Am I Insane, or Insightful?

Tecmo Koei has announced the debut of Romance of the Three Kingdoms XII. (It’s so new, I can’t even get Amazon to give me a link because it’s not sold in the U.S. yet.) However, the very title should give you some idea of the popularity of these games: they’ve made twelve versions.


 

I was aware when I began writing “Mourn Their Courage,” which is also based on the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, that the games were popular. They were probably on version eight back then….

So tell me, am I insane for hoping to either package my book with iphone versions of this game or (even more insane concept) launch a video game version of my book? I KNOW this is putting the cart before the horse. The book isn’t even accepted for publication yet. But isn’t this exactly the sort of market placement thinking they keep telling us to do? Is it my only marketing concept? Of course not, but is it a valid?

What insane marketing ideas do you have in mind? Inquiring minds want to know. 😀

20 Responses to “Am I Insane, or Insightful?”

  1. Rachna Chhabria says:

    I don't think you are being Insane. Your being INSIGHTFUL. I am really glad and I hope that it works out well for you.

  2. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Rachna! I appreciate that!
    It's occurred to me, I should have included a voting poll widget with this post. Sigh. Maybe next time. I have to admit, the polls are kinda fun. ;D

  3. Janet Johnson says:

    I definitely don't think it's insane. I actually think it's awesome! Plan and imagine away! Isn't that what writing is all about?

  4. giora says:

    You are insightful pondering how to market your book. On your topic, games sell much better than books. So if you can find someone to create a game based on your book, you can sell both in a package .. you basically sell the game for full price and give your book as a bonus for lower price. The market for fiction novel set in China (except for maybe for Harlequin) is dismal.

  5. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Janet! It is at least what creating is about. 😀

    Hey, Giora. The good news is, the market for fiction set in China isn't quite as dismal as you might think. The second book in Allison Goodman's Eon series was on the YA best seller's list!

    The fact remains, nothing lasts forever and these doldrums shall pass.

  6. giora says:

    Dear Victoria, I just checked Alison Goodman website, and indeed she has novels set in China. Never heard about her before. Just talking from my experience where more than a few literary agents told me that it's difficult for them to sell to editors and publishers novels set in China. Ofcourse we have somoen supreb like Lisa See, but she' in a category by herself. And our own group author Jeannie established hjerslef in Harlequin and now can write for them more novels. When you'll finish your novel and be ready for queries, I'll share what I've learned so far to save you time.

  7. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Giora! I've been finished for awhile – what you've seen here is me tweaking and trying to determine if I've really had the best opening, which I am satisfied with right now. That can always change, of course, depending on what the agents tell me. I've queried quite a few over the past three years. That's why I knew about Allison, but I have had editors and agents give me the same story as you've heard. It just goes to prove, even THEY don't have the entire story. That's why it's up to us to make sure we do our research and keep them informed. 😀

  8. Giora says:

    The opening is crucial. Mine is strong happening in modern Shanghai. But then in chapter 2, I go back to the heroine growing up from birth in Sichuan and it's realy Chinese story but very slow. I submitted chapter 2 as a short fiction "growing up in Sichuan" to one of the Reviews I sent you and hoping for acceptance. I need to establish some Chinese publishing credits to make literary agents more interested. It's a long road for the publishing heaven …:)

  9. Victoria Dixon says:

    Yes, yes it is. Good luck with your submission!

  10. Lydia Kang says:

    I like your idea! It's great. So yeah, NOT insane, rather very entrepreneurial. 🙂

  11. Margo Berendsen says:

    That is a good plan! And oh my, that guy with the blue head covering/hat/helmet whatever that thingie is, I'd try to get him on my book cover, too. Oh my. (Fans self)

  12. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Lydia, and many congratulations again!

    LOL, Margo. Yes, he is kinda dream-boatey, isn't he? I'm pretty sure that drawing is based on Takeshi Kaneshiro, who portrayed one of the leads in "Red Cliffs," the recent blockbuster movie based on what else, but Romance of the Three Kingdoms. If you'd like to *ahem* peruse more pictures, you can check out http://tinyurl.com/3bwvegg. I loved him in Red Cliffs, though I think Tony Leung's character was still my favorite. But then, I'd cast Tony as my MC, given the choice. 😀

  13. DWei says:

    There was a man in the 1800's who predicted an apocalypse and made a fortune selling "ascension robes".

    I'd do the same except I have no idea where to get tons of white robes.

  14. dora says:

    nice blog u have here
    +follow

  15. Tony Storm says:

    i choose insane, but dont worry, most people are

  16. Victoria Dixon says:

    He, Dwei, maybe you could try togas? 😀

    Thanks, Dora!

    I agree, Tony. I am insane or I NEVER would have decided to be a writer, let alone write my first (publishable) novel based on this tome of a book. However, I will say my insanity is (mostly) of a positive nature. LOL

  17. Misha says:

    I think it might just be a wonderful marketing tool, if you manage to differentiate your game from the competition.

    ^_^

  18. Victoria Dixon says:

    Hi, Misha! That IS one thing about my book versus the original text: I changed the story. It has a different ending and I consolidated many of the characters to have one person standing in for three or five, plus a few of the side plots are gone. The original text has a cast of THOUSANDS and Western readers get glazed eyes staring at all the names, so I knew early on, consolidation and change were a necessity. And why would I just want to retell the story, anyway? Then it's a translation. LOL

  19. I think your concept is a great idea. By including the game with the novel, you’ve created sort of an interactive novel and this may be one element of where publishing is going. I also see that you are adapting the The Romance of the Three Kingdoms plot for a Western audience, which is probably a good idea.

    When the CCP attempted to launch a publishing house in the US to print Chinese classics and novels about China in English, they did not do this. They kept all the characters and the meandering plots with all the loose ends and the results was a failed venture because few were buying their books.

    I’m a fan of “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. In fact, for years (every time I make a trip to China) I’ve been collecting hand-carved wood sculptures of the heroes of the story, which is based on historical fact (probably embellished of course since these characters are larger than life — but of course the fictional Romance of the Three Kingdoms is based on threads of history — Zhang Xuecheng wrote that the novel was 70% fact and 30% fiction). One of the carvings is a wheel and all four of the heroes are on it riding horses and three are fighting the fourth who then would join with the other three later in the story. Of course, in China it is easy to find sculptures of Guan Yu, who is a role model and hero to many Chinese today because when he was executed on Sun Quan’s order it was for refusing to renounce his loyalty to Liu Bei. My second favorite character is Zhuge Liang.

    • vicki says:

      Thanks again, Lloyd! I’ve been to China twice now and if I ever get to go back, I plan to get a set of carved Three Kingdoms characters. I should have done it before, but never found something I thought would make it home in one piece and that I liked. Yes, I have taken many elements from ROTK and melded them into my retelling of the tell, which means my idea of who my characters are does not always fit the Chinese concepts. LOL That said, I did manage to either lose the loose plot points are tie them in with others. I changed the outcome of the story a little, but I’ve been informed by a Chinese reader that other Chinese readers, at least, will really appreciate the change that I made. Whew! That question haunted me throughout the writing, I can tell you.

      Thanks for weighing in on this question. I still hope to do use the concept.

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