Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gimmick or Angle

One detective has books named alphabetically, another has them by numbers. There are detectives with beach themes, with craft themes, with sudoku themes. Name a theme or an angle and there seems to be a set of mysteries to go along with it.

Is this good or bad? While it certainly has that nudge of Gimmick to it, I'd have to argue that it's one way to stand out. The mystery section at even my baby Borders store is massive. Let's not talk about the corner of the library devoted to mysteries. It's actually rather overwhelming at times.

But gimmicks and angles stand out. Many non-mystery people I talk to (okay, most of them are my students, but I have to educate them...) don't know who Sue Grafton is, but they know the alphabet books. Similar deal with Janet Evaonvich.

There are so many aspring writers, and so many people who've already gotten their book onto those bookstore shelves. In order to get more than a small sliver of the market, I think it's important for an author to have or devise some way to stand out from the rest. At least until name alone is strong enough to carry the books.

Obviously, my angle is sex and violence. Along with my sharp tongued and sharp witted female private eye. I've not read anything quite like what I write. Especially nothing set today.

This is how I think I'm going to stand out. My angle. Or gimmick.

Now, I just got to finish that novel and find out if I'm right.

1 comment:

Travis Erwin said...

Sex and violence. Seems like time proven methods to me.