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#1 JoeB

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:36 AM

Matt,
I'm sure you remember the novel I was writing, Loving Blood. My question is, from the reviews I've received on Smashwords, can my novel be a fictional story but actually be in a self-help category? This removes it from the fiction genre and throws it into the group that would be looking for the subject matter my book contains. Does that make sense? Can a self-help book be written as a fictional story where the reader gets lessons? From the number of views I get, the subject matter isn't suitable for just anybody.
It needs to be in a category similar to: Celestine Prophecies and The Peaceful Warrior.
Thanks,
Thanks for the help. It is very much appreciated!!!
http://joebiancardi.weebly.com
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#2 mwsinclair

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:05 AM

First, thanks for asking the question and starting the thread, Joe!

Can you post a link to the reviews you've received? (Or PM me a link if you'd like)

To address your question, I think this is one of the challenges that many stories based on personal experience and perspectives bring about. While I make my living as a nonfiction writer, I think fiction is at least as powerful if not moreso because if done well, it should expand a reader's experience and open up questions of "what if this were real." If I had a story like yours, I'd be writing more than one book about it: one that is purely fiction and one about the nonfiction elements behind the fiction.

Personally, I find fiction that tries to be self-help to be at best misleading and at worst didactic. Any story that tries to tell someone how to live their life risks putting most readers off. I think your story has a lot of potential to open people's eyes, but I also think that if they are told This is Real, the natural response will be skepticism. In my opinion, you want readers to think "What if this were real." And you can have a Web site or blog that addresses the reality of Loving Blood.

Can fiction that some readers believe is based on reality work? Absolutely. Hell, Dan Brown is practically a recluse because of the DaVinci Code and the whole hoopla associated with that. But it's a novel.

Personally, I wouldn't call a novel self-help. Novels are entertainment. If readers choose to find lessons in them, wonderful. You can even hint as much, but I wouldn't bang folks over the head with it.

#3 mwsinclair

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:09 AM

BTW, I think your comparison to the Celestine Prohesies is a good one. But keep in mind the criticism that it received. Some saw it as a way to deliver Redfield's views on spirituality. Most important, however, is that lots of readers enjoyed it. I hope you've got happy readers too.

#4 JoeB

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:54 PM

Matt,
I'm looking for the book to be controversial, not minding the criticism at all. I think most readers won't believe what I've written can work, but they won't express their disbelief. So I uploaded a Youtube demonstrating the science behind it. It didn't help either. But I do like to stir things up. Just can't figure out how to do it.
Thanks for the help. It is very much appreciated!!!
http://joebiancardi.weebly.com
http://journeysofintent.weebly.com

#5 mwsinclair

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:59 PM

You and your book have been on my mind a lot lately, Joe. I'm still thinking about things.

There's a difficult balance between stirring a pot and provoking discussion, but both need to be closely monitored and shaped to be useful. Marketing is difficult, that's why people hire publicists and marketers. You're trying to spark discussion. "If you build it, they will come," doesn't work in publishing. There are lots of points in between that relate to marketing.






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