Ghost Little is built on simple principles:
- Everything counts
- Build invitations for all tastes
- Free books to get folks in on the worlds
When you think about how a modern person consumes media, and the idea that you want as many modern people as possible laying eyes on your work, your creative process changes. I didn't get into the promotional phase for Ghost Little and wipe sweat off my forehead, thankful that I had written 5 different entry-points via 5 different genres just by coincidence.
It began on the product level. The shared universe is the product. The free books themselves are the invitation in.
If you are going to build any product, determining the intended audience is step one. Then the inbound offers create themselves.
Every product needs a top-of-funnel offer
Ghost Little is a series of free books.
I've written the first chapter of five books. I've written further chapters of some of them. I wrote a complete draft of one, then threw it out, a saga I'm rather proud of.
I don't know when any of them will be done. I work on something every day. This remains a one-man operation though, so it's slow going. While it'd be wonderful to give it more attention, I have a full-time job elsewhere, and America has discouraged small business ownership to an extent that you'll begin noticing my sentiments in a lot of my work.
Download the first chapter for The Diffused States of America, and you'll see what I mean. Not to worry, the files are DRM-free, I'm not a monster. Get it from the free books downloads page.
I haven't released a complete book available yet. However, the free books are the offer presented to the altar of my audience. Remember, per Ghost Little's principles, everything is transparent. I won't create any illusions. The free books are what I've made available thus far. There are enough of them, so there's something that appeals to everybody!
I realized I needed several offers after creating a full draft of one book a few years ago. You explain its premise to ten people. Two find it appealing. They might even love it to death. But you're missing 80% of a potential market.
The Ghost Little book series is what I want visitors to the site to engage with. With that in mind, I wrote five first-chapters, like a demo-tape or an independent short film. The same ten people have the premise explained to them. This time, eight choose a low-investment sample. Upon reading it, one of the others tells them what their selected chapter was about. They love the pitch, coming from a person, not from the Ghost Little "brand." The two pick up the others' chapters on a personal recommendation, realizing despite the difference in genre, the stories are nonetheless dusted with clues to suggest a larger world that has already begun forming in their imagination.
And those last two individuals of the original ten who didn't think this struck their fancy? They might feel compelled now. Or not. In any case, eight readers having a discussion is more valuable than two readers alone with their thoughts.
That's how Ghost Little was built on offers. The world wasn't built in a day.