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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Seeking Readers’ Views on Matters of Fantasy.

Those of you who’ve followed this blog for any time will know I’m in the process of completing an epic fantasy trilogy. I’ve written the first 2 volumes and edited book one to the point where it’s ready for publication. Book 2 is currently undergoing the penultimate edit and book 3 is yet to be written, though I know where it’s heading, more or less.

So, how can you help?

Well, I’m seeking the opinions of readers on various aspects of the fantasy genre:

My book is an adult tale, containing references and descriptions unsuitable for those under 15 years of age. Would that concern you? (there’s no erotic content, but there are sexual references).

The major theme of the whole work is hypocrisy in organised religion, though this is very definitely thematic and doesn’t push the story, which is largely character driven, with the actions of those characters resulting in the drama and adventure of the tale.  Clearly, I’m not about to alter the theme, but I’d like to know if the very fact of it would deter you from sampling the book.

Book 1 is 216,000 words, or around 680 pages of a standard paperback. The other two volumes will be around the same length. Assuming the story and characters carry this length, as a reader, does this excite, inspire, worry or inhibit you?

Clearly, publication of such a tome is likely to be difficult to sell to a traditional publishing house. Would you be likely to try such a book as, A, a paperback, B, an ebook, C, both of these, D, neither, if self-published?

What sort of price would you expect to pay for such a work?

The story needs maps to allow the reader to enjoy the location of the fantasy. I’ve drawn the main map on a sheet of A1 (approx. 60x80 cms) and had it scanned electronically so I can produce it both in full and in parts to suit the story as it ranges over the wide territory imagined. How would you feel about the inclusion of such maps in an ebook? And, would you like a ‘fold-out’ map in a paper book, if possible?

I’ve decided not to publish volume 1 until volume 2 is ready for publication and volume 3 is already underway. Would that decision help you decide whether or not to sample the first volume? I know it’s not uncommon for fantasy writers to start a trilogy and then abandon it before it’s finished. I want to avoid falling into that trap and, by taking this action, wish to assure my readers that I’ll give them the full tale.

Later in the process, I intend releasing short tasters so that readers can have an idea of the quality of the writing and some clues regarding characters, theme and storyline. Would you welcome such samples?

That’s it for the moment. Later on, I’ll explain some of the techniques used in the writing, introduce some of the major characters and give clues about the imagined land I’ve used as a setting. Watch this space.

Thank you for your help in this process.

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