Any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it

13 Jan 2011 in international | questo post è lungo 355 parole

Picture the scene. You’re a struggling writer. You’ve written the most incredible story. You’ve come up with a yarn that’s Twilight times ten, a novel that makes Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy look so last century.

There’s only one problem. It’s a major problem, however. You’ve got to sell the thing. You have to persuade people to buy it, both literally and metaphorically. You’ve woken up to the fact that storytelling and storyselling are two completely different things.

As J.G. Ballard once ruefully observed: “any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it”.

Selling Stories SuccessfullyHis name is Brown and he wrote a Code, but he is not Dan.

Stephen jokes about that. For this and many other reasons Stephen Brown could actually be listed as one of the writers that he loves to talk about, because of their creativity in storyselling as well as in storytelling.

Stephen is a unconventional professor at the University of Ulster. He wrote several smart books with smart titles such as The Marketing Code, Wizard! Harry Potter’s Brand Magic, Fail Better.

Thanks to him, 40k's readers will be amazed by a crazy gallery of anecdotes dealt with famous authors' works and lives.

This essay shows that the mash-up between literature and marketing can really works in order to turn a story into a bestseller. And it works much more in the digital contest...

So, what do you do? How do you ensure that your Twilight times ten gets selected ahead of every other Twilight times ten on the publisher’s slush pile? Fortunately, there is a simple solution: Instead of turning into the Business & Management aisles of your friendly neighbourhood mega-bookstore, or online emporium, head straight for the fiction section.

Yes, the fiction section. The best insights into buying and selling and marketing and branding, and all that other awful stuff, are found in works of fiction, not big boring anthologies or dry-as-dust academic articles. When it comes to sales & marketing, one learned commentator makes clear, “you can learn more from a reasonably good novel than a solid piece of social science research”.

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