The Business of the Business

That’s the title of the only course I’m currently taking. It’s all about targeting to audiences, marketing, and branding. We only meet one weekend per month, and we’ve only had two weekends so far. Today begins the third (class all day tomorrow).

I’ve been struggling so far with it, if only because I never really stopped to think about my audience; I’ve just figured that anyone who likes to read or likes stories will dig it, mostly. I knew there were some caveats: there’s a time machine in it, but I don’t think it’s really a science fiction novel. It doesn’t feel that way. I think I once read Patrick Nielsen Hayden talk about genre and say that he mainly thought it was a product of the writer’s mindset as the writer was composing. Being that he’s an editor at Tor, generally knows what he’s talking about, and was a large part of the reason I ended up in a graduate writing program, I’m compelled to listen to him, and my mindset was never that it was science fiction. No more than one might consider Jurassic Park or Timeline science fiction. Really, they’re high concept commercial technothrillers.

Or, simply, you know, fiction.

There’s an old argument that all fiction is fantasy, because it’s made up (though that seems to indicate that all memoirs are fantasies, too, lately). I don’t really agree or disagree, mainly because it’s never something I’ve cared much about. I just like good stories. I’m as likely to enjoy a good love story like Shakespeare in Love or The Time-Traveler’s Wife as a brilliant action flick like Mission: Impossible III.

Anyway, I did as best I could with the marketing plan and trying to determine who my target audience is, besides, simply, everyone. I’m pretty happy with the proposal.

But now I’ve got to go to class.

Video tomorrow, though.

Have a good one. Wish me luck.

2 thoughts on “The Business of the Business

  1. ALMA

    What I’ve read of your novel, to me, doesn’t fit into any one genre. Which I think is a great thing. For me, it helps broaden my horizons. I’ll admit it–I’m a bit of a snob. I usually dislike sci-fi and fantasy. I’m more forgiving of horror and mystery, but that’s all Stephen King’s doing. Sure, I’ve liked a few sci-fi/fantasy bits here and there, but mostly I just say no. To each his own. We like what we like. The thing is, I think I would like fantasy/sci-fi if more of it focused on the act of being human rather than weird stuff that makes geeks shit their panties. I guess, for me, I usually find that such stories don’t really have anything interesting to tell me. Usually, it’s just some writer trying to prove something…usually to him/herself.

    What I like about your novel, Will, is that the fantastic stuff is a device that supports the crux of the novel–which is really just a story about some guy trying to find his way. Your work does appeal pretty broadly. I think people, though, usually don’t think all that broadly.

  2. GOTHAMGIRL

    What I hate about genre is once something is put in a genre people start putting it in the wrong genere. Something completely Rock n Roll gets put in the Pop section or something by Madonna will be put in the “good” section. Genere is relative and changes based on the current mind set of society and what nit wit is stocking the shelves at the time. The important thing is that your happy with what you write.


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