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Monday, January 11, 2010

Promoting Unique Subgenres

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I don't usually get into Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but the new Avatar movie has both my husband and I intrigued. We both want to go see it. What is it about this movie that has pulled us into a sub-genre that doesn't normally appeal to us?

It's the promotion--the presentation.

They didn't just promote the story itself. The creators promoted how they made the movie using new innovative technology that has never been used. The marketers promoted the story behind the story. That--and the awesome graphics. Now we're hooked. We'll definitely be seeing this movie, whether it's in the theater or on DVD.

It's the same way with our stories and our promotion. If we want to appeal to people who may not typically read the kind of stories we write, how can we promote our work? I believe it's through our blogs and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Shoutlife. Through these avenues, we give readers a glimpse of who we are as authors and as regular people behind the stories.

A couple of months ago, I made a comment on Facebook about my day job--nothing negative, but in reference to getting off. Someone responded that she assumed I wrote full-time. In a sense, we connected, and she learned something new about me. Sometimes when we feel like we know someone, we're more interested in what they're doing--what they write.

I've seen many interviews of actors and actresses making a movie that didn't appeal to me, but after viewing the personal side of it and all the hard work that went into making it, I then wanted to see the movie. It's the same way with authors. I've read interesting tidbits about an author, what they might have been going through when they wrote a novel or something in their lives that prompted them to write a specific story, and suddenly, I had a desire to read their book.

What specific things have made you want to watch a movie or read a book you wouldn't typically watch or read?


Avatar was wonderful. I've read only a fistfull of sci-fi books and I don't have a hankering after Avatar but it did get my creative juices flowing.

I was totally sucked in by the same promotional job you were, but after seeing it, not sure I'd recommend it.
Unless you just want to go for the cool special effects. I mean 3-D is awesome, but 'Coraline' was a million times the movie 'Avatar' was.
I just got a little cranky about it once I realized it was 'Dances with Wolves' in space.
I love anything sci-fi or fantasy and I love even formulaic romances... and I loved DwW when it came out 15 years ago, but I'd like a new story to go along with such spectacular special effects.

Anyway, if you're going to go see it, definitely go for the 3-D in the theater, not the DVD! (they only can do the crappy old red/blue glasses on the dvd's right now)

I don't know that sci-fi is a sub-genre as it kind of stands as its own genre but I really liked the point you made. I tend to be a fantasy fan but I read and watch sci-fi if it grabs my interest and I'll go for murder mysteries, romance, horror, comedy and even drama if they are pitched right. Mostly I want to be entertained and to be kept interested so if it looks like the movie or book will do that I'll check it out. Usually this means giving me the sense that the characters are worth connecting to and that there is a story, without telling me the end of the story by the time I've finished reading the blurb or watching the trailer.

Thanks, T.Anne. Sometimes a movie can give us great ideas for another story.

Ann, I didn't realize it was Dances with Wolves in space. I've heard a lot of critics claim that there is a racial theme. It's hard to know what to believe from all the different things that are being said about it.

Cassandra, I didn't mean to indicate that fantasy is a subgenre, although I think there are subgenres within fantasy like time travels. I was actually thinking about those subgenres that are hard to promote like an historical romantic suspense since most are contemporary. Or biblical fiction. And I agree with you, I don't like spoilers in promotion. Thanks for stopping by.