The first two novels from PlotForge aren’t coming from one of the traditional Big Six publishing houses. These are well-written, have rivetting stories and interesting characters. But they will never be picked up by traditional publishing because the primary audience of one is teen boys, and the other appeals to college kids – that is, new adults roughly in the 18-25 age range. So, what’s the problem? Conventional book marketing wisdom says teen boys don’t read, and college students won’t read anything other than what’s been assigned in class.
The question we asked at PlotForge: Why not?
To us, it’s a chicken-or-the-egg question. There isn’t much to track in the buying history for these two groups. But is that because they don’t want to read or because there hasn’t been a lot out there that interests them? All of our anecdotal research from you, the readers, told us one thing: These groups are hungry for novels that are relevant to them. And now, with your help, we are preparing to test that research.
Author John Brewer’s novel, Multiplayer, will be released in a few weeks. It’s a story about a normal, bike-riding, soccer-following, video-gaming teen who is justifiably angry about the evil he has encountered in his life. But through the interplay of his online world with real life, it turns out that blind hatred, no matter how well-founded, may be the greatest evil of all. John will be talking a lot more about his book in the weeks to come.
My novel, Foreseen, which will come out a couple months later, is an action-packed love story involving quantum mechanics. Huh? You read it right. My college-aged readers say it perfectly captures the flow of their lives, following characters who are taking steps from the egocentric world of teenagers to the multi-centered reality of being an adult.
Multiplayer and Foreseen. Very different books for overlapping markets. If you know people who you think might be interested in either of these novels, pass this blog along. Ask them to find PlotForge on Facebook, follow along with this blog, or they can follow John and me on Twitter, as we test these exciting markets. Whatever the result, by putting out these books, it’s you, the reader, who get to decide.