Story vs Concept – Who Will Win?

So among the many things we must do to successfully self-publish our works, is Marketing. Yeah, marketing with a capital M, because it’s serious and it means business. Like, literally.

As you know, we are planning to release a series of fantasy novellas, hopefully starting this September.

As a part of that, we will have a page dedicated to these titles, showing art, covers, and other kinds of information to get potential readers excited about our work.

There are a few ways we can try and tease our novellas. We can do a story tease or a concept tease. A story tease shows a bit of what the actual story is – the main characters, the setting ,etc., and teases just enough to get you excited. A concept tease shows a bit about what kind of story it is, and what are the elements of the story that make it cool or unique or worth reading.

Confused? Don’t worry, this is the part where you come in!

I have a sample of what both those pages might look like below – the story tease and the concept tease. What we are asking is if you could please read both samples below and then let us know, via comments on the facebook post, which one would “make you want to buy/read the story more.” Is it the:

  • Story Tease

  • Concept Tease

Please feel free to contact me or Mark with any questions or further comments! Thank you in advance. We love you guys!

The ORPHANS OF AEDARON (STORY TEASE)

Aedaron is our own fantasy world. It’s our look at a warrior culture after all the great wars have ended. The world has been unified under one crown, and it is now an era of great peace and prosperity. It is a changed world. A new world. A world with many different stories to tell as old traditions clash with new advances, old evils stir in the shadows, and people adapt to find new meaning and glory and honor.

Our stories follow a group of five orphans who grew up together as children. Three of our novellas follow their new lives as adults – from the underworld of the capitol city to the ancient keeps of the kingdom. The last novella starts earlier, following the final two orphans as children as they attempt to enter and stay one of the great razor schools of the capitol.

We will update links as we draw closer to the release dates for the books. So keep checking in!

ELINOR (A Reaper of Stone)

Elinor is our Paragon. She believes and finds strength in the stories and legends of the old ways. An old soul in a new world, she must fight every day for what she believes or she will become as lost as the old world she loves and protects.

This is our classic cavalier and quest story. Through her, we see the kingdom today, yet often colored through the lens of the world that once was.

FERRAN (Rend the Dark)

Ferran is our Hunter. Haunted by visions of the world beyond, his childhood was a nightmare of terror and powerlessness. Under the training of an ancient order, he has learned to master his talents, turning his fear into power and becoming a hunter of the very monsters that he once feared.

This is our take on a fantasy monster story. Told like an action mystery/suspense novel, we follow Ferran and his mystic partner Mireia across the kingdom where they uncover the old evils that have remained hidden for centuries.

ALYS (TBD)

Alys is a broker of whispers, trading the secrets of the three great factions of the capitol – the ancient houses of the nobles, the ambitious guilds of the merchants, and the brutal gangs of the underworld.

This is our noir fantasy crime story. We follow Alys as she walks the razor’s edge of three worlds, using her secrets and her skills to keep her ahead of the deadly politics of the capitol, where friends are always both ally and enemy.

ROAN & KAY (Faith and Moonlight)

Roan and Kay dream of becoming razors, the elite warriors who have learned to draw upon the spirits of the First Ascended to bend and break the very laws of nature when they duel.

This is our young adult fantasy story. We follow Roan and Kay as they attempt to enter and stay in Faith, one of the five great razor schools of the capitol. They will have to overcome the impossible to reach their dreams, but Faith is where students are trained to do the impossible daily.

The ORPHANS OF AEDARON (CONCEPT TEASE)

Five orphans grew up together as children. Now, adults, they are in different parts of the kingdom. Each orphan story follows one (or two) of the orphans, and through them, we see a window into a particular corner of the kingdom.

In addition, each type of story is different, from a classic hero/quest story to monster hunt to a YA school story, we get to hit many of our favorite types of stories, while staying in the same world. We hope there’s something for everybody, and we hope people might be willing to experiment out of their normal reading comfort zones to check out what’s going on in all the other stories.

The orphans will cross over into each other’s books, and one of the books takes place 10 years before the other, so you will get the added fun of seeing your favorite characters both as adults and as younger teens.

The books are designed to be complete stories on their own right, although the series continues each character’s growth and adventures.  The experience is different whether you read all the books in order, or just read all the books in one character’s series, or even just check out one random book at a time.

But it should all feel equally rewarding.

But without further ado, here are our orphans!

ELINOR (A Reaper of Stone)

Elinor’s book is a more personal story. It follows our heroine, who is an officer in the King’s Army, who joined because of her love of the honor and heroism of the old world, but now struggles to find meaning in the hollowed out remains of the new.  Each story uncovers parts of this new world, as her beliefs put her in conflict with the existing powers that be. She uses smarts over strength and courage over overwhelming odds to do the impossible.

The pitch: Fantasy Jack Reacher

FERRAN (Rend the Dark)

Every child has heard the stories of the ancient Ruins, some that stood as tall as mountains. They were banished thousands of years ago and have become nothing but children’s tales. But the cunning ones, the patient ones, have remained hidden in the kingdom all this time. And while the world has forgotten these monsters, the Order of Talan has not.

Each story is a fun, fast-paced monster hunt, where we try to surprise and satisfy with each look around every corner of their world.

The pitch: Action-Fantasy X-Files

ALYS (TBD)

We wanted to do a femme fatale in an urban noir fantasy setting. Like our protagonist, the stories are darker and a little more morally ambiguous. We get to see all the factions of the capitol city, the living, breathing, dying heart of the kingdom, and all the moral decay of the inhabitants within. And, for fun, since we’re in the technological heart of the empire, we get to see all the new gadgets and alchemy that’s all the rage.

The pitch:  Steampunk-Fantasy Sin City

ROAN & KAY (Faith and Moonlight)

This is our take on a YA fantasy school story. It’s all the fun stuff of being young and raw and full of passion – dreams and desires, betrayal and failures, love and loneliness, with some sexy fun “battle school” fantasy elements – where students learn to duel and to channel ancient powers to break the very laws of physics.

The pitch: Samurai Harry Potter

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