Creating a Brand, and Catching the Wave

Side Note: Me and Scott didn’t collaborate this  week, we just apparently had the same idea =D

As writers, we are artists. We create.

But as authors, we are business people. We seek to create a product that people want and will pay for.

As with many things in life, there are fads or trends in writing that become wildly popular.  A handful of authors will be at the forefront of these trends, but their success will typically lift lesser known members of their genre with them.

Right now, the Post-Apocalyptic YA era has finally (and thankfully in my opinion) overtaken the Twilight vampire trend. The Hunger Games and the Divergent series are at the front of this change, but other authors are feeling the effects.

But how do we position ourselves to catch these waves before they are created? Is it foresight or just luck?

An important part of Catching the Wave is being an established quantity in your field.

For example, I am not the first author to write Gunpowder Fantasy/Muskets and Magic/Flintlock Fantasy. I’ve counted nearly a dozen other authors that have created these types of worlds, albeit not necessarily tagged under the same category.

Other than a couple of authors who had followings from previous works, not many of the authors creating Gunpowder Fantasy are well known.  I see around 10 views per day on my blog, sometimes a few more. But then, a couple of days ago I noticed that my views were up by roughly 400%.  So I did a search for my three major terms for the previous 24 hours and found a blog post by a soon-to-be-released author who has written a Gunpowder Fantasy novel. This blog post has been reposted and syndicated across several well known sites.

And voila! The exposure this writer has received caused an influx of searches. I’m sure if I were to ask the other authors at the top of the Google search list for these terms, they would tell me that they too saw an increase in searches.

This exposure has come because I’ve worked hard over the last year to establish my name as a part of the Gunpowder Fantasy sub-genre.

I did this because I saw a sub-category that was still forming. So as a businessman, I made the decision to dig in and hope for the best.

Sure, there’s a solid dose of luck involved; I happened to get involved in this sub-genre before it started to grow, but there’s also a good deal of strategy. Looking at existing trends, things that are just starting to pick up some steam or that are sitting latent, waiting to be discovered.

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