So, before I get to the meat of this next post, my daughter said something pretty cool the other day. She is pretty much potty trained, only wearing diapers at night, and she’s outgrown her first set of “big girl” panties. So, my wife and her mom took her out to buy a few more. She picked Disney ones, with Sophia, Doc McStuffins and all of those shows. But they kind of panties she was looking for, she couldn’t find.
What kind did she want? Why, “sneaky tank” panties. When I started playing World of Tanks, Little Bug would want to sit in my lap and play with me. So, I’d let her. She’d ask general little kid stuff. “Who’s that?” “Where are we going?” What’s that over there?” And to answer the latter, I told her it was a tank trying to be sneaky by hiding behind a bush. She’s called tanks. “sneaky tanks” ever since then, even when seeing tracked construction equipment. She’s also expanded her roster with “sneaky airplanes” from War Thunder and “Sneaky ships” from World of Warships.
Anyway, I was discussing with my wife how it’d be awesome to have tank themed girls panties. And not just generic tanks. But like, real tanks. Panzer 38t “Hetzers” Tiger II’s. M-4 Shermans. Cromwells. KV-2’s. And TOG II’s. Always TOG II’s. TOG is love. TOG is life. Apparently, my little girl really liked that idea and wanted them. Too bad those are like, boys things and stuff. Although, with the growing shifts between not only gender roles, but gender stereotypes and even the growing discussions about what exactly gender is, this might be the best time to get something like that launched. Too bad we’ve got a full plate over here, though it’s definitely something I’d love to put up on Kickstarter, if it hasn’t been done already. I haven’t exactly looked for Hetzer panties yet. But if they’re out there, I’d love some Hetzer boxers or something. That’d be cool.
Anyway, to stay relevant with writing, all I have today is a simple complaint. Why should we, as writers, tell an agent or publisher where our story fits in the industry and what the target demographic is? I understand it’s to probe the likelihood that the author has done some research, but I personally hate it when people ask that. Oni is asking this, and they know the market better than I do.
“So, Mr. Trinidad. Who is your project is for and how does it fit at Oni Press?”
“Um…well, our project is for people who like comics….cuz it’s a comic book. Only longer. Called a graphic novel.”
“And it fits at Oni Press because you wanted a diverse cast of characters and we have that.”
“…thank you for your time, Mr. Trinidad.”
I feel like I’m insulting their intelligence when I’m answering a question like that. Though to be specific, our graphic novel is Y/A, like 98% of the stuff I write. But that’s a demographic. And a recent study found that somewhere over 60% of sales of Y/A books are by adults. It may even be higher, like 70%, but I lost that link and can’t seem to dig it up. So, who’s that story for? People who like to read comics. Who is Godspeed for? People who like to read fiction.
We could sit here and hash out what kind of specific reader would like the book. Like it features a female protag, so it appeals more to girls. But honestly, why waste the time with that? Tell me if you have confidence in the book and if it’s written well. A good story will always sell. And if it’s not good, I’ll be on my way. Don’t make me, the author, who has already written and rewritten a freakin’ novel have to go back and find out who the book is for. I write for myself, first and foremost. Maybe it’s a mistake, but I”m just starting out here. I’m allowed to make them, and trust me, I’m going to. But I write the stories I want to read, because what I want to read isn’t out there. And I’m also fairly confident that a few other people out there may enjoy it.
I dunno. Maybe it’s because I have such a hard time answering those questions that I don’t like them. I’m sure the rest of you have an easier time than I do. And I’m sure there’s a legitimate reason why publishing people ask those questions. Guess I’ll just go back to writing. Though pretty soon, I’m gonna have to learn all of this stuff.