantasy with tough characters who had a seedy underside and many times the good guy loses or dies. This was "different" and therefore it has become very popular.

    My epic fantasy is "light, fun, and generally has a spirit of optimism and "unlikley heroes" but who eventually do the "right things". Many people reading this say how "refreshing it is that I'm bucking the recent trends to gritty and dark." I'd like to take credit for that but the reality is...I really hadn't been following the genre and didn't even know that a change had taken place. When I wrote my story I was writing what I liked and wanted to read. As it turns out...if I had written it in the 1980's it would have been just 'one of the pack' now it is "fresh and original" because the pendulum is predominantly on the "new" gritty end of the spectrum.

  8. #203
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    That's cool. So I guess you would be considered a throwback. In mine, I'm doing the good and evil is distorted by shades of gray method. There are heroes and villains on both sides. I know this has been done in serious fiction numerous of times. But now I'm doing this within the theme of parody/satire.

  9. #204
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchaser3000 View Post
    That's cool. So I guess you would be considered a throwback. In mine, I'm doing the good and evil is distorted by shades of gray method. There are heroes and villains on both sides. I know this has been done in serious fiction numerous of times. But now I'm doing this within the theme of parody/satire.
    Yeah..."traditional" or "classic" is how many describe my Riyria Revelations. I also don't belive in black and white and my characters have shades of gray expecially the antagonists who aren't evil - just a bit to focused on their goals to allow the ends to justify their means.

    Parody and satire - There has been some of in the past -but to be honest I don't know enough of that particular niche to be able to comment on intelligently. Maybe someone else more familiar with that bent can weigh in.

  10. #205
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullivan
    Well for years, fantasy was pretty much very optimistic. There was evil to defeat, knights in shining armour and the good guys always triumphed over the bad guys. This is the fantays of "my youth" that I grew up with but I had stopped reading fantasy because it all became "just the same old thing."
    I contest the accuracy of this. As regulars here will tell you, I call it the happy elf myth of fantasy fiction history, which goes once upon a time all the fantasy authors wrote happy elf stories in which things were always black and white and sunny and had happy endings and no sex. Then in the 1990's, they killed the elf and everybody wrote gritty, dark, grey stories full of sex and violence. It was a marketing technique used sometimes in the 1990's (the anti-Tolkein approach it's sometimes been called,) which seems to have stuck around as theory of the market in part because people started reading more narrowly as there were more and more fantasy titles. And you're not a throwback either.

    Instead there are the five basic sub-categories and a number of different stylistic traditions that have been used regularly in fantasy fiction, all decades. The five basic sub-categories are secondary world, historical fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy/horror and satirical fantasy. Dark satire is a regular thing in the market, again, Starchaser. We've had several threads in the Fantasy section on comic fantasy; I'll see if I can dig them up for you. Portal and multiverse fantasies tend to get thrown into either contemporary fantasy or secondary world fantasy, depending on what's being done with them.

  11. #206
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    Dark Satire. (Slaps forehead) Thanks on another helpful reference KatG.

  12. #207
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Yes, there's quite a lot of dark satire. Black humor. First, if you haven't seen them, go rent an Evil Dead movie, any one of the three, and you can add a chaser of My Name is Bruce. Then try, if you haven't seen it, a horrible horror movie called Slither starring Nathan Fillion.

    Check out these titles for a start, plus the earlier ones, and the ones with the smaller presses particularly:

    Carpe Demon, Julie Kenner & Laura Hicks
    It Came From Below the Belt, Bradley Sands
    Last Burn in Hell: Director’s Cut, John Edward Lawson
    Undead and Unemployed, Maryjanice Davidson
    Matt Richter series, Tim Waggoner
    any title written by Christopher Moore
    John Dies at the End, David Wong
    Mogworld, Yahtzee Croshaw
    Grunts, Mary Gentle
    Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, Jonathan L. Howard
    Demon Squad series, Tim Marquitz
    Felix Gomez series, Mario Acevedo

  13. #208
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    I contest the accuracy of this. As regulars here will tell you, I call it the happy elf myth of fantasy fiction history, which goes once upon a time all the fantasy authors wrote happy elf stories in which things were always black and white and sunny and had happy endings and no sex. Then in the 1990's, they killed the elf and everybody wrote gritty, dark, grey stories full of sex and violence. It was a marketing technique used sometimes in the 1990's (the anti-Tolkein approach it's sometimes been called,) which seems to have stuck around as theory of the market in part because people started reading more narrowly as there were more and more fantasy titles. And you're not a throwback either.

    Instead there are the five basic sub-categories and a number of different stylistic traditions that have been used regularly in fantasy fiction, all decades. The five basic sub-categories are secondary world, historical fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy/horror and satirical fantasy. Dark satire is a regular thing in the market, again, Starchaser. We've had several threads in the Fantasy section on comic fantasy; I'll see if I can dig them up for you. Portal and multiverse fantasies tend to get thrown into either contemporary fantasy or secondary world fantasy, depending on what's being done with them.
    Well I'll gladly yield to your expertise. I'm just reporting what I've seen. It seems that everytime I pick up an "epic fantasy" book as of late: Game of Thrones, Prince of Thorns, Shadow's Son, Among Thieves...they are on the dark and gritty side. I'd love to get some recommendations of titles that would be more along the lines of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Eddings.

  14. #209
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    Yeah I've seen the Evil Dead movies. You could say that in my own series that I'm influenced by the Army of Darkness movie.

    At sullivan: I think its a good thing for you that there are not that many hero/epic style fantasy books like yours. IMO it means you have cornered the market to a certain degree.

  15. #210
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullivan_riyria View Post
    Well I'll gladly yield to your expertise. I'm just reporting what I've seen. It seems that everytime I pick up an "epic fantasy" book as of late: Game of Thrones, Prince of Thorns, Shadow's Son, Among Thieves...they are on the dark and gritty side. I'd love to get some recommendations of titles that would be more along the lines of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Eddings.
    To remember, Game of Thrones was started in the 1990's.

    I'll try to make you a list -- there's a lot, but I think what I'm going to try to do when I get the chance is a thread looking at what's coming out/recently been out, either here to talk about writing/market stuff or in Fantasy and SF forums. But that's part of the chunk of things I'm supposed to be doing for SFFWorld list.

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