Today I’m very excited to welcome Marc Turner to the blog. Last year he published When the Heavens Fall, which I devoured in a single day despite its hefty page count. Now he’s back with a loose sequel, Dragon Hunters, coming Feb. 9th! I loved it and it has dragons, do you need to know anything else??
Dragon Hunters – Quote, Unquote
Nine months ago, when my first book When the Heavens Fall came out, I did a post on the Tor/Forge Blog about how difficult it was for a new author to stand out from the crowd. Game of Thrones may have brought epic fantasy to a whole new set of readers, but how do you get those readers to choose your book over the others available? One idea I had was to produce a video trailer for WtHF – you can see it here. As the publication date for my second book approached, I thought about doing a trailer for Dragon Hunters too.
Then I saw an old blog post by an author called Mark Lawrence in which he held a competition for his readers to make a “quoster”. Quosters combine a quote from a novel with an appropriate image to create something that (hopefully) entices people to read the book. It seemed like fun, so I decided to have a go at making some. After all, they’d be easier to produce than a video, right? Well, yes. But only in the same way that swimming the Atlantic is easier than swimming the Pacific.
The first stage was to pick a suitably dramatic, intriguing or humorous quote from Dragon Hunters. Simple, I thought. I mean, my books are just crammed with lines like that (ahem). Having spent half a day flicking through Dragon Hunters, though, I realised that most of my favourite quotes were unsuitable. Why? Because they were either too long, or too “spoilery”, or because you needed to know the context of the line in order to understand it. Eventually, however, I settled on a handful of possibles.
The second stage was to trawl through the stock photo websites for images that matched the quotes. I thought the sea dragons in Dragon Hunters were likely to be a draw for a lot of readers, so I picked some quotes in which dragons featured. I quickly learned, though, not to be too specific. Put “sea dragon snatching screaming woman from air” into a search box, and – unsurprisingly – you’re not going to be overwhelmed with options. Even if you limit it to “sea dragon,” you won’t fare much better. Unless, of course, you are looking for a cartoon picture of the Loch Ness monster wearing a tartan cap, in which case you are on to a winner.
The third stage was perhaps the most difficult: making the quosters look like they were professionally produced. I was concerned that if I put out something that appeared amateurish, people might wonder if it reflected the quality of the writing in Dragon Hunters. The key word for me here was continuity. I gave the quosters a common logo, and used the same font, the same layout and the same border for each one.
As for the final results, well, I’ll let you judge for yourselves! I’ve set out four quosters below. If you’d like to see more, feel free to head over to my Twitter page (@MarcJTurner) where I’ll be putting up the rest in the next few days.
Marc has been wonderful and offered a copy of Dragon Hunters for one lucky winner! We can send the book to addresses in the US, Canada and the UK. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email and I’ll be checking entries so please follow the directions carefully.
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.