A New Tradition
Linking a pair of novels or sister novels isn’t a new idea at PanHistoria, however discussions at the PansDen “summer camp” lead to suggestions for a more effective use of practice. The challenge has been to devise a simple system flexible enough for our diverse membership and at the same time maximize the results. PansDen proved the value of cross talk between writers who ordinarily wouldn’t encounter each other in spreading ideas and information. While the complete system is only a suggestion there are demonstrated benefits and it allows one to verify what works and what doesn’t produce results. At press time two participating novels have added four new writers in three weeks from the full system. There are approximately fifteen sister novels at PanHistoria and three using the full system. A new web-based newsletter Birds of a Feather debuts this month to assist in the collection of feedback and lessons learned, sharing new ideas, successes, want ads and includes a web-ring.
The Sister System
Even if you already have one or more sister novels using the system can help you generate new interest in your novel and inspire your members.
a sister candidate:
1. Compatible subject matter but not too similar, i.e. Vikings, cowboys and the Riders of Rohan
2. Change genres, say from History to Horror or Fantasy for at least one sister (two is ideal.)
3. A different “standing” novel, i.e., a new novel paired with an older one.
4. Leave a message for the selected novels’ Members of the Board (MoBs.)
One thing everyone at PanHistoria gets creative and proprietary with is the dust jacket to your novel. While a certain amount of structure has been built in by the administration we pride ourselves on personalizing the dust jacket as much as possible. The Sister Section is geared to blend in with your established design and yet be recognizable from novel to novel. Little effort is needed for the initial set up and to maintain the section.
The Sister Section on your dust jacket:
This is how the section looks on the Troy dust jacket using the novel’s CSS code so that the section dividers, type styles and colors match the jacket design. The banners are the same as those in the rotating banner queue seen on many of PanHistoria’s pages. The synopses changes each month and are the same ones submitted to the History and Fantasy genre pages so you simply replace the text once a month.
While this does take some effort every month this has been the most important feature so far in attracting new writers. One can never assume that your novel’s members are familiar with the action in your sister novel or even with the novel itself. This brief glimpse each time the dust jacket is accessed makes all the difference. It also reaches those who don’t look at the novel dailies each day or who tend to not investigate PanHistoria beyond their favorite genre.
That’s all there is to it, easy isn’t it?
When new members are admitted to your novel do ask how they found out about you and pass the answers on to me. Not only do you learn what works best for you and your needs but the Sister System can be reshaped using the data and those changes or suggestions passed on via the new newsletter Birds of a Feather.
The more sisters, the merrier a 2005 for all.
Check out our newsroom on the community boards and get involved!
Featured Character Coordinator: Dr. Taniko Kishimoto
Featured Novel & Reference Book Coordinator: Amashelle