With shameless transparency, I’m going to lay out the plan for the future of the Delmyria brand. To answer the obvious, yes, I do view the setting as a brand rather than just a setting for a novel.
The goal has always been to expand to all forms of media from video games to graphic novels and from board games to movies. (And no, tabletop roleplayers, I haven’t forgotten you, either) Perhaps it’s just part of growing up immersed in multiple forms of media, but it’s difficult for me to think of the setting in terms of just one artifact, whether that is a book, or a film, or a game. I’ve always envisioned all of them as part of a whole, inseparable from the rest. The choice to begin with the novel was deliberate: it was always the one for which I could do the most work alone and with limited resources, while at the same time giving me complete control to solidify the setting before juggling things like game balance, or shot composition, or casting.
Part of maintaining that control is establishing the brand before finding a publisher for the novel, or a designer for the game, or a producer for the film. That means designing the logo, and establishing a fan base. Is this a matter of putting the cart before the horse? Not at all. The plan is certainly greatly advanced by finding a publisher in the short term, but that is not a fatal blow to the overall strategy. After all, the book is just one part of the whole.
But the real reason I’m doing it in this order is that I want to maximize my bargaining power down the road. The only way to gain bargaining power is money, and while I selfishly desire that my work sparks readers’ imaginations, the publishers and producers of the world see fans as dollar signs. He who controls the spice, controls the universe. (Side note: Go to Arrakis and befriend Fremen) And by that I mean that the more readers I have going in, the more clout I will have later.
Why I am saying this so candidly? Mainly because if you’re taking the time to read this and understand the method of my madness, I’m betting you can understand the difference between: A) my dream that someday someone will pick up a book I’ve written and say “Wow, this would be really cool as a . . . ” and let their imagination run wild, and B) my need for bargaining power to make that happen the right way, and not have to settle for a crappy SyFy channel miniseries that I hate more than the fans.
Tomorrow, it’s my birthday. Part 2 of Series Branding will come on Friday, and outline the specific steps I’m taking now as part of my overall branding strategy.