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Sharing information about your stories' world as an unknown (1 Viewer)

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
In the past, I have tried to follow the footsteps of bestselling authors, like J.K. Rowling. One of the practices that inspired me was how these authors would publish information about their stories, whether in printed or published guides, or posting them on designated websites.
A long time ago, I wanted to do the same, but was told that publishing a guide about your stories' universe was reserved for hugely popular franchises. So, I published a website about my books' world a couple of years ago. But I deleted the site because no one was visiting it. Now the same information is on my author site, mixed in with my blog, where I discuss writing tips, experiences, and even tell original short fiction.
It wasn't just the inspiration of big-name authors that prompted me to want to share my books' world information, not stated in the stories. An editor kept assuming and complaining about one of the book's magic being "limitless" (the stories are fantasy) just because I shared the possibilities of magic. That bugged me, so eventually, in addition to posting a list of the magic limits in my novels on the site that is now gone, I emailed the editor and they stated that I didn't need to state the limits up front, and then thanked me.
Anyway, now I am wondering if I really should share information about my book series as an unknown author. I get so excited and attached to my books and their world that it's hard to resist keeping the facts to myself. I did consider sharing them through videos on my author site. I already have have two character bios on my author website that are written.
Perhaps, doing a ton of research on the "Harry Potter" franchise, and watching YouTube videos about "Harry Potter" (like top moments, little-known facts, plot holes, etc.) is making me get too ahead of myself.
Although my series gets mostly positive reviews, even the biggest fans are probably not going to care about my characters' bios, facts about my books not stated in the text, or anything else, as of now. So, I am wondering if I should remove those bios and facts about my novels from my author site unless I became more well-known (which probably won't be likely in the foreseeable future), or just keep them, but not add anything else. Could I compose a personal guide about my books' world just for myself and only distribute it if someone requests it?
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Although my series gets mostly positive reviews, even the biggest fans are probably not going to care about my characters' bios, facts about my books not stated in the text, or anything else, as of now. So, I am wondering if I should remove those bios and facts about my novels from my author site unless I became more well-known (which probably won't be likely in the foreseeable future), or just keep them, but not add anything else. Could I compose a personal guide about my books' world just for myself and only distribute it if someone requests it?
Leave them. You were inspired to write them, so if someone enjoyed your series, likely they will enjoy reading these additional facts as well.
 

Steve_Rivers

Senior Member
Put it this way Sunayna, if it helps get just 1 more person enthused in reading your books, and makes the difference between them buying the next one in the series, then how is it detrimental? While I agree with the editor that you don't need to state really detailed stuff upfront - the problem in his/her argument is that 99.9% of readers will find out the basics through the books first and only come to the website after they feel invested/learned stuff and want to know more.
If it concerns you this much, maybe you should compromise and give out basics of information about the characters and setting that arent intrinsic to the story but give a bit of background flavour that you cant wedge into the books.

With my website, I try to go light on background details but just enough to reinforce the characters. (For instance, I mention my spy immigrated to a new country in the book and the age when he did so. It can easily get speed-read over in the book, so I make sure to mention it again there in his bio.)

We're living in the information age, after all. If a few of your customers do want more, you giving them the service they are looking for will only curry favour with them, not put them off. That's the way you need to look at it. My mailing list booms thanks to that website getting people enthused for the series.
 
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