World Building 101 – Names and Branding

In my latest novel, Tyrmia, there are many names that begin with either V or K. This is due to the fact that the planet Tyrmia was settled by descendants of the Votainion Empire. The names of Votainion things and people are heavy with V and K letters. The names attributed to the Tyrmia natives are heavy in T and C letters and a bit of creative apostrophe use. To the reader unfamiliar with Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories, this can seem annoying. But it is a respected technique for world building in those genres.

In the case of my Starstrikers Universe, it is also very revealing to know that the Votainion descendants on Tyrmia still use V and K words predominately. The reader is constantly reminded of the Votain culture and influence, while they are jarred by the differences between the space faring Votainions and the planet bound Votains. If your only exposure to the universe is by reading Tyrmia, you will not get the same experience from the book as someone who has already read Starstrikers. The more books you read in the Starstrikers Universe, the more you will appreciate the details I am creating now.

This leads me to branding, the second topic of today’s post. A good friend of mine, Nate, suggested that I make the Starstrikers book the central brand for all my SF written in the universe created for that book. I was using, “The Galaxy Collision Series” but dropped it from the cover of the Second Edition of Starstrikers. I thought it was confusing since there other books in the series were not out yet. But with the success I’m having with Starstrikers, it makes sense to brand that book’s name as the series name. It’s original and therefore makes good SEO sense from a marketing perspective.

So plans are being made to re-brand every book set in the same universe as Starstrikers, to include Tales From Ocherva and Tyrmia as being set in the Starstrikers Universe. Hopefully readers who enjoyed Starstrikers will see the new branding on TFO and Tyrmia and pick up those books next. In the mean time, I will be writing the next book, Starforgers. This new branding will include a stripe at the top of every book that includes the Starstrikers Coin and the words, “Starstrikers Universe”. Nothing like spelling it out in black and white, eh?

This is part of the self-publishing process.  Try something out, see what sells and then adjust the rest of your inventory to help sell more books. Since GB PRESS is moving to a digital first POD later mode, I have to concentrate on e-book only sales for the rest of this year. The revised plan is to make a new epub version of Starstrikers and make some adjustments to the formatting of TFO in the next month or so. Cross promotion will be in full swing after that, leading to the eventual release of the Tyrmia e-book this fall.

I hope you all come along for the ride.

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