Author Topic: Literary Fiction  (Read 6669 times)  

Offline bjm

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 07:41:21 AM »
Brilliant.

Even do it with Search 'n Replace. Makes it easy. Write the story you 'really' want to write. Then when done (and all checked), call in the dwarves. Replace all with dwarves and elves to get the Fantasy market. Or werewolves and vampires. Zombies too. Add everything. Or make several versions: sci-fi, fantasy, zombie, western, circus. See how many variations you can make. All for 99 cents. Draws 'em in.

And then when your book is becoming popular, offer a special 'author's cut' version that has the originals. So the fans know what you really think. That way you can sell more, reach many audiences, please everyone. Try it.

I think you can easily change from literary to "genre" fiction and still keep your literary roots.  For example, instead of exploring the difficulties a young white lesbian (who's father is a strict pastor) encounters when she falls in love with a young african american woman, you can explore what happens when an adopted, young dark elf maiden whose father is a racist dwarf pastor who in turn used to be a prominent leader of the inquisition falls in love with a rustic woodelf.

A simple stylitic twist and yet your still grappling with potent sociopolitical issues.

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 09:06:49 AM »
I've been all over bookblogs and got some excellent reviews from bloggers there. I blog regularly and my blog is syndicated to a couple of other sites. I twitter constantly. I submit to #samplesunday. I have written guest posts, did a short blog tour.

I should probably use Good reads more.

Also keep in mind that it's been less than two months, which isn't a long time, really. Keep plugging away at it.
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Offline Jon Olson

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2011, 09:08:00 AM »
How many authors here write literary fiction? Is it harder to sell than genre fiction?

What the heck is it?

as editor

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2011, 09:46:38 AM »
If you read The Power of Persuasion -- you can download a free copy on Smashwords and B & N -- you would very quickly see that it is not genre fiction. Here's the first page:

"Do you wake on Sunday mornings feeling bright and cheerful before you step out to buy your favourite Sunday newspapers, and spend the next four hours reading the print off the page? Does this weekly ritual result in a change of temperament – signs of irritability, aggressiveness and a distinctly argumentative frame of mind? I do. To be more accurate, I did. Everyone around me suffered from my inability to avoid the very thing that caused the Jekyll and Hyde mood swings. The news items didn’t affect me much, but the journalists with a point to make were my Achilles’ heel. To a man and a woman, I disagreed with all of them. We were as black and white to each other as the printed page before me. There was no grey area, no common ground and no compromise.

How could there be compromise in a situation where they wrote and I read? In order to see one another’s point of view, I would need to explain mine. To inflict regularly my own half-baked ideas on my family would have been unfair, and yet they probably suffered more from my silent fuming than they did if I succumbed to soap box outbursts.

The more thoughts I kept to myself, the greater the irritation, but at least I did eventually begin to recognise all the symptoms of Sunday paperitis."

It does not read like genre fiction. The work is narrative-driven and not plot-driven (it's quite weak on plot) and it is most definitely not formulaic. There is a rhythm to the writing that is maintained throughout the novel. Part of the enjoyment in the reading should be in the style of writing as much as the content (a style that I never use on messageboards to keep it distinct).

 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 09:56:16 AM by Shelagh »

Offline zstopper

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2011, 12:30:20 PM »
I think that people who read literary fiction won't take a book seriously
unless it has reviews from recognized media outlets.

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2011, 02:45:01 AM »
Also keep in mind that it's been less than two months, which isn't a long time, really. Keep plugging away at it.

Thank you RJ, you are right!

It does not read like genre fiction. The work is narrative-driven and not plot-driven (it's quite weak on plot) and it is most definitely not formulaic. There is a rhythm to the writing that is maintained throughout the novel. Part of the enjoyment in the reading should be in the style of writing as much as the content (a style that I never use on messageboards to keep it distinct).

Shelagh, nice quote. Yes you are right, Lit Fic is perhaps more narrative and concerned with psychological development of character, though that's not to say that plot is not important as there a few works I can think of where plot is utilized quite beautifully, though it is subservient to character reality; and there is also work that quite subversively takes apart a genre to reveal something quite unique about ourselves.

I think that people who read literary fiction won't take a book seriously
unless it has reviews from recognized media outlets.

You may be right. Strikes me our mission is to change this.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2011, 05:10:09 AM »
You may be right. Strikes me our mission is to change this.

Agreed!
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Offline dmburnett

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2011, 05:19:25 AM »
My first fiction novel for Kindle was literary fiction and did not sell well.  Most of the material in it was previously published in literary magazines to rave reviews, but I only sell a couple a week.  My second novel was a contemporary romance that launched this past weekend and it is already selling better.

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Offline Kathleen Valentine

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2011, 06:16:45 AM »
I'd say 80% or what I read is read literary fiction and I NEVER read reviews by newspapers and magazines. I go by recommendations of friends and people on Goodreads and by reader reviews.

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2011, 07:18:14 AM »
Shelagh, nice quote.
Thank you, Xavier! I read the reviews for Heaven Sent on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. Have you read Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles? It is a very dark novel with a similar love story to yours.


Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2011, 08:38:29 AM »
Thank you, Xavier! I read the reviews for Heaven Sent on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. Have you read Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles? It is a very dark novel with a similar love story to yours.



Hey Shelagh, I do know Tess, though it has been a while. It is an extraordinary work and I can't claim to wear the same trousers as Hardy, or even shop at the same tailors.

How is your book doing? and what have you done to market it?

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2011, 01:14:25 PM »
The Power of Persuasion was on the list for Wales Book of the Year 2009 and I am now in the writers of Wales database on Literature Wales:

http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/i/132476/desc/watkins-shelagh/

The honest truth is that readers enjoy reading the book if they receive a free copy but that's as far as it goes. It is the kind of book that readers take out of a library but do not buy from bookstores. The book isn't free on Amazon, but it is free on Smashwords and B & N.

Btw, Hardy is one of my favourite authors! If you are half as good, you are a darned good writer!

« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 01:16:09 PM by Shelagh »

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2011, 01:36:10 PM »
The Power of Persuasion was on the list for Wales Book of the Year 2009 and I am now in the writers of Wales database on Literature Wales:

http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/i/132476/desc/watkins-shelagh/

The honest truth is that readers enjoy reading the book if they receive a free copy but that's as far as it goes. It is the kind of book that readers take out of a library but do not buy from bookstores. The book isn't free on Amazon, but it is free on Smashwords and B & N.

Btw, Hardy is one of my favourite authors! If you are half as good, you are a darned good writer!



That must be really frustrating. How long has it been out? To be listed as one of the writers of Wales is pretty cool.

Hardy is great, I would love to be half as good as him.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline Elijah Joon

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2011, 01:58:18 PM »
Nice to see literary fiction get some love here. 

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2011, 02:15:38 PM »
That must be really frustrating. How long has it been out?

The book came out in April 2008.

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2011, 02:24:24 PM »
The book came out in April 2008.

Wow. How do your other books do?

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2011, 03:26:27 PM »
The Literature & Fiction Interviews books are free and have been downloaded thousands of times on websites around the 'net. My books don't generate a great number of sales. Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine was serialised on Preston FM community radio in 2009 (forty-eight daily episodes and Sunday omnibus editions). I'm trying to generate more interest through the previously published short stories, which I've put together in a small collection of four stories.   

Offline lpking

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2011, 03:33:37 PM »
I've been obsessed with Kickstarter lately. (Ask dgaughran...) I can't help wondering if there might be some way for indie (I almost typed "self-pubbed" but I understand in some circles that's a faux pas.) authors of literary fiction to use it to their advantage. Though that might be another topic.
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Offline peter darbyshire

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2011, 09:26:53 PM »
It's hard to make general comments about literary fiction, as it's such a catch-all category. (I sometimes think of it as the genre for books that don't fit easily into any other genre.)

In my own experience, I've found my literary fiction ebooks sell all right, but not nearly as well as my print books. My first book won a national award, received rave reviews across the board mainstream media, bloggers, Amazon reviewers but the ebook only sells when it happens to be in the news. That is, there's never any momentum to the sales. My sales chart is like a seismograph. Same thing for the second book. So my feeling is that lit fiction is a little more up and down than genre fiction, and really dependent on media/word of mouth/Satanic bargains.

I've said before I think that I do better in print than in digital because I'm a Canadian writer (thus invisible to Americans, unless I am for some mysterious reason talking about sports), and we're still behind in the shift to ebooks. But we did just get electricity, so that may help prompt people to buy e-readers.

As for bias on the part of readers, I have noticed it, but in a very strange way: price. I experimented a little with the price of the first book, and found it sells best at $3.99, but poorly at the popular indie price points of 99 cents or $2.99 or $4.99 for that matter. It seems $3.99 is the ideal price for my readers. I don't know maybe my readers are all members of some numerology cult.
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Offline peter darbyshire

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2011, 09:36:55 PM »
I've been obsessed with Kickstarter lately. (Ask dgaughran...) I can't help wondering if there might be some way for indie (I almost typed "self-pubbed" but I understand in some circles that's a faux pas.) authors of literary fiction to use it to their advantage. Though that might be another topic.

I've supported a few graphic novel projects on Kickstarter, and it looks like there are more literary projects popping up on it. So people are embracing this model.

And then there's the Unbound model that just launched in the UK: http://www.unbound.co.uk/
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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2011, 01:24:37 AM »

Offline lpking

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2011, 04:11:28 PM »
<snip> And then there's the Unbound model that just launched in the UK: http://www.unbound.co.uk/

Just saw Unbound mentioned elsewhere. Now I'll have to go and check it out!
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Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2011, 03:17:17 AM »
How is your book doing? and what have you done to market it?

I started a new thread about the free downloads on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. The Power of Persuasion is now free on amazon.com and has been downloaded 50 times already. I'll keep you updated on the number of downloads. I've no idea how this will pan out.

Offline peter darbyshire

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2011, 10:28:16 AM »
Just saw Unbound mentioned elsewhere. Now I'll have to go and check it out!

I think Unbound is just a UK thing right now, but it seems like an easy enough model to duplicate if they don't want to spread it. I certainly like the idea of it. But authors shouldn't do those promo videos unless they're comfortable doing promo videos....
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Offline dgaughran

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2011, 03:10:24 PM »
I sold 100 copies of one literary short story in my first month. So there is a market there.

Cheryl Shireman is selling 200+ copies a DAY of her literary novel, and that's only on sale four months.

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