Thursday, January 13, 2011

Could the ULA Be Resurrected?

For this to happen it would have to be remade. It would have to once again embody the new-- not the familiar, and the ULA after six-plus years had become familiar. The key to the ULA's attention was being as unfamilar and unpredictable as possible.
I have a plan to create a selling machine. I know how to sell. Whether I could somehow incorporate the ULA into that projected machine would require thought and study.

I don't know if the ULA could be the centerpiece. Not as it stands now, anyway. The ULA was never expected to be fronted by old guys, who were/are better fit for supporting roles. There's a difference between paying homage to a movement's roots-- and putting those roots at the front. B.B. King wasn't playing to sold-out stadiums in the Sixties. The Beatles were. The question is whether you want to be perceived as new and exciting. I didn't create this youth-centered society. I'm trying to live in it.


K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

I could easily enough incorporate the ULA line of books into a selling strategy. Likely even into a promo strategy, with the "ULA" playing a slightly different role than it did previously. There remains value in the UlA name.
I'm still a good six months from putting anything together. At the moment I'm at the drawing board sketching an outline. (With early ideas of the "script" I'll put into place.)
The thing to keep in mind is the enormous potential of a genuine alternative to the current literary scene. With a cohesive team, and a revamped strategy, we could make speedy headway-- faster than what the ULA achieved. There would be enough success available for all of us-- enough slices of the potential pie.
The idea, then, is well worth considering.

Wred Fright said...

I'd have to agree, though you were quite helpful in launching the books, which I very much appreciated. Once you split, Jeff and I tried to market Emus as best we could, but our best apparently stunk so Emus made no money; in fact, it lost me money (the next time I'd prefer to leave the marketing to others and stick to writing, an approach which you'll no doubt disagree with). The rights reverted back to me (my contract with Jeff was for five years), but right now I have no plans to do anything with it (the copies floating around from the first book edition should satisfy whatever demand exists for it for a few years), but if that demand increases perhaps it can eventually earn some money.
Blog Love Omega Glee is done and I have a mortgage so I'm going to shop it around for about six months (if you want to do some agenting and find a publisher, you'll get 15% of what we make), but I expect I'll end up publishing it as an ebook on my own, and then I'll have to do some marketing whether I want to or not. I think with the ULA, the problem was simple: we had demand when there was no supply and then we had supply when there was no demand. Bad timing. At least the books were good, so maybe down the road they'll find some appreciative readers. Whatever you do next will be interesting, I'm sure. I wouldn't use any of the old ULA folk, even myself, though; find some new young sexy things. At least they'll be fresh.

K.I.N.G. Wenclas said...

Thanks for the remarks, Wred. As you're one of the only writers around willing and able to write what I call "pop," I'd want/need to sell your work as part of a larger strategy. Good product is in scarce supply.
Re asking writers to do marketing.
One thing i learned is that when writers say they truly want to "just write," they mean it. With the ULA I expected other writers to be like myself, both right-brain/left-brain.
In a future project, writers will be writers. BUT, they'd still have to be willing to put themselves in the hands of those thinking about other matters. One of the problems I faced with the ULA was continuing interference (not from you or Jeff) from writers who were always telling me how to do things.
Writers would also have to be willing to do what it takes to promote themselves. Which is different from doing the actual marketing.
Here, the Beatles is a good template. In the first couple years of success, they did everything Brian Epstein asked of them-- including changing their image, which was a key element in their success. How does one find writers that compliant? I'd known people who managed rock bands, and believed handling writers would be no different. Instead, several of the writers believed I was just out to take advantage of them (tho all my work was for free). They thought they'd get screwed. They ended up screwing themselves.
Sorry for the rant. It makes no sense to look backward overmuch. Great potential remains. Watch for one of my upcoming posts, on underground problems and how to overcome them. It still makes sense to find ways to cooperate.