What market do I want to serve with HH?
I want HH to serve people kids, parents, teens and adults who love adventure, excitement and epic storytelling. All ages will be able to enjoy the HH stories. They will be good clean fun, full of danger and daring, but without gore and senseless brutality. It will be free of woke agendas and have a firm moral foundation common to the Bible and voluntary ideologies such as anarchism. Fans of Marvel and Star Wars who feel disturbed by the godless, perverted main stream media should love my alternative of solidly rooted characters who struggle and stumble as they walk a path of righteousness and heroism. As the characters of HH come from all around the world, each story should carry its own unique flavor set in its culture and time. The characters will be tinged by their background, but they will see people as individuals and not as faceless members of their particular class, race or creed. The stories of HH will range from simple adventures to nuanced and insightful questions of morality and the use of power in a broken and imperfect world.
What product will I sell that market?
Stories are my product. Lots of stories. I am a big fan of audiobooks, so I would want day and date audiobooks to be published along with print and digital copies of each book. Paper books are great for accessibility and portability. I would want a common trade dress so they make an aesthetically pleasing book collection. Audiobooks will serve to make the titles even easier to digest. The plan is to write multiple series in an interconnected universe. The series can be mixed-genre, such as Superhero and Spy or Superhero and Revenge or Superhero and Horror. The goal is to have a variety of flavors in the HH universe designed to please each audience. If I do my job well, the audience will enjoy going from series to series, the freshness of each hero’s story will give it a distinct identity and the reader will see that each individual story is a part of a greater whole. Each line or title within HH is to have its own story to tell and can have its own audience, but they will benefit from branching out from the “Holy Hero 5” books to “Holy Hero 2” books.
Stage 1 would see the sale of print, digital and audio books.
What goods will I sell that market that bought my HH?
What goods would I sell? I would like them to be as scalable as possible, so the idea of extending beyond the ebooks, audiobooks and print-on-demand paperback books is a little daunting. I don’t like the idea of merchandise very much. If I were to utilize merchandise to open up another stream of income, I would want to make as much of it as possible print-on-demand as well. If I don’t have to touch it, that is better for me. On the other hand, I do own some very select types of merchandise. I could lean into the types of products I find most compelling and make those.
I have a mocked-up logo for HH that is really cool. It could be as simple as publishing that design on items, but I would like to go deeper than that. I don’t need to elaborate much on this at this time, other than to say, the idea of having these types of items available as bonuses or extras for ordering box sets or something in that vein could be interesting.
I really like the idea of products that are in-universe items. For example, I love the idea of having Link’s Ocarina from whatever Zelda game that was originally in. I haven’t gotten one because I don’t want it to be a nick-knack. If I was determined to learn to play it, I would get one, but I am not. The idea is very cool though. I could feature items, jewelry, and personal effects of various sorts that are used by and important to the characters in the books. Aside from items that are important to the characters and therefore, the audience, I could populate my world with fun, cool and catchy brands. I love doing visual designs, so that could be a fun side project for me.
I want to work very hard to make sure all my books look consistent with each other, so it is easy to see that they belong together and so that they go nicely on the shelf together. I believe that is called having good “trade dress”, in the biz. As part of that, I think the idea of premium hardcover editions and limited runs with book plates for signatures and dedications is strong. I like the idea of signed copies of books from authors, but I only have one currently. Maybe I should change that. Anyway, I think a clever way to have signed books would be to have them done as POD and then send a book plate separately to the reader. I believe that will be the most efficient way for both of us. If I personally handled the book plate, signed it and sent it to the reader and they got to put it into their book, that would mean that it is something we did together. That is a neat and fun idea. It also saves me from storing books at home and then shipping them. I imagine a book plate can be mailed like a letter at minimum cost. I could do waves of book plates with varying designs, special messages, clues about future books and stories; there are many options.
Even More Stories
I want people to love these characters and this world and be excited to go from series to series and from book to book. Ultimately, I would like to turn the books into comics or maybe even launch a comic series for each series that tells original stories that are exclusive to the comic books. I love audio dramas as well, so a serialized story told in the style of old-time radio would be exciting.
How will I reach the market to sell them HH?
My digital books will be more affordable than my physical books because I want them to have an even wider appeal. I will also use the digital books as leads to the rest of the individual series and the whole HH universe.
I don’t know about a price-point for the audiobooks. I have a few options, if I narrate them myself I can keep them affordable while keeping them profitable for myself. I plan to publish wide and keep as much of the profits for myself as possible, while making everything more affordable for the audience.
I may want to make the first audiobook and first digital book in each series permanently free to generate leads for the rest of the series once there are subsequent titles in each series.
The above is more about how to secure my market and keep selling to them once I have a relationship with them. That is a type of reach, but how will I make first contact with my audience? For one thing, I will use ads on Amazon and other places. I plan to give libraries copies of my books too. From what I gather, that is more complicated than one might expect, but I think retaining all the rights to my books will make it much easier. I can give libraries hard copies, ebooks and audiobooks. The books will contain information for the reader to get in touch with me and check out all my other stuff as well. That feels like a guerrilla marketing tactic. I like that. Beyond that, I would like to make podcast appearances and leverage interviews to raise my profile and get more exposure. I also will create content analyzing other properties and use them as a chance to promote my work. My rationale is that if you like the thing I am analyzing and you like my takes on it, you might just like my books, so you should check them out. I can offer a free short story that ties into a book which is also free, in exchange for an email address. I can use the publishing platforms to pull people to my website and email list and incentivize them with short stories, commentaries, glimpses behind the scenes of my productions and other bonuses people in my circles would like.
Project Holy Heroes Posts: