1. Scribblez

    Scribblez New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2023
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1

    Do mecha novels sell well?

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Scribblez, Jan 21, 2023.

    Hi, for my first novel I was planning on making it unconventional science fantasy with mecha (humanoid machines)- think if Xenogears met Ar Tonelico and you're halfway there. I was wondering if mecha novels actually sell well within my target audience- adults of any sex who enjoy science fantasy and Japanese influence on their books.

    I don't want to waste years working on an unprofitable novel, despite the fact I write out of passion. I want to make some money off of what I can do best.
     
  2. Set2Stun

    Set2Stun Rejection Collector Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2021
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Location:
    Canada
    Currently Reading::
    Clothar the Frank - Jack Whyte
    Write what you're passionate about, write about what you know. Don't write for what you think the market might be in the future. The market is always changing, and it's not all that easy to predict. Just the other day I was thinking that post-apoc was completely dead, and then The Last of Us premiered to great reviews, and it will be a huge hit. Plus, whatever you're writing, you can be sure that there are hundreds of other people writing something similar. I wouldn't worry too much about what might sell, especially if you are thinking that it's going to take several years to complete the work.

    If this is your first effort at a novel, just write it and don't think about making money from it. After hundreds of hours of writing, editing, workshopping, querying, maybe you will sell it. More likely, you will not. But that's fine, because completing a novel is a great accomplishment, and at the very least, you've gained much skill as a writer as a result, and will be in a great position to write a much better one. Write it. Then think about the other stuff.

    Best of luck !
     
  3. Scribblez

    Scribblez New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2023
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Got it! Thank you!
     
  4. w. bogart

    w. bogart Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2022
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    US
    Battletech has long running series of books.though it is based more on a board game and rpg, so might not be what you are looking for.
     
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,196
    Likes Received:
    5,333
    I think every writer would like to know if their novel would be a hit before writing a single word of it, but there's simply no way to know. You said this will be your first novel. Writing a novel is hard work. Finding an agent is hard work. Selling it to a publisher is hard work. And there are just so many factors every step of the way. You also said writing is what you do best so of course you should be writing a novel, right? What sort of stuff have you been writing up until now? Short stories? Have your other writing endeavors turned out well and profitable? I mean the best answer to your questions is anything is possible.

    Also, want to ask you about the unconventional aspect. When I hear that it makes me think it could be a harder sell. None of this is meant to discourage you. I think you should write it and give it everything you've got. Good luck!
     
    B.E. Nugent and Set2Stun like this.
  6. ps102

    ps102 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    Cyber Space
    I wholeheartedly agree with Set2Stun, write your heart out and don't worry about that.

    If this is your first novel, then it's important to just write and get to know yourself as a writer. Your strengths, your weaknesses, where you need to improve... etc. You will need to build writing skill anyway, and doing it with a project you're passionate about will help a lot.

    Most starting writers imitate the voices of the authors they like the most. This is part of "play", acting like a writer rather than being one. And there's of course nothing wrong with that, play is imitation and humans learn many things through imitation. We learn to speak something as incredibly complex as language through imitation. Practice and write a lot and you'll eventually come to know what I mean.

    Also, work on it for years? I'm not really sure a single novel will take multiple years. Some do of course. How long do you want it to be?
     
    B.E. Nugent and Set2Stun like this.
  7. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Word Painter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    315
    It’s commendable that you know what you want to achieve - this is the first step to achieving it. Successful marketing requires a different skill set to creating a novel; it’s partly these skills which separate the professional from the amateur in any field, not that there’s anything wrong with being an amateur. You’re on the right track: Start with the destination in mind, but be sure to enjoy the journey.
     
  8. w. bogart

    w. bogart Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2022
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    US
    For market research you might have some luck with https://bookstat.com/
     
  9. Scribblez

    Scribblez New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2023
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry for the delay, I was busy with something. I'll bold everything I'm replying to in specific.

    400,000 words, give or take. This is a big adventure spanning an entire planet almost the size of Saturn and several pocket dimensions over the course of a year. Descriptions of the external objective world (environment, things, people) will be long to paint an image the reader can absorb so they can get a feel of the alien world and its technology. Descriptions of the inner world will be subtle most of the time in comparison. I think 'multiple years' makes sense in this context.

    'Unconventional' is just a guess from me. My worldbuilding is pretty unusual and I've never been formally trained, nor do I care about intentionally including popular tropes or appealing to a general audience beyond a specific niche.

    Also, noted, I'll have to find out for myself if my novel will be profitable (when it's at its final stage, of course). That's fine by me.
     
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,794
    Likes Received:
    18,147
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    400K for one book? You know that would be the longest novel ever written, right? Give or take. Debut novels typically have a cutoff of about 90K.
     
    Scribblez likes this.
  11. ps102

    ps102 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    Cyber Space
    Is that for a single novel? That's a lot...

    Even if you're talking about a trilogy, it's still a lot. It's very hard for a no-name author to publish a series of books. You'll have better chances if the first book is very independent though, so keep that in mind.

    My first project, a Sci-Fi, was a trilogy of 350k words. It was my first project and it took me a year to complete. I knew that I wasn't likely to sell it to anyone, I was just having loads of fun writing a world that was dear to me. Like I said, having fun with a starting project is pretty important...

    It's an old project. I've learned a lot more now and when I look at it, I see that it can use a lot of re-writing. I plan to re-write it slowly over the course of this year.

    But it isn't a loss. I learned a lot from writing it and it was crucial to my overall journey in writing. Besides, if the better skills it gave me is enough to allow me to write more publishable book that'll get me to become a published author, and thus no longer a no-name, then there are prospects for publishing it in the future as a trilogy with some editing and revision... which I'm already doing.

    That's my experience so far. I hope its useful to you.
     
    Scribblez and B.E. Nugent like this.
  12. montecarlo

    montecarlo Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2020
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    721
    Location:
    America's Heartland
    This 100%. I wish more beginning writers would understand this. It's not like Tom Brady is taking reps in practice (In Tampa, sorry @Homer Potvin) and thinking "this is a waste, not even going to be top 10 on ESPN".
     
  13. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,794
    Likes Received:
    18,147
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Why's everyone always apologizing to the Pariots fan? Haha. Any Pats fan (or anything Boston) who has a bitter bone in their body needs a hard lesson in gratitude.
     
  14. Scribblez

    Scribblez New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2023
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    I wanted to do a 400k novel because I wanted to create a grand story akin to Xenogears or Lord of the Rings for...fun, really, I want to make a big story. I've made a few short stories before. Also I don't feel like making multiple books. I could slim it down to 200k or 150k if 400k is not doable for me. 90k is not enough for me.

    It is. I won't be focusing so much on profitability this early thanks to your and other people's words.
     
  15. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,794
    Likes Received:
    18,147
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Hey, up to you. Rock and roll! Interesting you mention LoTR as it was written as one novel and then split into three for publication.
     
    w. bogart, ps102 and Scribblez like this.
  16. Set2Stun

    Set2Stun Rejection Collector Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2021
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Location:
    Canada
    Currently Reading::
    Clothar the Frank - Jack Whyte
    This would essentially ensure that every agent (if you go that route) will delete your query as soon as they see the word count. Agents are the gatekeepers for all the major publishing houses. There's a tiny handful of publishers (biggest ones are DAW and Baen) who will accept unsolicited manuscripts, however it's almost certain that they will react the same way to the word count. Why? Because that is a hell of a lot of editing to do for something that they're basically rolling the dice on (you being an unknown with no existing following). It's also a hell of a lot more paper and shelf space for, again, something that might bomb spectacularly.

    The top end of what's acceptable for a debut science-fiction novel is about 120K words. My advice is to aim for a self-contained story with this in mind. Another important thing to keep in mind is to make the first five pages your best. You need a hook and some intriguing inciting incident right off the bat. Save the world-building and character development for later. This is simply the reality of publishing right now. Gotta stand out, and quickly, or your query is going straight into the bin. If you are adamant about debuting with an incredibly long novel, your only real option is self-publishing - but in any event, at the very least, writing it will be excellent practice.
     
    Scribblez, Homer Potvin and Xoic like this.
  17. Scribblez

    Scribblez New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2023
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Noted. I was already considering self-publishing, by the way.
     
    Set2Stun likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice