SFFMP 114: Discussing LitRPG as a New and Underserved Market
This week, we talked to LitRPG author Jayden Hunter about this up-and-coming genre. Several debut authors have jumped into the Top 500 overall on Amazon with their launches, and Jayden hit the Top 1000 with his novel Nagant Wars before unpublishing it to revise it and put out a new copy. We asked him about the expectations and tropes of the genre and how one goes about marketing it.
Here are a few more details of what we covered:
- What is LitRPG, anyway?
- Some of the rules of the genre, such as that you need to make up your own MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game like World of Warcraft) as an integral setting for the story.
- How the main character is expected to play the game and progress, as a video game avatar might with experience points and levels.
- Some of the tropes of the genre, such as having a main character who has a rough life but who gets to develop into a powerful player in the game.
- Mingling the game story with a contemporary or futuristic (often dystopian) setting.
- Some common mistakes writers are making when tackling the genre.
- When it comes to marketing, focusing on finding one’s readers and connecting with them before worrying about building a platform or a mailing list.
- Figuring out how to place a book on Amazon when there’s not a LitRPG category yet (most are currently putting their books under cyberpunk).
- Can the audience for LitRPG expand beyond this particular niche? Can gaming-focused novels appeal to science fiction and fantasy readers as a whole?
If you’re interested in LitRPG, you can also visit the Facebook group he mentioned: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/
Aleron Kong’s Chaos Seeds series.
Travis Bagwell’s Awaken Online.
Earnest Cline’s Ready Player One.