People who like… will like this

White Horse CastleIt’s that question that an author gets asked by publicists.  I was asked it when putting The Talent Seekers forward to a site that features books on their Kindle ‘free’ days.

Fill in the gap:  “People who like [author/book] will like The Talent Seekers.”

I’ve always had difficulty with this, partly because I think my books are niche books – that’s why I decided to go the self-publishing route.  So people who like  [insert title of popular book] may like my books, but an awful lot of them won’t.  On the other hand, people who like my book probably enjoy lots of books I can name.  On the website last Friday I analysed the responses for the recent giveaway where I asked people to name their favourite children’s book.  I think  one or two of those might have elements that would lead me to pick up Princelings of the East.

I do wrack my brains to answer this question.  It would be so much easier if I could put my finger on who it would appeal to.  I rarely find books that I think are anything like them.  When I started out, I suggest Princelings of the East was a little like Wind in the Willows in a world like Anne McCaffrey’s Pern.  I still think that’s a reasonable image.  I like to think of Traveler in Black and White having a noir feel to it, so maybe something for Humphrey Bogart fans, or Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  But Talent Seekers?  It’s got much darker, with some paranormal influences and some serious conflict.  There is something at the back of my mind that I’m sure it resonates with.  I occasionally think of Game of Thrones without the sex and thorough nastiness of some of the characters (and a lot less complicated).  But most people who like Game of Thrones would hate Talent Seekers.  It’s the wrong market.  Looking at that list of favourites, I spotted The Princess and Curdie, and I thought, I used to love that… it has castles and menace and quite a lot of dark places.  I must re-read it.  It might be the one to choose, although it is rather old-fashioned.

What I came up with for the publicity question was The Hobbit, Wrinkle in Time and The Golden Compass.  Hmm.  Still on the old-fashioned side.  I must try to do better with this, but I could use some help.  All suggestions welcome.

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