I’m delighted to introduce the lovely Laura Dennis to you. Laura is a regular voice on here and I’m lucky to have read her new book. I suggest you do the same…
Over to you, Laura
In Your 1st Step To Selling One Million Copies, Matthew asked, “How do you do it? How can you become the next … dare I say, Fifty Shades of Grey?”
It’s an intriguing question, one I recently asked myself. I’m so pleased to be guest posting at Turndog Millionaire, and I may have a slightly shocking answer. Two words for you:
I know, I know. Fan fiction is derivative. Real writers don’t write it. You can’t actually publish fan fiction because of copyright issues. Blah blah blah, I get it. But bear with me here.
Matthew provides tons of innovative tips for developing an Author House (not just an author platform). Writers need to come up with their brand, voice, and value system. But they also need to be creative. So today, I’m going to encourage you to think about how fan fiction could be just one aspect of your book marketing strategy.
The Role Of Fifty shades
I heard about the Fifty Shades series from mass media. Then I learned that EL James used to write fan fiction … for the Twilight series. That’s right, Ana and Christian used to be Bella and Edward. But here’s the kicker for a self-published author: James developed a following. People wanted to read more. And suddenly, she had a novel, then three novels. Change the names and some identifying details, and bam, it’s a bestseller. (I think readers liked all of the graphic sex after having read about tortured sighs and wayward glances in the Twilight series for so long, but that’s just my opinion.)
I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but in the case of full disclosure I will say, I read the Fifty Shades series. All three books. In about a week. But, it was “research.” I genuinely wanted to know what it was that made the books so popular. And I still don’t know. The writing is not great. The syntax is repetitive. The storyline is predictable. But it sold 500 million copies, and counting. A movie series is in the works. So it got me thinking…
How do you go about writing fan fiction?
There’s a great site, FanFiction that has a ton of stories by people who want to read and write about their favorite characters. A month ago, I searched Fifty Shades, and there were nine stories. Now there are 89. Some are less than 1,000 words. The site doesn’t allow links, but writers do put information about their own websites within their posts. The fan fiction for Fifty Shades is growing. There’s already an avid audience out there.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to write racy stories, just have an interesting take on characters that already exist. Think of it as a creative writing exercise, or a new type of guest blog.
Did you know I have a Facebook Page dedicated to my writing? I’m inviting fellow writers & readers to LIKE my page and join the fun. If you do so in July you’ll be entered into a Free Prize Draw where one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon Voucher & a 1-Hour Consultancy Chat with ME!
It’s not about the prize, though, it’s about engagement. I’ll be using my Facebook Page to document my writing, showcase samples and designs, and create competitions and polls to get your feedback. Doesn’t that sound fun?
All you have to do is Press Like.
But what should you write? It’s all about synergy. In the next couple of weeks I’m going to upload a fan fiction story for Fifty Shades, here’s a preview:
In my memoir, ADOPTED REALITY, I meet a man who I call Mr. Gray, who, in a fit of paranoid delusion; I believe is the head of the Illuminati and mastermind of 9/11. Yes, it’s a true story, but during that point in my life, I was a little crazy.
My short story will be written from Mr. Gray’s perspective, in which he is the biological father of Christian Grey. Mr. Gray will be the one who actually found the crack whore’s body, (not the pimp as Christian remembered it). Mr. Gray’s own illicit activities made it impossible for him to raise Christian, and so he engineered Christian’s adoption.
That’s my plan. I hope to get a few cross-over readers from the fan fiction site to my own memoir. And of course, I’ll cross-promote the heck out of the short story on my own website, and on Facebook and Twitter.
How do you feel about fan fiction? Ick or Yeah, or something else? How will you creatively market your book? Comment below!