Seven years ago, I thought an ‘opportunity’ was a positive thing. But as I’ve become more and more immersed in the marketing and entrepreneurial mindset (as a part of my day job), I can’t help but see ‘opportunity’ as a buzz word—a diplomatic euphemism for ‘deficit’ or ‘problem’ or ‘blindspot.’ Beware of marketing or business consultants who say you have an opportunity. They’re basically saying you suck at something—just a little bit—and now you have an ‘opportunity’ for improvement. Lucky you!
When it comes to my independent publishing work, I know I have opportunities galore. An opportunity to be better at selling books. An opportunity to ‘build my marketing platform.’ An opportunity to be a more informed and insightful publisher—someone who knows what’s happening in the industry and takes advantage of new trends.
But sometimes, good ol’ fashioned positive opportunities can drop into your lap too. Imagine my surprise when I received last week’s Entertainment Weekly issue and saw a cover story about the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Hey! Great book, great cast, potentially great movie. Could this mean that new fans will come to the Weird/Sci-Fi Western genre in 2017? Could that mean more fans searching for the genre on Amazon? Could that mean more readers discovering Idyll?
I had to kick myself for not knowing this project had been green-lit. Apparently the movie is set to premiere in February, which means I still have a pretty good head start in which to finish Book 3 of the Idyll trilogy, and to have the whole series available by the time the movie is out. Time to buckle down and really focus on writing. Of course, I’m probably far too small of a fish to catch a ride on ‘The Dark Tower’s’ potential wave of popularity. It’s not like I could attach a book trailer to the film in theaters. And there’s also a good chance the Dark Tower will not be a success. In the last 40 years or so, the Western genre has mixed bag of positive and negative opportunities for the film industry—Westerns with a speculative bent have had especially tough luck (i.e. Cowboys & Aliens, Jonah Hex, and Will Smith’s Wild, Wild, West).
But it’s worth a try to launch the book during a buzz-worthy time. Plus, if I push to have Book 3 done by February, then I can start on my next series. Anybody heard of any ‘opportunities’ in Ancient Civilizations Fantasy?
P.S.: HBO’s new series ‘Westworld’ could be even more earthshaking for the Speculative Western genre. I remember getting excited about potential synergy (speaking of business buzz-words!) a couple of years ago when this was announced. Looks like it’s finally on track to premiere in Oct 2016. No way I’ll have Book 3 ready to launch by then. But still, it’s good news, and the Westworld trailer looks pretty kick-ass. Here’s hoping it will be the next Game of Thrones!