(reprinted from August 6, 2021)
Hi, packmates. It's that time again, time for the monthly Red Wolf newsletter!
First of all, congratulations to the winner of the July giveaway, Patti S. Patti, you should already have received your Amazon gift card!
Now for the topic of this month's newsletter: What in the world (or, in this case, the galaxy) is the genre in which I'm writing?
If you recall, we started talking about this a few months back. For marketing purposes, it's very important to know the genre and sub-genre (and sub-sub-genre) in which you are writing. It affects the kind of cover, product description, keywords and categories (that's Amazon publishing gibberish to most of you, but if you're a KDP author, you know what I'm talking about), and just about everything that's important in positioning your book for success, as far as sales go.
An author who is a savvy marketer knows his genre before he starts writing. Me, I don't fall into that category. Nope. Not savvy. I'm learning, but it's a steep curve. Anyway, suffice it to say, I knew none of this while writing the Red Wolf Saga (see the My Books tab), and my sales statistics prove it. I labeled those four novels as Urban Fantasy, an extremely broad sub-genre, and I'm still trying to find the right sub-niche, so they'll stand out from the crowd, or at least stand with the right crowd.
Well, with The Cargo, I crossed into the realm of Science Fiction, an even broader category. Sci Fi is something I've been in love with since I was a kid, and it's even more hard to define than Urban Fantasy.
If you go to Wikipedia, you get something like, "a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It has been called the 'literature of ideas', and often explores the potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations."
Um...okay. What about werewolves?
See, I didn't want to make the same marketing mistake I did with the Red Wolf Saga. So, congratulations to me. I made an even bigger one.
And I've outlined a series of at least three books to follow it, all written in the same vein: werewolves in space. So, to keep my writing life from being completely miserable for the next three years, I sought out some help.
Bryan Cohen's Best Page Forward group has been helping me with the ins-and-outs of Amazon advertising. I commissioned the group to research The Cargo and tell me where it fits in the world of sci fi.
And they did it!
Turns out, The Cargo, and, subsequently, the Spaceship Huey Adventures series (renamed from the Half Human Saga), is a Shifter Space Opera.
Yes, there is such a thing.
No, I didn't know it, either. Here's my new cover:
It reflects the kind of cover that is standard for a shifter space opera. I kind of miss the characters that were on the old cover, but they apparently hinted the book was a romance. Also, we've removed the words, half human, because people were getting the impression it involved cyborgs. I will, however, keep the Half Human title for the next book, coming out in a few months. It has cyborgs, so that's okay.
This Month's Feedback Question: What do y'all think of the new cover? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.
Monthly Giveaway: This month, I'll be re-booting The Cargo, with the new cover and a promo or two, leading up to the release of Half Human, the first book in the Spaceship Huey Adventures series. To celebrate, I'm giving away three signed copies of the book with the new cover. Click here to <enter the giveaway>.
Sign up for the Red Wolf Pack newsletter: All new subscribers receive a free short story download and chances to win free stuff in the months and years ahead. Click here to <sign up for the newsletter>.
Thanks, packmates, and happy reading!