Site Images and Genre for Once Giants


  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    @ Dary you haven't read my serial, have you? It's definitely not high concept. It's one of the most genre-bending storytelling experiments on Amazon. Even the narrative structure is unusual; there's nothing like it on Amazon. But if I want to sell books, I have to attract people somehow. And the 'rules of attraction' are the same no matter what you upload on Amazon. The algorithms work the same, too. The algos don't care if your story is high concept or not.

    There is plenty of non-mainstream stuff that does well on Amazon. Like... dinosaur porn. I wish I was kidding! Virtual reality fiction like the Gam3 was non-mainstream at some point and kind of still is. And Game of Thrones was very much non-mainstream when it was first published. It created a new mainstream of its own. It will be harder to find your audience, but there's an audience for everything.

    And yes, my advice applies to all stories. How much time have you spent researching the market? I did it for years. Feel free to ignore my advice, but please don't dismiss it on a public forum unless you've done your research.

    Sorry about the derail.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  2. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Actually, I could tell your serial wasn't particularly high concept from the trouble you had with your blurb earlier in the year :p

    My advice is based on everything I learned during my degree, as well as research I did into publishing at the time - which is what drove me to do this while internet serial thing, rather than go the traditional route of sending manuscripts to publishers.

  3. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Academic degrees don't teach you anything about how Amazon works. :P Not even most Amazon employees know how the algos work. The only way to learn that stuff is to experiment, observe, and talk to / cooperate with authors who've been successful there. And keep doing this for years. Because the rules change. The 'zon loves to change them on a whim. 2 years from now I'll probably have to write a whole new post.

    I've found the marketing classes I took during my studies to be 95% useless in regards to ebook publishing.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  4. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'm not dismissing anything you said, though. What I'm saying is that those methods are the very basis of high concept fiction - something the audience can understand from a title and cover alone.

    And trying to sell something as something it's not is only going to result in disappointed readers.

  5. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Each and every story more or less fits into at least one genre. The issue usually arises when too many genres are mixed - for instance, humor + romance + horror. The more genres you add the more people will be put off by something or other. But you still have to market yourself as something, or else you'll find no readers at all.

    If I had to market War and Peace, for instance, I'd put it under historical fiction.

    And you'd be surprised how easy it is to market dinosaur porn... XD ((not that I have any experience marketing dinosaur porn. Honest.))

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  6. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    But how would you market it? What would the pitch be? How could you summarise the story in an easily-digestible way that would appeal to a mainstream audience, in the same way the movie Speed covers it's entire premise with "There's a bomb on the bus!"

  7. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    @chrysalis I'm 14% into book 2, and honestly you're books don't blend that many genres. I mean, I wouldn't class it as "superhero fiction," but if you said if it was urban fantasy or even contemporary science fiction, it would go along with a lot of what is out there.


    Two things from this conversation. One, ebooks can be marketed the same way everything else is outside of Amazon. (Inside Amazon the algorithms are important).

    Two, the only "high concept" stuff I see nowadays is the mass market crap traditional publisher's churn out by the millions, like Dan Brown's anything, or 50 shades, etc.

    The indie stuff on Amazon (at least 80% of what I read, and I read a lot) is almost all genre-blending. You think Dino porn is bad, try the "Claimed by" series, with titles like "Claimed by Lightning," or "Claimed by Canada." I read the lightning one because I honestly couldn't imagine how it could work. I'm not sure if it was meant to be erotic, but it was utterly hilarious.

  8. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    You can blend genres and still be high concept. "Humans build theme park filled with cloned dinosaurs. The dinosaurs escape."

  9. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    So basically all you want is an elevator pitch? Then pretty much everything is high concept, if you know how to condense things.

    I've never read War and Peace, but a quick glance at Wikipedia suggests something like "Five aristocratic families deal with life, death, and survival when France invades Russia."

    Yeah, it's not what the book is about, but you're never really going to get any real details in an elevator pitch.

  10. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    @Chryskelly wait until the horror and erotica kick in! (Just kidding, there's no erotica in there. Honest.)

    I don't blend too many genres, but I deconstruct them. And add a GoT style continuous narrative with separate POVs, which is an experiment of its own.

    People watched Jurassic Park because the computer animated dinos were revolutionary at the time. It was all about the eye candy. There wasn't a book before the movie, or was there?

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  11. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    There was a book, by Michael Crighton. It's better than the movie, and I <3 the movie.

  12. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    An elevator pitch isn't necessarily High Concept but a High Concept is always expressible in a striking elevator pitch. To put it simply "High Concept" means blockbuster potential that's obvious from the pitch.

    Example: "A post-apocalyptic road trip to the last pub on Earth" is pretty high concept since you know everything you need to from that one sentence. It's also Bar None by Tim Lebbon (A novel that is on my to read list) (And it was clearly a really bad apocalypse since Cornwall is somehow north of Wales *raises eyebrow*)

    Anyway I think this article explains it all better than I can.

  13. Dary (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Yeah, that sums it up pretty well, although it's a bit heavy on the marketing spiel (I can think of plenty of successful novels that aren't - and never were - high concept).

    I've used this video to help describe the high/low concept thing in the past:

  14. Team Contract (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Wow! Way to hijack a thread you guys!! xD

  15. donutguru (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    For what it's worth, it was this thread that got me reading your story, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it so far. Hey, keep the picture and to hell with genre (and high concept and all that crap). Just keep writing. It's been fun so far.

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