Speculative fiction is not fantasy fiction, as it rules out the use of anything as material which violates established scientific fact, laws of nature, call it what you will, i.e., it must [be] possible to the universe as we know it. – Robert A. Heinlein
A little while back I wrote:
One of the worst aspects of publishing work in a Web 2.0 world is the myriad tasks the author must undertake. Besides writing the novel the writer must undertake numerous sleazy marketing efforts. In the past that been relegated to the obligatory series of interviews and book signing, assuming that is if the author was lucky enough in his career or her to get to that point.
Today the challenges are different and far more varied. Most of the work still revolves around the writing, editing and marketing of the work. However the marketing piece of the puzzle is a bit of a quandary and requires the greatest flexibility on the part of the fledgling writer. Worse, it is also damn time consuming.
If you go the route of podcasting, which has its myriad appeals and challenges, it requires the author to do production work and possibly the biggest challenge of all: narrating the actual work. The web work can involve a site or minimally a blog for the author’s various fans to turn into. Besides words, structures these endeavors typically require some type of graphics, Search engine optimization and knowledge of key words; all daunting challenges for the uninitiated. If you have money you could have somebody else do it but you still must manage the ongoing mess.
The biggest marketing challenge could be the designation of your work into one of the existing genres. Why? That’s because the genre designation ultimately determines your readers and finally your choices among agents and publishers.
My problem was what the hell do you call Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot? Scif-Fi? Adventure? Romance? It has all of those elements but what is best for marketing? An adventure story sort of describes it but there were some science fiction elements as well to the story. After all the core of the story is about the survival of Homo floresiensis on a small tropical island and that is speculative at best. In actuality these small three-foot tall hominids died out 12,000 years ago or maybe as recently as 400 years ago based on some early historical accounts. In any case, nobody expects them to be found alive and well today, at least not with the way China is clear cutting the forests of Southeast Asia. To call it science fiction would really disappoint the hardcore science fiction fans; you know not enough hardware and overall fantasy elements to keep them enthralled to be quite honest with you. I mean if you can’t have sex with an alien then why bother calling it science fiction?
Then I came across the term speculative fiction and the Robert Heinlein definition. The definition seems appropriate for my book but its usage and acceptance as part of the vernacular is no where near as universally accepted as science fiction. As a measure of popularity I did a search fro speculative fiction and turned up only a couple of million hits in Google. Compare that with science fiction with nearly 140 million hits and you have yourself a huge disparity in overall acceptance. So which sandbox do you want to play in, the larger one where you won’t get noticed or the smaller one with a much smaller audience? As I found out perhaps the genre designation is a bit old school and my recent experience with the good folks at Wattpad has drastically changed my perception of the marektplace. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.
Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is now a Featured Work on Wattpad.com. Flores Girl is a prehistoric science fiction-adventure-speculative fiction, oh before I forget romance eBook that is available for free on Wattpad, the World’s Most Popular EBook Sharing Community. Wattpad delivers free eBook novels to your iPhone, BlackBerry, SmartPhones and other mobile devices. Join the thousands of readers that are following the adventures of Sarah and Richard as they unwittingly introduce a small tribe of prehistoric people living in isolation for a half million years to the ultimate modern predator: humanity. And you can do so right from your iPhone, BlackBerry or other SmartPhone! Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot is now available as a free ebook novel on the iPhone!
Or try these sites for the free novel download: