I’ve been quiet about The Poison People of late as I haven’t had much to say: an editor from Kindle Scout got back to me with some extremely kind, and thought-provoking, words. Basically, they said they really liked my book but the cover and blurb were wrong:
We really enjoy your smart, well-crafted writing [but] between the Sci-Fi Thriller aesthetic of the cover design and the genre categories you’ve chosen for the book, you make it pretty clear that you’re trying to market the novel as New Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian genre fiction. However, the book generally reads much more like high-concept literary fiction: you’ve got some really beautiful prose, an unusual narrative structure, and a lot of intriguing moral and philosophical content.
You could try changing the book’s packaging and overall marketing strategy to make it clearer at the point of purchase that the content is more high-concept, literary-quality Sci-Fi than it is “easy-reading” genre fiction. To my eye, both the current cover design and book description set the expectation that the book is intended to be an easily accessible Thriller – the image on the cover of the DNA double-helix and the mention of disease in the description call to mind zombie-related Post-Apocalyptic novels to me. Considering the book’s lyrical prose and philosophical bent, I think a cover design more consistent with the artistic aesthetic of bestselling high-concept Sci-Fi books might be a more effective strategy for telegraphing to prospective readers what kind of reading experience they should expect.
With a childhood full of secrets, Matt only wants to blend in. But when his university friends start to succumb to a terrifying disease, he begins to realise – he’s the one person who links them all. As the disease spreads across the country, society disintegrates into fear and violence. The authorities talk about terrorism, but Matt knows the truth, and it’s much, much worse. He goes on the run, joining others like him in their struggle to survive. But will it be at humanity’s expense?
And this is the new one…
Are you one of them?
With a childhood full of secrets, Matt only wants to blend in. But when his university friends begin to succumb to a terrifying disease, his own sickness transforms into something else altogether, something that leads him to understand how truly different, and truly dangerous, he really is.
With the disease spreading across the country, society disintegrates into fear and violence. The authorities talk about terrorism, but Matt knows the truth, and it’s much, much worse. He goes on the run, joining others like him in their struggle to survive. But will it be at humanity’s expense?
High concept sci-fi meets hardcore literature, The Poison People is a Jekyll and Hyde for our times. Science may have God on the run, but nature is about to put Man in his place.