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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A bit of fun that should also prove informative if enough take up the challenge.

Imagine you are the CEO of a long-established publishing house. Your top writers have steadily drifted away to self-publish. You have one professional writer left, highly competent but out of ideas.

You need a bestseller to save the business. You assemble all the data on target markets, currently popular books etc., and your aim is to have this new book out within 6 months. Write a brief for your writer.

(I'm opting out, pleading inexperience; I write in just one genre and don't read nearly as much as I ought to)

Joe
 

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Half-naked teenagers in blue jeans, kissing.

They both have chilling secrets!

But mostly they have his smoldering eyeballs.
 

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Six months.  That would put it for a August release.  I would shut down operations and give him more time for a November release to ramp into December sales.

As for genera, I would go with either a romantic comedy and try to catch the romance market (largest book market segment), or something in Sci-Fi and hope to grab some movie deal as most top 50 grossing movies fall in the Sci-Fi category.
 

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Dara England said:
Erotic new adult romance series, possibly with BDSM. Also, throw in Dalya's smoldering eyeballs. ;)
Speaking of eyeball, I'm working on a paranormal Cyclops romance.

The climactic swoon line is, "I only have eye for you."
 

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Dalya said:
Speaking of eyeball, I'm working on a paranormal Cyclops romance.

The climactic swoon line is, "I only have eye for you."
Don't forget to make somebody in the story a vampire. And by that I don't mean the old school Dracula type; I mean something that kinda sorta resembles a vampire, but isn't.

Pardon me while I wretch.
 

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Wait. Isn't he supposed to be rich and reserved? She has little money, but a quick wit and fine eyes.

Wait. That's Pride and Prejudice. Everything old IS new again.
 

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One eyed  lawyer is asked to defend zombie who accidentally ate his eye
Thriller about a Cyclops teen who is made fun of and years later turns into a serial attacker (blinds people who bullied him in the past)
YA romance/thriller about a teen who is a one-eyed secret agent (for some agency) and finds love with kind-cute-cool person during dangerous mission where he gets to show off his prosthetic super agent eye
Possibilities are endless... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dalya said:
Speaking of eyeball, I'm working on a paranormal Cyclops romance.

The climactic swoon line is, "I only have eye for you."
Funniest so far in a very funny bunch of responses. I've only truly Lolled at a handful of things online - this is one.

I'm with you on this Dalya with a working title of ...? I say Blink
 

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Rival TV Chefs are forced together into one show by the studio. It's a kitchen, it's hot and steamy, there's heat between them, increasing amounts of aphrodisiac food on the menu. This can only go one place, live, on TV.

It's Ratatouille without the rat. On TV. Yeah.
 
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Steeplechasing said:
Imagine you are the CEO of a long-established publishing house. Your top writers have steadily drifted away to self-publish. You have one professional writer left, highly competent but out of ideas.
I guess the question is, am I a COMPETENT CEO or an idiot CEO?

This scenario assumes I'm an idiot and would have allowed the situation to devolve to the point where I have only a single writer in the pipeline. If I am a CEO of a real business in this situation, the business has ALREADY failed because I am unable to afford the electric bill without having a steady stream of books released.

The only way I can see this scenario is if the company has a significant financial cushion still in place and the Board of Directors hires me to replace the idiot CEO. So if I am ***** the Newly Hired CEO, I'm not looking to "force" a bestseller. A bestseller is not going to save the business because it would require too many resources up front. You need to be able to afford an enormous advance print run and a pricey marketing push. Neither of which is going to happen. Particularly in 6 months.

Assuming I have six months to turn the company around, I need a bunch of lower-risk returns on investment. I don't want a single bestseller. I want two dozen books that turn a profit.

First, I go to the editors and ask them what in the Blue Hell they have been doing? Because I'm pretty damn sure they each have stacks of unread manuscripts sitting on their desks. I give them one week to cull through the manuscripts and each find one or two books that can be published with some work. Because there is SOMETHING publishable on those slush piles.

Second, I call the authors who left and ask them why they did. Were there problems with royalty payments? Did the marketing staff not do their job? Because self-publishing is not the magic money maker people pretend it is, and trade authors who are making money and treated well don't wake up one day en masse and think "Gee, I want to self publish now." Something would trigger that exodus. If I don't identify the problem, I can't fix it.

Third, I'll go out and look at some indie authors who already have ebooks out and see about buying print rights for their backlist to get some stuff out the door quickly while waiting on my editors to produce new material. In particular, authors with a successful series because hardcover omnibus collector's editions would be highly profitable. And as a publisher of a large publishing house, I already have the existing equipment and infrastructure to take a ready-made ebook and publish it for print distribution. Depending on how much money we have available, I might even look at some of the smaller micro publishers and buy them out, bringing the owners on board to replace my incompetent editorial staff!
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
I guess the question is, am I a COMPETENT CEO or an idiot CEO?

This scenario assumes I'm an idiot and would have allowed the situation to devolve to the point where I have only a single writer in the pipeline. If I am a CEO of a real business in this situation, the business has ALREADY failed because I am unable to afford the electric bill without having a steady stream of books released.

The only way I can see this scenario is if the company has a significant financial cushion still in place and the Board of Directors hires me to replace the idiot CEO. So if I am Julie the Newly Hired CEO, I'm not looking to "force" a bestseller. A bestseller is not going to save the business because it would require too many resources up front. You need to be able to afford an enormous advance print run and a pricey marketing push. Neither of which is going to happen. Particularly in 6 months.

Assuming I have six months to turn the company around, I need a bunch of lower-risk returns on investment. I don't want a single bestseller. I want two dozen books that turn a profit.

First, I go to the editors and ask them what in the Blue Hell they have been doing? Because I'm pretty d*mn sure they each have stacks of unread manuscripts sitting on their desks. I give them one week to cull through the manuscripts and each find one or two books that can be published with some work. Because there is SOMETHING publishable on those slush piles.

Second, I call the authors who left and ask them why they did. Were there problems with royalty payments? Did the marketing staff not do their job? Because self-publishing is not the magic money maker people pretend it is, and trade authors who are making money and treated well don't wake up one day en masse and think "Gee, I want to self publish now." Something would trigger that exodus. If I don't identify the problem, I can't fix it.

Third, I'll go out and look at some indie authors who already have ebooks out and see about buying print rights for their backlist to get some stuff out the door quickly while waiting on my editors to produce new material. In particular, authors with a successful series because hardcover omnibus collector's editions would be highly profitable. And as a publisher of a large publishing house, I already have the existing equipment and infrastructure to take a ready-made ebook and publish it for print distribution. Depending on how much money we have available, I might even look at some of the smaller micro publishers and buy them out, bringing the owners on board to replace my incompetent editorial staff!
I'm picturing a young Julie, a cute young boy comes up to her and says, "Hey wanna play doctor?" Julie shakes her head. "No, I don't have a medical degree. I'm too young to go to college, and I haven't even passed the prerequisite courses yet. What's the matter with you?"
 

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Steeplechasing said:
I'm with you on this Dalya with a working title of ...? I say Blink
Or maybe Wink?

Sent from my LG-VS700 using Tapatalk 2
 

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They talked about doing just this on a podcast I listen to a while ago.

The guys came to the conclusion that they'd have the best-selling young adult book ever if they made it about an average-looking young girl who's in love with a super hot guy. Then she also has a close friend who's really into her, but she doesn't necessarily feel the same way back (because she's into Mr. Hottiepants). Also something magical's involved and they're elves. Then in the third book a dark and mysterious third guy comes along he's so enticing that they instantly bang. So the hot guy is all "Oh no!", and the friend guy is all "Oh no!"

And after all that, in the final book, the heroine has to choose which two of her admirers to save and which one dies. Since the dark and mysterious guy's kind of dark and mysterious she chooses him, but at the last moment her close friend sacrifices himself instead, and she realises he was the one who really loved her all along.
It's the kind of story that any young girl can relate to.

Then they decided their next book would have to cater to a male audience, so they'd call it Guy Hero.
 
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vrabinec said:
I'm picturing a young *****, a cute young boy comes up to her and says, "Hey wanna play doctor?" ***** shakes her head. "No, I don't have a medical degree. I'm too young to go to college, and I haven't even passed the prerequisite courses yet. What's the matter with you?"
Wait, were you spying on me?
 
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